Anger at move to fortnightly bin collections

Recent material encouraging Horsham district residents to recycle more.
Recent material encouraging Horsham district residents to recycle more.

The imminent move to fortnightly general household waste bin collections has provoked a furious reaction from Horsham district residents.

Currently Horsham District Council operates a weekly service, with blue-topped recycling bins and paid-for green waste collected fortnightly.

Last week the County Times revealed a rollout of ‘alternate weekly collections’ would begin on February 5 and be completed by April.

In response to the news, residents have bombarded the council’s Facebook page with questions and complaints.

The common theme was families would produce more waste in a fortnight than would fit in their general bin, even if they recycled everything they could.

Residents labelled the changes ‘ridiculous’, ‘crazy’, and ‘absolutely disgraceful’.

Several suggested a separate food waste service was needed.

One resident told HDC: “You are creating yourself a total nightmare of a situation.”

Households can apply for a free larger bin, with a £5 delivery charge, on the grounds of medical needs, if they have five or more permanent residents, or if they have three or more children in nappies.

Residents can also order a larger recycling bin, for a £5 delivery charge, or a smaller reusable recycling bag if space is limited both by the end of November.

In response to questions HDC confirmed it would not be offering additional bins to purchase, and will not be collecting any side waste.

But it advised residents: “If you do not qualify under the current criteria however still feel you require a larger bin you can still apply and give supporting information and your application will be reviewed.”

The council said it had trialled the collection method with a family of five with one child in nappies who had the larger bin dispensation and ‘it worked very well’, and also held another trial with a family of four.

It is reviewing communal refuse and recycling facilities and will also be talking to all housing managers in the district to ensure recycling facilities at blocks of flats are adequate.

Residents were also advised to follow a hygiene checklist such as keeping the bin lid closed, double wrapping food waste and nappies, occasionally rinsing the bin with disinfectant, and avoid storing bins in direct sunlight.

For more information visit the council’s website.

The Horsham district currently recycles 44 per cent of its waste – the highest in West Sussex, but it needs to reach the national target of 50 per cent by 2020.

Last week Philip Circus, cabinet member for waste, recycling and cleansing, said: “We know from experience elsewhere, that the new bin collection arrangements will see recycling rates increase and reduce the cost of disposal – helping to save council taxpayers’ money in the long run so it can be used to maintain essential public services.

“We have been given obligatory national recycling targets to meet and are confident that these measures will help us reach them by the 2020 deadline.”