Opposition to fortnightly bin collections in the Horsham district is ‘a load of garbage’, according to supporters of the changes.
Horsham District Council is proposing the changes for general household waste from spring 2018 as it looks to make savings and improve recycling rates.
However the announcement earlier this month was labelled as a ‘crazy’ and ‘ridiculous idea’ by residents on social media and the Horsham Labour Party has launched a campaign to keep weekly general waste collections.
But the changes were approved by HDC’s Cabinet on Thursday (November 24).
Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook West) said: “It will be fine and we are offering the public in Horsham and ourselves a really good service and if people need more bins for their normal waste, or residual waste, we are offering that with a few caveats.
“I do really support this and I think it’s really good thing. The adverse comments frankly are a load of garbage.”
Matthew French (Con, Broadbridge Heath) added: “It’s a fantastic service we will be delivering to the people in the district.
“I’m disappointed at some of the comments in the press. This is not only giving the people of Horsham a better service than what they have got already, but it’s also saving the taxpayer in effect a million pounds.”
Godfrey Newman (LDem, Forest) added: “The public can forget after the initial reaction because they get used to it and it is being done in a certain way.”
Residents would be able to receive a second smaller blue-topped recycling bin for a £5 delivery charge, as well as free recycling bags to store extra rubbish.
HDC is also proposing to allow residents to claim a bigger general waste bin if they have specific medical needs, have five or more people in a household, or have three or more children in nappies.
The move has also proved controversial because several Tory councillors pledged to maintain weekly bin collections in election materials back in 2015.
But Philip Circus (Con, Chanctonbury), cabinet member for housing and public protection, said: “The important thing is we are maintaining a weekly bin collection. That’s an undertaking we said we would do and that’s exactly what we are doing.”
Even without the £730,000 savings a year expected, as well as the £230,000 savings from introducing rear-loading bin lorries, Mr Circus supported the proposals as a way of delivering a ‘step change’ in recycling rates.
The council needs to increase its recycling from 45 to 50 per cent by 2020.
Officers explained that there would be a publicity and communications campaign around recycling, while there was no evidence in other areas to sugges that alternative weekly collections lead to an increase in rats or other vermin.
Ray Dawe (Con, Chantry), leader of the council, explained that they had to get recycling over 50 per cent, and at the same time they were making savings, and taking the opportunity to replace an existing bin lorry fleet that was ‘extremely expensive to maintain’.
Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead), cabinet member for leisure and culture, added: “The biggest driver is recycling, and we have got to think about our recycling more when we are putting waste in the residual bin.”
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