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Council scrutiny committee examines plans to introduce extra wheelie bin for recyclables
A SCRUTINY committee examining Darlington Council’s cost-cutting plans to introduce alternate weekly refuse collections next year has discussed proposals for the introduction of an extra bin for recycling.
In a special meeting of the place scrutiny committee today (Thursday, December 5) members considered the options available for a new system in which general waste will be collected one week, and recyclable materials the other.
The preferred option is for the majority of Darlington households to be given a new 240-litre wheelie bin with a caddy inside to separate paper and card from cans and plastics.
This will be collected on an alternate week from the regular waste wheelie bin, replacing the current system of weekly rubbish collections and fortnightly recycling collections.
Residents will continue to use their green box for recycling glass.
About 10,000 homes have been identified by the council as being unsuitable to receive a second bin due to access problems for the collection vehicles.
These properties will still switch to alternate weekly collections but instead of receiving a new bin they will be given an extra box to recycle plastics and metals, alongside the existing regime of a box for glass and blue sack for paper and card.
Although the committee welcomed the £400,000 annual savings that the new system is expected to make, and the environmental benefits, Coun Richard Grundy warned that the idea of having a second wheelie bin will be “deeply unpopular” among some residents.
His concerns were echoed by committee chairwoman Coun Dorothy Long who questioned why residents could not choose the extra box option given to homes exempt from the extra bin for access reasons.
She said: “There are a lot of streets with very small back yards and residents have already raised issues about the size of one wheelie bin.
“I think they will be aghast at the idea of having to store two.”
Ian Thompson, the council’s assistant director of community services, said only the homes already identified by the council as having access issues would be exempt from receiving an extra bin.
He added that the system has been proven to work in 11 out of the 13 nearby authorities that operate it, including Richmondshire, Durham County Council and Redcar and Cleveland.
After a consultation period, a full report will be presented to the cabinet in early January and if the new system is approved, it is likely to be introduced in October next year.
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