An Essex authority will hold a debate over whether to reinstate weekly non-recyclable waste collections before they are scrapped in favour of fortnightly collections from next month.
Conservative-led Basildon Borough Council approved fortnightly household and non-recyclable waste collections earlier this year following its adoption of a new waste strategy, which will see newly-introduced wheelie bins emptied once every two weeks from November 27.
However, Councillor Maryam Yaqub (Lab, St Martin’s) has called for the council to halt this part of the scheme, claiming that less frequent collections could lead to increased incidents of flytipping and Basildon streets becoming dirty.
She will present a motion to fellow councillors at a meeting being held on October 19 seeking to scrap plans adopted in March 2023, and to restore weekly collections as council policy.
Putting forward the motion for discussion initially, Cllr Yaqub said: “The problem is that I can’t find anyone across the borough who thinks this is a good idea.
“People have complained about flytipping, sacks being ripped open and overall it will make our estates smellier and dirtier.”
Although there are no charges associated with the adoption of new waste policies, a report on the updated waste strategy published July 13 states that the switch from weekly black sack collections to fortnightly wheelie bin rounds – categorised as ‘residual waste’ collection – will see the council incur costs of around £285,000.
This comes after Basildon residents became subject to an opt-in scheme charging £25 per year for garden waste collections in 2023/24, rising to £50 per year for 2024/25.
The July 13 report states that: “The requirement for this policy has increased over the last couple of years. Firstly, due to Government legislation and targets meaning we have to change the way we collect, increase our recycling performance and reduce our impact on the environment.”
The council has said that the strategy overhaul is needed if it intends to meet its proposed target of a 55 per cent recycling rate across the borough by 2025, with this rising to 65 per cent by 2035.