On Wednesday, the Conservatives and Labour voted to go ahead with the new waste strategy.
Your Focus Team welcomed the weekly recycling collections and the flexibility that residents will be given to choose boxes or bags for keeping their recycling in. When the draft strategy proposed switching everyone to boxes we raised concerns about people who have limited space and local people made the same point in the consultation. We also welcomed the reintroduction of a reusable nappy incentive scheme, which we hope will help more parents switch from disposable nappies.
The strategy also includes replacing the current 240 litre black bins with 140 litre ones, despite other local authorities having opted for 180 litres. North Somerset for example has managed to achieve a better recycling rate with 180 litre black bins. We are worried that 140 litres may be a step too far.
We are also very concerned about the new disposable nappy service, that will mean parents who can't fit used nappies in their new smaller bin will have to leave them in special bags out on the street. We are worried that animals will be able to get in, the smell will get out and if the waste teams find they contain anything other than nappies they will refuse to take them, leaving them for the following fortnight's collection.
We proposed an amendment that instead of creating a new service, with all the costs of providing the bags, would have let families with small children keep their 240 litre bins until their children were 3 years old. This would have been simpler for residents and the waste crews and would have meant used nappies were still in a solid bin. Unfortunately this was voted down. We hope that having heard our concerns council officials will keep a close eye on how this service works in practice.