I broadly welcome the plans for the introduction of Alternate Week Collections (AWC) and potential Weekly Food Waste Collections.

Alternate week collections will mean residents have their black bin emptied on one week, and their green recycling bag/bin emptied the following week.  Phase 1 of a pilot scheme is expected to be rolled out to around 40,000 households in 2012/13, with 80% of households being included by 2014/15.

In principle, I am behind this proposal, and the Council’s vision to increase recycling rates.  I also believe that the majority of residents will accept this, as long as any reduction in black bin collections is introduced alongside a weekly food waste collection service.

In my experience, the majority of householders are more than willing to recycle, and will welcome the increase in recyclable waste collections.   What they will not tolerate, however, is food waste being left to rot in their bins for weeks on end, particularly in the summer months. 

The level of complaints I still receive about missed bin collections, particularly from elderly and vulnerable people on wheel out collections, does not reassure me.

For this scheme to be successful, we need the majority of households across the city to buy into it, but this will only happen if people can be guaranteed a regular two weekly collection of their black residual waste, alongside a weekly collection of their food waste.