Bin collection vow broken – Labour

Published: Monday 1st December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (1)

Only one in 20 English councils collects all bins from residents every week, figures suggest.

Charges made by local authorities for making collections for rubbish such as garden and bulky waste have also increased by half in just two years, the figures obtained by Labour under Freedom of Information rules show.

The party’s Hilary Benn said the revelations “fatally undermine” pledges by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles to bring back weekly bin collections and keep extra charges down.

But Mr Pickles accused Labour of bullying councils into axing weekly bin collections, while the Conservatives had supported waste pick-ups every week and stopped plans for “bin taxes” proposed by the last Government.

The figures from 285 local authorities showed that just 17 councils collected all the bins from households on a weekly basis – just 6% of those who replied.

Almost 50 million people are having to wait longer than a week for some type of waste to be collected from their homes, according to the Freedom of Information figures, which were supplied by 88% of the 325 councils quizzed.

Residents are given on average just under four bins by local authorities for their waste and recycling, and have to wait an average of a week and five days for their residual rubbish to be picked up.

Food waste was collected separately by 116 of the councils that responded and tends to be picked up more frequently than other types of waste and recycling.

The figures from Labour also revealed that councils across England made £36.2 million from ancillary charges – picking up garden waste, bags and bulky waste – in 2011/2012, a figure which rose to £54.3 million by 2013/2014.

The councils charging the most per household for extra collections are mostly Conservative-run local authorities, with the rest councils where no party is in overall control, according to the figures.

Shadow communities and local government secretary Mr Benn said: “This comprehensive study fatally undermines Eric Pickles’ boast when he was in opposition and in government that he would return Britain to weekly bin collections and keep extra charges down.

“The reality that we expose today is very different. It is Tory councils that are charging the most – three times as much as Labour councils – and there was a 50% increase in charges across England in the last two years.

“He said the public should hold him to account for his record so as we approach the general election I hope people will recognise that he made claims he never had the power to bring to fruition.”

Mr Benn criticised Mr Pickles’ claims he would impose new controls on local authorities and communities as “pompous hot air”.

He added: “It’s for local communities to take decisions on refuse collection that work for them and for their area.”

But Mr Pickles said: “The Labour government bullied councils into axing weekly collections and were planning new bin taxes on family homes.

“Conservatives in government have kept to our promises; we have abolished Labour’s bin taxes, reined back in bin snoopers and have actively supported weekly collections, whilst keeping council tax down.

“Labour haven’t changed – their Labour government in Wales now want monthly bin collections: under Labour, you pay more and get less.”

Labour was also accused of producing “misleading” figures by including garden waste as something which should be collected weekly.

The Government estimates that 14 million homes across England have a weekly collection of “smelly rubbish” in some form.

Published: Monday 1st December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (1)
  • Gerri Scargill

    This is just stirring up muck for the sake of it. Households have recycling bins as well as general waste bins nowadays, there is absolutely no need for them all to be emptied every week, if households are recycling and using their bins correctly.

Local business search