Mr Pickles: You are talking rubbish.
That’s the message from councils across Gloucestershire after the Government’s Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, published his “bin bible” in support of weekly refuse collections.
Mr Pickles issued his ‘rubbish’ guidance last week to encourage collection authorities to commit to picking up refuse on a weekly basis.
The document, sent to every council in England, seeks to debunk the “bin myths” which support fortnightly collections.
The “busted myths” include the idea that the only way to improve recycling is to go fortnightly, and that biweekly collections are the only way to save taxpayers cash.
With many authorities operating fortnightly collections in Gloucestershire, it is perhaps unsurprising that Mr Pickles’ “bin bible” has received little support.
Tewkesbury and Cheltenham borough councils both collect food waste every week, while recycling and residual waste – anything which can’t be recycled – collections happen on alternate weeks.
Meanwhile, Gloucester City Council collects food waste and recycling every week, but residual waste fortnightly.
Cheltenham Borough Council believes weekly residual waste collection would be a “poor use of taxpayers’ money”.
Councillor Roger Whyborn (LD, Up Hatherley), cabinet member for sustainability, said: “This is something that has been a personal crusade for Eric Pickles over the years, but it isn’t something most local authorities agree with.
“In the main, the rationale behind fortnightly collections is pretty sound.”
Councillor Jim Mason (C, Winchcombe), Tewkesbury Borough Council’s lead member for clean and green environment, said satisfaction with the current collection system is “extremely high”.
He said: “For us, the benefits of our current collection scheme are clear.”
Councillor Sajid Patel (C, Barton and Tredworth), cabinet member for environment at Gloucester City Council, said: “The present residual and recycling collection service in the city is running very well. However, the council, in partnership with contractor Amey, is continually looking at new ways to encourage reuse and recycling and to improve the service for residents in an effort to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.”