Campaign launched against Gwynedd Council residual waste bin collection plans


Geraint Jones

ANGRY Gwynedd residents have launched a campaign against  plans to collect refuse bins once every three weeks. 

Llwyngwril resident Roger Lott has started an online petition calling on Gwynedd Council's cabinet to reverse its decision.

Household recycling, food waste and garden waste collections will not be changed.

In an online message, Gwynedd cllr Nigel Pickavance said he was "angry and bemused at the process " that lead to the change.

He said: "It is obvious to see that every corner of Gwynedd disagrees with this decision.

"As a county councillor I have spoken to many constituents during the consultation period.

He added: "Every one was against it and having spoken to many fellow councillors they say that their constituents felt the same."

Gwynedd Council’s cabinet this week unanimously agreed the change from fortnightly collections in a bid to save £350,000 and help meet Welsh Government recycling targets.

However Councillor Chris O’Neal, of Marchog ward in Bangor, feared the move could lead to problems, such as rat infestations.

He said: “Three weeks for your bins to be emptied - next they will be asking you to throw them in the back of the bin wagon yourself to save money.

“Why not make cuts to those services that are not compulsory services, like economic development?

“After all, what do they develop?”

Cllr Gareth Williams, Gwynedd Council’s economic cabinet member, said the Welsh Government expected the authority to recycle or compost a minimum of 52 per cent of all the refuse it collects from homes.

Cllr Williams added the authority narrowly avoided a £123,000 fine in 2012/13 after only just making the target.

Cllr Williams said: “Despite the fact that three different approaches were used - a Citizen’s Panel survey, an open public survey and various workshop sessions - the results were strikingly similar and include clear messages about the issues that we will need to tackle going forward.

A Gwynedd Council public survey revealed 56 per cent (1,038), and 45 per cent (308) Citizen’s Panel survey respondents, said collecting residual waste every three weeks rather than every fortnight would cause problems for their households.

However, the consultations revealed respondents broadly agreed the council should encourage more people to recycle and compost their waste in order to avoid Welsh Government fines.

“In response to the comments received, we have already identified arrangements which will allow us to collect nappies every fortnight, to make special arrangements for disabled residents and to provide larger residual waste bins for households with more than six residents."

Cllr Williams said Gwynedd Council “must now take steps” to persuade residents who continue to throw waste that can be recycled or composted to use the correct services.

He added Gwynedd Council was working on ways to way solve concerns over issues, like smells and bin sbeing too heavy, identified in their consultations.

The changes will be introduced to Dwyfor from October and to Arfon and Meirionydd next year.

Mr Lott posted his petition, entitled "Stop the change to a 3 weekly bin emptying service." to www.change,org.

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