Parliament hears about St Albans rubbish recycling confusion

PUBLISHED: 12:28 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:18 06 May 2010

MP Anne Main raised the issue of rubbish collection in Parliament

MP Anne Main raised the issue of rubbish collection in Parliament

CONTINUING confusion over the district s new rubbish collection and recycling regime was aired in Parliament last week. Anne Main, MP for St Albans, raised the issue with the local government minister and told him that the shambolic literature surroundi

CONTINUING confusion over the district's new rubbish collection and recycling regime was aired in Parliament last week.

Anne Main, MP for St Albans, raised the issue with the local government minister and told him that the "shambolic" literature surrounding the new system in the district had caused "utter confusion".

She claimed that the leaflets sent out to explain the process to residents were so badly worded that they had to be redrafted, rewritten and sent out again.

Speaking later Mrs Main said: "It is vital that we get this right, not least because many see waste collections as one of the most tangible benefits of council tax payments and as such they give a sense of the efficiency of the council."

She also warned that bad management could lead to an increase in fly-tipping and a thoroughly unpleasant and unhygienic atmosphere in the community.

Some of the confusion has stemmed from the latest Recycling News leaflet which went out to households because it gave more details about what was going to happen later in the year than at the moment.

The council has recently introduced green wheeled bins for biodegradable waste which will now be collected every fortnight alongside the two existing recycling boxes.

Residents have been asked to use the green bins for garden waste, card, cardboard, shredded paper, and food waste including uncooked meat and fish which can wrapped in paper to reduce smells.

Properties which the council have agreed are not suitable for wheeled bins will be required to use their reusable green sacks for this waste but they can also request a free food caddy from the council for food wastage if they wish.

For the time being, black sacks will continue to be collected weekly and residents can use them for food waste when it is not recycling week.

But in September, black wheeled bins will be distributed across the district and will be collected every fortnight on alternate weeks to the green bin.

The concept will be the same for properties not suitable for wheeled bin use and the black sacks will be collected fortnightly instead of weekly.

But the council has emphasised that potentially odorous food waste can be placed in the black bins or sacks on the week the green bin isn't collected, although that would mean it going to landfill which is not the preferred option.

A concerned resident from Bedford Road whose property is unsuitable for wheeled bins said he had not received any information about the changes and assumed his black sacks would continue to be emptied weekly.

He was also unaware that he could request a kitchen caddy or use the green sack for food waste.

The resident, who did not want to be named, said: "The green sack went missing the first time I used it about two years ago and I have had no information through the door. I didn't even receive my black bin liners."

For more information visit the council's dedicated recycling website at www.recyclingforapremier.com

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