Fortnightly rubbish collection row

City council leaders are pressing ahead with plans to introduce fortnightly rubbish collections despite a new national report claiming they can increase fly-tipping, confuse the public and provoke protests.

City council leaders are pressing ahead with plans to introduce fortnightly rubbish collections despite a new national report claiming they can increase

fly-tipping, confuse the public and provoke protests.

The report by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee also said there was no proof that fewer rounds boosted recycling. And it found that alternate-week collections were “clearly not appropriate to all areas”, particularly urban areas, where much of the accommodation was shared.

Even so, City Hall - which has pledged to make Norwich one of the top 10 recyclers in the country - insisted today that its plans were still on track.

The council plans to phase in alternate weekly collections from October across Norwich's 54,600 households. Household waste will be collected one week and recyclables the next.

The proposal has received cross-party backing on the council despite fears voiced by some residents that it will create hygiene problems and is not workable in built-up areas.

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A city council spokeswoman said the national report published this week would not throw Norwich's scheme off track.

She added: “Alternate weekly collections are to be phased in between October of this year and May 2009 in accordance with waste management plans approved by full council on February 20.

“There are 140 councils around the country which have brought in the collections, and evidence from their work shows these collections increase the rate of recycling by 10 to 15pc.”

These figures differ from the national report. While conceding that the 140 councils with such fortnightly collections are among the best for recycling, it states: “Whether there is a direct causal link between those two facts is unproven.”

Steve Morphew, Labour leader of Norwich City Council, said it was still working on exactly how the fortnightly collections would work.

He added: “I'm not sure how far this has gone, but a major study has been under way on approaches that are suitable to specific areas in the city. There's going to be no 'One size fits all' applied to this, and we will be working with local councils to make sure they have got a system that works.”

Green Party councillor Adrian Ramsay said: “Alternate weekly collections have proved very successful in other parts of the country. But the Green city councillors have been pushing the city council to recognise there will be parts of the city where it will not be appropriate.”

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