Major shake-up of bin rounds throughout North Norfolk District Council area

A radical overhaul of bin collections in north Norfolk will mean changes for about 45,000 households from next month.

Affected residents, representing about 80pc of households in the district, will face either a switch in their collection day, colour of bin collected, time of collection - or any combination of the three.

The new system will come into force from Monday October 3 and letters will be sent later this month to every household in the district detailing their new collections. Changes will also affect those with brown garden-waste bins who will receive a second letter explaining the new arrangements for that collection.

The moves are part of contract arrangements agreed between North Norfolk District Council and Kier, the company which took over the area's waste collection in April.

Changes are vital to help the council save an average of �400,000 pa over the eight-year life of the contract, according to Nick Baker, NNDC strategic director - environment.

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The frequency of collections in the district, where different colour bins are emptied on alternate weeks, will not change.

Extra help and resources will be laid on during the transition period but Mr Baker warned that there would inevitably be short-term disruption with some households not having either their green-bin recycling or grey/black-bin household waste collected for almost three weeks.

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The new system would use more efficient routing, planned by an electronic programme, which would enable Kier to cut its wagons from 15 to 13, substantially reducing both vehicle and staff costs, and carbon emissions, said Mr Baker.

Changes are being introduced now because Kier had needed time to settle in to the new contract and the spring and summer, which included a number of bank holidays, would have made the transition too complicated, he added.

'These are significant changes to what is a key - if not the most important - service we provide,' said Mr Baker.

'We recognise that four fifths of residents will be seeing changes and there will be some disruption but we will do everything we can to minimise that.

'The key thing is that when people receive their letter please, please, please don't ignore it. Read it, understand the changes and act on it. This is not a consultation exercise - this is going to happen.'

Throughout October Kier would be laying on two extra vehicles to help 'mop up' uncollected rubbish during the transition. 'Side waste' - extra bin bags of household rubbish - would also be collected during this period and anyone concerned about vermin getting into uncollected waste could contact Kier to arrange a special collection if there was a 'significant problem'.

In addition, during October Kier workers would collect visible bins which householders had forgotten to put on the street for collection.

Mr Baker said people who had received their letters and still had queries could contact Kier, who would shortly be opening a customer care phone line, on 0300 123 1163.

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