Pickles unveils £250M waste collection scheme
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has unveiled a £250M fund to pay councils for retaining or reintroducing weekly bins collections in their areas.
The introduction of the Weekly Collections Support Scheme follows an admission by ministers earlier in the year that they could not force council to reintroduce weekly waste collections.
The Department for Communities and Local Government will fund the scheme and it will be additional to the local government financial settlement. Mr Pickles told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that no other budgets would be cut as a result and the extra money had been found due to ‘efficiency gains in his department’.
Councils will be eligible for funding for guaranteeing to keep or reinstate weekly collections for at least five years. The scheme also requires them to demonstrate potential environmental benefits, such as increased recycling or reduced fly-tipping and litter.
Mr Pickles has long campaigned for the reinstatement of weekly collections, claiming that it was a 'basic right' of households.
'Weekly rubbish collections are the most visible of all front-line services and I believe every household in England has a basic right to have their rubbish collected every week,’ Mr Pickles said.
Local Government Association chair Sir Merrick Cockell echoed Mr Pickles' enthusiasm for the scheme. Also appearing on the Today programme this morning, Mr Cockell believed the fund would encourage all councils to assess the efficiency of their waste collection and recycling schemes.A spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth described the move as an 'astonishing waste of taxpayers' money' that would have a disastrous impact on recycling'.
'Any available money would be better spent on increasing recycling, reducing waste, and helping councils to cut carbon,' she added.
Councils that have retained weekly collections, such as Newcastle, have a been alarmed by the announcement as they see little benefit in the fund.
Ministers launched the waste policy review in June. There had been much speculation prior to the announcement that Mr Pickles would force councils to return to weekly collections – a key pledge in the Conservatives’ manifesto.
But his colleague, environment secretary Ms Caroline Spelman, resisted this temptation, which would have cost in the region of £140m a year to implement. Reports suggested that My Pickes and Ms Spelman had argued over the policy.
More pickled madness, just as everybody is getting used to fortnightly collections and recycling more, this jumped up local councillor twit wants to waste more public money on something very few people now want or need! He is not fit to hold the high office he has been shoehorned into, and should be sacked for incompetence and criminally wasting public funds!Graham, Added: Tuesday, 4 October 2011 12:05 PM
Ever since taking office this individual has shown himself to be a fool of the first order. This recent abuse of public funds merely confirms that he is unfit for public office and needs to be replaced. Sadly his stupidity is infectious and my own council has recently decided to introduce a weekly food waste collection together with a weekly residual waste collection. WHAT A WASTE OF PUBLIC MONEY when they are at the same time pursuing and austerity packageChris Kitcher, Added: Monday, 3 October 2011 08:31 AM
We have a local guy who will empty your bin for a quid a week. Give him the job and boot the complex, expensive Council service into touch. Simples . . .J Smith, Added: Sunday, 2 October 2011 01:29 PM
if my local council decides to go along with this insane idea from Mr Pickles it will be counter productive, domestic waste each week, followed by recycling every 2 weeks, there will a reduction in recycling, if the government can find that sort of money put it to sensible use, if that is not too difficultPaul Tilbury, Added: Friday, 30 September 2011 09:58 PM
Whilst Councils can not be forced to revert to weekly collections - many had scored own goals by setting up complex high cost systems. The government's intent to reform the target driven culture and simplify collections was known since last year. The multitude of bins required by many councils serve no useful purpose, cost much more than the savings in landfill tax and result in high carbon emission. Collecting small quantities of food and garden waste and in vessel composting the worst.Venk Shenoi, Added: Friday, 30 September 2011 09:33 PM
|Back||Top of page|