This article is total Conservative misdirection.
It doesn’t mention that every household will actually have a
new weekly bin collection for food waste, or explain why the changes are happening. This is national government policy.
The background is that Herefordshire has had low recycling rates for many years. Only about 39% of waste is recycled here, whereas in some other parts of the country residents manage to recycle nearly 65% of their waste. We want to raise our game as a county, and we know that residents want to be able to recycle more, too.
We also need to do this because of changes to government waste strategy and legislation. The Environment Act 2021 specifies that recyclable household waste (which includes food waste) must be ‘collected separately from other household waste’, and the Environmental Targets (Residual Waste) (England) Regulations 2023, which came into force in January this year, sets a target to halve black bin waste by 2042.
So this is national government policy. And in any case we think pretty much everyone will agree that it’s a good idea to cut waste and increase recycling!
We consulted widely on the new waste collection proposals in 2020-2021, and 3498 residents and 181 businesses responded to that consultation. The new bin collection system, which will be introduced in 2024, was the most popular with respondents. It was also supported by a cross-party strategic review of waste in 2020.
Under the new system, households will have 5 bins: one for food waste (collected weekly) one for garden waste (collected fortnightly), two for recycling (one for paper etc and one for glass etc) plus a black bin for residual waste.
The article suggests the new system will create problems for people in flats and households with babies using disposable nappies. In fact. all these issues have already been carefully considered and responded to. For example: Households can request bigger bins if they have particular needs; flats have special arrangements made; and the council has run a very successful reuseable nappy scheme that was expanded due to the high level of demand.
So the new system a) is a response to government legislation, b) was the most popular option in the public consultation, and c) has been carefully piloted to address any potential issues for specific types of households. The coalition has worked hard and thoughtfully to design a system that will help everyone reduce waste and increase recycling - as per national government legislation - while carefully considering the impacts on all types of households.