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No evidence to support bin plans

January 12, 2009

hasn_mastheadDear Editor,

I have just seen a recent email update from a Hastings Borough Council officer celebrating the high level of returns for the communal bin consultation.

It is indeed good news that for all those people who have not yet received their consultation forms, there are many more who have returned them.

I suspect the reason for the high levels of returns is that local residents are terrified that the Council will in fact bring in this hair-brained scheme.

The most important aspect of the Council officer’s email was that it addressed the low rates of recycling in areas which still have weekly collection.

I have spent some time trying to locate any research available about how communal bins improve recycling rates, but I have not yet found any.

I have found however a report by Friends of the Earth which gives as its first recommendation for improving recycling: ‘Highest recycling rates are achieved by providing a doorstep collection service.’

It seems to me that HBC has failed to offer a compelling case for how communal bins will help recycling rates, and is probably asking the wrong questions in its consultation.

Perhaps a more helpful approach would be to ask ‘How can we (the Council) help you to recycle more?’.

Judging by the level of local feeling against communal bins, the Conservatives will have to go back to the drawing board following the consultation. Otherwise they will risk the allegation that the consultation has been a sham.

The consultation has also raised the issue of the current level of customer satisfaction with the bi-weekly collection of Twin Bins.

My own view is that the Council must develop a democratic mechanism to enable residents to request the return of weekly collection to their area if they want that.

Yours sincerely,

[Please use the form below to contact me with your views about communal bins]

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