Weekly bin collections return - for some

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Weekly bin collections are back - though not for all. Although more than 180 authorities have introduced the massively unpopular fortnightly pick-ups, it's believed 80 councils have now confirmed to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles that they will revert to weekly bin rounds.

Should you celebrate? It depends on where you live.


Fortnightly pick-ups binned

Although many local authorities have consented to reverting back, it's still unknown if all will. But there will be £250 million in new funds to sweeten the switch.

"Rubbish collections," says Pickles, "are the most visible service that people get for their £120 a month council tax bill. But barmy bin rules have made putting out your rubbish more complicated than solving a Rubik's cube. The public are fed up of all the bin do's and bin don'ts."

The switch to fortnightly collections has proved hugely unpopular, exacerbated by increasingly draconian fines for those who overfill bins or even leave rubbish out on the wrong day by accident - penalties have soared to £1,000, in some cases. Weekly bin collections were actually enshrined by legislation right back in 1876, until recently, via the Public Health Act.

Resistance

Bear in mind that though fortnightly collections were bought in by Labour, many of the councils most resistant to return to weekly pick-ups have been Tory-run.

A recent Attitudes to Waste Survey claimed 67% of the population agreed with mandatory weekly collections - and reports of problems with flies and smells for fortnightly collections was more than double that for weekly (14% versus 6%).

"People just want a comprehensive service in return for their council tax, which is why this Government is working with councils to increase the frequency and quality of rubbish and recycling collections," said Pickles.

So a return to civilisation? Or a backwards step for recycling and municipal cost-cutting? (By how much does Mr Pickles recycle, do you think?) The price for the bins comeback means cuts will need to be found in other areas.

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