London boroughs fight back over bin collection

Two London boroughs are stepping up PR activity on recycling as local government continues to face a backlash over the reduced frequency of refuse collection.

Refuse collection: weekly or fortnightly?
Refuse collection: weekly or fortnightly?

The London Borough of Dartford is attempting to get residents more involved in the decision-making process, while the London Borough of Waltham Forest has brought in an agency for a new campaign which it hopes will win residents over.

Earlier this year the Daily Mail launched a sustained campaign against the reduction of weekly rubbish collection to a fortnightly service, claiming that it would create a public health risk. The Local Government Association responded with the message that fortnightly collection would help people think about their waste and encourage recycling.

Now, Dartford is balloting its residents on proposals to reduce its refuse collection to once a fortnight. Some 60,000 residents have been sent voting slips with local papers or through direct mail as part of ‘The Big Bin Vote’. Voting closes today (20 July), but early responses appeared to favour weekly collection.

Tom Carney, Dartford’s communications manager, said there had been ‘an enormous amount of feedback for a council consultation’.

He added: ‘The reason we are running this consultation is that it is a highly visible part of a council’s work and therefore vital to its reputation. We came to the conclusion that the best way to decide on the issue locally was to ask people directly.’

Elsewhere in London, Waltham Forest is preparing for a large-scale campaign to promote recycling.

The council has hired sustainable ­development ­comms spe­cialist Futerra to carry out a public-facing campaign to persuade more than 225,000 residents to recycle their glass, paper and tins.

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