Fortnightly refuse collections to stay

THERE are no plans to revert to weekly refuse collections in Huntingdonshire, in spite of a House of Commons committee s view that alternate weekly collections were not always best. A report published by the Communities and Local Government Select Committ

THERE are no plans to revert to weekly refuse collections in Huntingdonshire, in spite of a House of Commons committee's view that alternate weekly collections were not always best.

A report published by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on Monday said collecting rubbish every other week was not the right approach for cities. But it agreed that it was appropriate for areas such as Huntingdonshire that are predominantly rural.

The committee also said that the link between collecting landfill refuse every two weeks and improved recycling rates was not proved.

But, since Huntingdonshire moved to alternate weekly collections four or five years ago, recycling has shot up to over 50 per cent. The last audited figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, published late last year, showed Hunts is one of the most improved local authorities and fifth overall in England. Only South Cambridgeshire was ahead of it in eastern England.


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But Hunts will be looking to push its neighbour off the top when new audited figures are published later this year.

South Cambs folk were recycling 49.4 per cent of household waste last year, compared with Huntingdonshire's 48 per cent - up over 15 per cent from less than one-third the previous year. But Hunts has been recycling 53 per cent consistently in recent months, said head of operations Robert Ward.

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HDC is convinced its system of emptying landfill waste (grey bins), dry recyclables (blue bins and green boxes) and green waste (green bins) every two weeks is right for the district.

"It's horses for courses," Mr Ward said. "But we agree alternate bin collections don't work universally."

Huntingdonshire's recycling rate is probably now nearly as good as it will get - at least until kerbside collections of glass are introduced. "We can probably get up to 60 per cent with the glass, but the trick will be to maintain it at that rate.

"People are still putting jam jars and sauce bottles into grey bins, so we shall probably get two or three per cent more from that.

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