Welsh Conservatives are calling on the Welsh Government to legislate to ensure that councils collect residual waste on no less than a fortnightly basis.
They say monthly collections – as piloted in council areas like Conwy – pose a risk to public health, and encourage fly-tipping. In recent years, incidences of fly-tipping have risen dramatically in Wales: with 35,758 incidents recorded in Wales during 2015-16, the highest number since 2011-12. Indeed, Swansea’s expenditure on clearing fly tipping spiked dramatically in the last year – from £190,000 in 2014-15, to over £372,000 in 2015-16.
Speaking in a Senedd debate today, Shadow Local Government Secretary, Janet Finch-Saunders, said that Welsh Conservative councils would – where applicable – reintroduce fortnightly collections. She said reduced bin collections were “ripping off” local residents, who have faced a 12% hike in council tax rates since the local government elections in 2012.
“Reducing bin collections harms the environment, fuelling fly-tipping and ripping off local residents who end up paying more in council tax for less in terms of public services".
“In recent years council tax has risen by 12%, and yet one of the most vital services provided by local authorities is being stripped back beyond recognition".
“The evidence is piling up – and so are people’s bins".
“We are calling on the Welsh Government to legislate to ensure local councils collect residual waste no less frequently than fortnightly, to protect public health, and deter fly-tipping".
Clwyd West AM, Darren Millar, said:
“I’m disappointed that the Welsh Government are refusing to act to prevent Councils from introducing four weekly bin collections. The pilot currently underway in Conwy is proving to be a nightmare for the residents affected. Whilst I appreciate the Council is keen to encourage recycling, they are going the wrong way about it. The changes are very unpopular and have resulted in more fly-tipping, an increase in pest control problems, and public health risks from pet waste. We need the Welsh Government to listen to the concerns raised and intervene to ensure that basic services like bin collections delivered at least every two weeks.”
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