Wilmslow: Plans for six household recycling bins and 'far reaching' food waste collection

By Alex Greensmith

5th Jul 2021 | Local News

Recycling rates across Wilmslow could drop if the Government goes ahead with proposals which could see each household have up to six bins.

That's according to fears are held by Cheshire East councillors, and residents can also have their say on the controversial topic this week.

Central Government wants a more consistent approach to the way waste is collected and recycled across England and has published consultations on new waste management and funding changes for two years time.

Among the proposals are a requirement for food waste to be collected separately and weekly from all properties by 2023.

Furthermore, items such as glass, paper and cardboard, plastic bottles and metal cans could all have to be placed in separate containers.

If this becomes law, as part of the Environment Bill, it will cause a major headache for Wilmslow residents, bin collectors and Cheshire East.

At present the borough's residents place all dry recyclable materials in one silver bin and food waste goes into the garden [brown] bin for collection fortnightly.

The matter is due to be discussed at the council's meeting of the environment and communities committee on Wednesday July 7. Wilmslow residents are also welcome to share their opinions.

In a report due to go before the committee Frank Jordan, executive director place at Cheshire East Council, states: "With regard to the collection of dry recycling, the expectation is that these will be collected separately – glass, paper and card, metal and plastic.

"There will be significant implications on our current system and it is yet to be determined the best approach – small containers in the silver? Replacement of the silver bin with a range of smaller ones?"

And he described the implications of a separate weekly collection of food waste as 'far reaching'.

"A new collection regime will need to be introduced and carefully designed to ensure this is as efficient as possible, minimising any increase in carbon measures," said Mr Jordan in the report.

"The council may also consider mitigation measures to accompany the increase in food waste collections such as a reduced size residual bin introduced at the same time."

The Environment Bill, which aims to encourage everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle, is not yet law and changes could be made.

Many Cheshire East councillors fear the recycling rate in the borough will drop if the existing 'simple' silver bin system is replaced by one where residents have to sort their recycling into separate containers.

Labour Council leader Sam Corcoran says he has made his representations through the Local Government Association.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service a 'one size fits all approach' isn't the best and the silver bin collection works well in Cheshire East.

"Where their (the Government) aims may be laudable, the way they're trying to do it will have a reverse effect in areas like Cheshire East which already has high recycling rates," said Cllr Corcoran.

"The other problem is food waste recycling. They're saying it would be weekly food collections, and we have got fortnightly collections in the brown [garden waste] bin."

Kerbside food waste collections were only introduced in Cheshire East last year and many residents have only just got used to the idea of putting their food waste in with the garden waste for collection.

It is hoped that more household bins will lead to more materials recycled, and not put within general waste. It will also help reduce non-recyclables being included within recycling bins.

It may mean residents of Wilmslow and the surrounding area may also be more likely to wash out containers before recycling, if there are separate bins for each material.

Conversely, these bins could be viewed as bad for the environment, as with every household having more bins, more plastic must be made for the six bins stationed outside each property.

Problems also arise with flats, where the increased amount of bins may lead to shared spaces and courtyards quickly filling up with a larger amount of bins per home.

Cheshire East will discuss the implications of the Environment Bill on waste and recycling services at its environment and communities meeting which takes place at Sandbach Town Hall at 10:30 on Wednesday.

Members of the public can attend this meeting.

While the meeting is open to the public, due to social distancing restrictions public attendance will be limited. So if you want to share your views please arrive at least half-an-hour early.

The location for the meeting is a half-an-hour 17 mile drive away from Wilmslow town centre, located on Middlewich Rd, Sandbach CW11 1HZ.

Are you a Wilmslow resident disgruntled by these plans? Or do you think it is a good idea?

Or are you in the middle? Do you disagree with the food waste but agree with the recycling plans?

Would you have six bins outside your property, for the benefit of the planet?

Household waste for the Wilmslow area is collected our county's borough council Cheshire East, you can learn about the current set-up for bin collection here.

You can find your current bin collection day for Wilmslow and beyond here.

Wilmslow Nub News covers Handforth, Styal, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow.

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