Opposition councillors in Ashfield have launched a campaign against plans to shrink the district’s black bins.
Members of the Ashfield Independents are rallying support from residents because they say the Ashfield District Council-backed scheme is expensive and will not increase recycling by enough to meet targets.
Letters have been sent out to households urging people to sign the group’s petition, which calls for the council to rethink its plans and consider other options.
Under the proposed scheme, residents will have their black bins reduced in size from 240 litres to 180 litres and use their old black bins for a free garden waste collection.
Councillor Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield Independents, said in his letter to residents: “For a fraction of the amount of money Labour plan to spend, they could give everyone a free garden waste bin, without shrinking your black bin.
“For even better results, they could roll out a weekly collection of food waste.
“Many councils already do this and it would make Ashfield one of the best recycling authorities in England.”
The aim of the plans is to boost Ashfield’s recycling rates so the district meets set targets of 50 per cent of waste being recycled by 2020.
Currently, 34 per cent of waste is recycled and a report predicts that once the new bins are brought in, that will rise to 45 per cent.
The cost of providing households with the smaller black bins is more than £1 million, and the district council will receive from a grant from Nottinghamshire County Council for this and the costs will be recouped in four years.
Roadshows to hear residents’ views are being held at Selston Co-op tomorrow, Hucknall market place on Friday, Kirkby market place on Tuesday and Sutton market place next Friday, all from 10am to 3pm. More will be held in February.
Two online petitions set up by residents against the plans have attracted hundreds of signatures.
Ashfield District Council said it has looked at a range of options to increase recycling including:
Investing in education – Research shows providing education alone would not deliver a significant improvement in recycling;
Food waste collections – Separate collections of food waste are expensive and there are no facilities available that accept mixed food and garden waste;
Increase the amount of recyclables that can go in the ‘green-lidded’ bin – There is evidence up to 20 per cent of material which should already be going in the green and brown-lidded bins is still going into the black bins;
Three weekly collection cycle for black, green and brown bins – reducing capacity for every type of waste.
A spokesman said: “Overall, we believe the council’s current proposal represents the best and most financially sustainable way to increase recycling in the district.”