Whiffy household waste could pile up for a month under Boris Johnson ’s chaotic plan to nationalise bin collections.
The Prime Minister will order councils to pick up food waste, glass and recyclables weekly by 2023 – with a knock-on effect of delaying collection of 15.5 million tonnes of ordinary rubbish a year.
Most of the UK’s 341 local authorities have changed to fortnightly pick-ups because of austerity cuts, with just 67 councils able to keep up weekly collections.
North Tyneside council switched in 2018 after a £3.5million Government grant for weekly collections ended.
Local authority leaders now fear plans in the Environment Bill, unveiled in last week’s Queen’s Speech, will lead to monthly collections.
Peter Fleming, the Tory leader of Kent’s Sevenoaks District Council, said: “This is basically nationalising waste collection. It’s creating an NBS, a National Bin Service. It’s mad.”
Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard added: “People just want their bins collected on time. This has nothing to do with recycling, it’s because Conservative governments have spent the past 11 years cutting council budgets to the bone.”
Everyone’s bins will be a standard size, which is yet to be decided, but councils will be allowed to choose the colours.
There are worries standardisation will not work in all areas, as wheelie bins are fine for towns and cities but kerbside collections are not possible in many rural areas – and big trucks struggle with country lanes.
Although 45% of household waste was recycled last year, compared with 11% 20 years ago, progress has stalled since 2015.
Residents will also have the right to free garden waste collections costing £100million a year – even those who live in blocks of flats without gardens.
Cllr David Renard, of the Local Government Association, said: “Councils know their local areas best and should decide locally how recycling and household waste is collected. Any new requirements must also be fully funded.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice said he would aim for fortnightly collections of household waste.
He added: “Our proposals will boost recycling rates and ensure less rubbish is condemned to landfill.”