Headlines: July 23rd, 2007



Decisions over the future of local rubbish collections should be left to local councils according to the sustainability centre run by the Local Government Information Unit. The Government has outlined proposals to move to fortnightly collection to encourage households cut the amount of waste they produce.

The LGIU’s Local Sustainability policy analyst, Gemma Roberts, said waste strategy did need to be reviewed but there should be greater flexibility to allow local variations in methods of collection. There was, she said, no uniform approach to the task and local authorities should be left to create the techniques that were most suitable to their local areas.

On the planned fortnightly collections she said, “It should not be something that is imposed nationally through standards. It will work if it is designed by local authorities and if local people feel it will work, so it is important that councils explain the actions behind their decision and keep their communities engaged. Councils need to get communities to work and move along with them.”

The LGIU has published a policy briefing in which Ms Roberts talks about the need to limit the amount of waste being sent to landfill and the need to avoid penalty fines for exceeding landfill allowances. The LGIU briefing is in line with the views of a second think-tank, the New Local Government Network. Its director, Chris Leslie, said any decision to impose charges for waste collection should be decided locally. The impact of charges, he said, would depend primarily on local leadership and the coherence of local plans.