Headlines: June 22nd, 2010

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has written to the Audit Commission asking them to repeal guidance on bin collections. The Commission recently issued a Quick Guide to Waste Management which could be interpreted as a threat to councils that they could be ‘marked down’ if they did not adopt fortnightly collections.

It is believed that the Guide triggered the move to unpopular fortnightly collections and was designed purely as a cost cutting measure. Mr Pickles said: “Fortnightly collections are unpopular and unhygienic. It’s the traditional weekly bin round that people want.

It is unclear whether this will reverse the trend to less frequent collections because more than half of councils are continuing to impose fortnightly bin collections.

Households in Wales are set to have their waste collected just once a fortnight as the Assembly Government unveiled a roadmap it believes can take Wales to a zero-waste future by 2050. The new strategy aims to change the way we live and kill off the last remnants of the “throwaway society”.

Instead of simply encouraging people to do more recycling, the strategy will seek to radically change the amount of resources we waste. Proposals include reducing the size of wheelie bins from 240 litres to 140 litres, restricting the number of bags that can be put out and collecting food waste weekly but other waste just once a fortnight.

It is calculated that the typical Welsh household wastes around £50 per month buying food that ends up in the bin and 90% of everything purchased becomes waste within six months.

If Wales can recycle 70% of its waste by 2025 it will reduce its ecological impact on the planet by 27%.