A COUNCIL chief has labelled Government calls to revert to weekly rubbish collections “utter madness”.
Hartlepool councillor Peter Jackson, who is in charge of neighbourhood services, hit back at comments made by the Government’s Communities Secretary Eric Pickles who said he wants to see an end to the “barmy policy” of fortnightly pick ups.
But Coun Jackson said Hartlepool has seen a huge rise in recycling rates since it introduced fortnightly collections of household waste and is saving thousands in landfill charges.
The chair of the council’s neighbourhood services committee said: “Since Hartlepool Council introduced alternate weekly collections eight years ago we’ve seen a massive increase in recycling rates across the town and we are saving an estimated £67,500 every year in landfill charges.
“Residents of Hartlepool have fully embraced the commitment to recycle and this contributes hugely to protecting the world’s environment.”
Mr Pickles continued his assault on local councils that favour fortnightly rubbish collections by issuing a “bin bible”.
It claims to expose 10 myths surrounding weekly collections including that town halls cannot improve recycling without fortnightly pick ups.
Mr Pickles said: “Rubbish collections are the most visible service that people get for their £120 a month council tax bill.
“People deserve a comprehensive weekly service in return for their taxes.
“If councils adopt this new guide as their bin bible they will be able to save taxpayers money and still increase the frequency and quality of rubbish and recycling collections.”
In Hartlepool, household rubbish is collected one week, with collections of recyclable waste such as paper, glass and garden waste a week later.
Coun Jackson added: “Surveys show that there are extremely high levels of satisfaction among residents with our refuse and recycling service and the council has no plans to return to the days of being a ‘throwaway society’.
“Indeed, at a time when Mr Pickles’s Government is imposing brutal cuts on the council, it would be utter madness to revert to weekly refuse collections which would not only be costly and force us to make further cuts to other council services, but would discourage recycling and undo the great progress we have in Hartlepool.”
The council said recycling rates in Hartlepool rose by more than 21 per cent between 2005-06 to 2012-13.
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