Council to look at changes to refuse collection across Harborough district

Changes will be made to the refuse collection service
Changes will be made to the refuse collection service

Shortage of money means that Harborough District Council is looking to change a refuse collection system that more than 90 per cent of local people are happy with.

More than 8,000 people have replied to a council survey on the current Environmental Services Contract.

And the vast majority said the current bins service for recycled waste, garden waste and residual waste was either “good” or “very good”.

Harborough District Council asked residents for their views, as it looked to save up to £1.4million a year from its environmental services contract, which includes bin collections, recycling, street cleaning and grounds maintenance.

The council said less money from selling recycled materials, and the end of recycling incentives from the county council, as well as reduced Government funding to local authorities, has resulted in the need to make major savings.

The council’s executive committee will discuss the survey’s findings on Monday, September 7.

Cllr Neil Bannister, the council’s portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “The level of response from the public is very pleasing. And we are pleased that people think our waste collection service is ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

“We wouldn’t change it unless we had to, but if we don’t do anything this council stands to lose £8.3m by 2023.”

He pointed out that cash for recyclable material had fallen by two-thirds, and green payments from the county council were also ending.

But Lib Dem opposition leader Cllr Phil Knowles said: “Why did the controlling (Conservative) group give a reduction in council tax before the election, if they need money now for waste collection?

“There are clearly questions to be asked about this pre-election giveaway, as well as plans for three-weekly bin collections, the re-introduction of the failed brown bin food waste scheme, and the role of the county council.”

The district council provides its bin service in partnership with private firm FCC Environmental Services. The contract covers an area of 230 square miles and includes green, “blue-top” and black bin collections for 38,000 homes.