Norwich unlikely to see weekly bin collections again

Norwich householders are unlikely to see a return to weekly rubbish collections despite a government pledge to make money available to help councils bring them back.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced that �250m would be made available to help councils offer weekly collections, but the early signs are that Norwich homes are unlikely to see a change.

Instead the focus will be on providing weekly food waste collections, with recycling and household waste likely to continue to be taken on alternate weeks.

A Norwich city council spokesman said: 'We already operate a weekly collection service for food waste from the vast majority of households in Norwich.

'This ensures that specifically the food element of household rubbish, with the potential to cause odours and attract vermin, is collected weekly, while less perishable waste like glass bottles and paper is collected every other week.

'Since we started our alternate weekly collection and weekly food waste collection schemes, we have more than doubled the city's recycling rate from 16pc to 41pc.'

Homes in Broadland District Council currently have their waste and recycling taken on alternate weeks, with around 20pc of the district enjoying weekly food waste collections.

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John Fisher, the council's portfolio holder for environmental policy development, said: 'We are quite happy with what we are doing at the moment and to my knowledge so are the residents as we have not received any complaints for years.

'Although I would be interested in extending out food waste collections to weekly across the district.'

He added that he would rather see the government money spent on trying to fund a unit to make electricity from food waste, rather than see weekly rubbish collections.

South Norfolk council started introducing alternate week rubbish and recycling collections in 2003. There is also the option for householders to pay for a brown bin to have garden waste taken away.

John Fuller, leader of the council, said that it would be nice to go to weekly collections but questioned whether there was enough money being offered by the government to cover this.

He said the council would need to invest in six more bin lorries, which cost �135,000 a year to run, and one smaller one, which costs �100,000 more a year, and said he would not be prepared to raise council tax to cover the cost.

Mr Fuller said: 'At the moment we are waiting to see the details. If there is not enough money to do weekly for everyone then we need to look at alternatives.'

These alternatives include the possibility of introducing weekly food waste collections.

Yesterday Eric Pickles revealed that a quarter of a billion fund would be made available to help councils offer a weekly service.

Councils that commit to retain or reinstate weekly collections of waste for at least five years would be allowed to use the money to improve their rubbish collection service.

Mr Pickles said: 'Weekly rubbish collections are the most visible of all frontline services and I believe every household in England has a basic right to have their rubbish collected every week. Our fund will help councils deliver weekly collections and in the process make it easier for families to go green and improve the local environment.'

•Do you think Norwich should have weekly rubbish collections? Write to Evening News letters at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email