Lib Dems attack Tory's £1.2m plan for weekly rubbish collections

October 8, 2008 9:17 AM

Cambridge City Liberal Democrats have attacked a Tory plan to bring back weekly rubbish collections at an initial cost of £1.2 million to the ratepayers.

The move would mean doubling the number of refuse vehicles on the roads and would leave the city council forking out a further £620,000 each subsequent year.

Colin Rosenstiel, executive councillor for environment and waste services, said: "This is madness. We are fast running out of landfill space and facing heavy fines for failing to recycle and here we have a plan which could see us collecting even more rubbish for landfill.

"The fortnightly collections have proved successful in encouraging residents to recycle. Why would we want to abandon a scheme that clearly works in favour of one that could mean we won't meet our recycling targets?

"The city council already makes two refuse collections every week from every household and collects rotting food on a weekly basis. The move to reintroduce weekly collections brings no benefits and will hit the taxpayer hard."

At the moment, the city council runs four household rubbish collections. But

moving to weekly collections would mean doubling the number of refuse vehicles to eight at a total cost of £560,000. The cost of running the service each year would be £620,000.

Nationally the Conservatives are proposing that every council should restore weekly refuse collections - and the move has been backed by city Tories.

A Conservative Government would change Whitehall policy so that there would be an expectation for every council to comply and central funding would be offered. Gordon Brown's plans for new bin taxes would be scrapped.

But Cllr Rosenstiel added: "This plan would put more burden on taxes locally and nationally and does nothing to encourage people to reduce waste and make a conscious effort to recycle more of their household waste."

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