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Strict new regulations could leave dustbins unemptied
“WHAT a load of rubbish” – that’s the verdict on new waste rules in Southampton, which could see residents having their bins left unemptied if they fall foul of a number of strict new regulations.
Opposition councillors have branded it “farcical”.
They have urged Labour council chiefs to bin parts of the new policy, which says:
- Your bins might not be emptied if the lids aren’t fully closed.
- Bin men will pick up any rubbish left next to the bin, but only to put it in the bin for collection a week later.
- You could be fined £100 for not taking your bins back to your house by the end of collection day.
- Bins with incorrect items inside will be left on the street until the offending items are removed.
Repeated offences could lead to fines or an “education visit” from a council official to help households follow the rules.
The directives are all part of a new waste management policy which is expected to come into force in the spring.
Labour council chiefs have approved a draft version, and it is likely to be signed off by environment chief Cllr Jacqui Rayment in the spring and implemented later in the year.
Opposition councillors have criticised the new policy, and in particular the rules on “side waste”.
Conservative opposition deputy leader Cllr Jeremy Moulton said: “I think it’s ridiculous.
“If people have more rubbish than they can fit in the bin, then it should be picked up if it’s bagged up properly. That’s what people pay taxes for.”
Labour Councillors Against the Cuts Cllr Don Thomas said: “What a load of rubbish. You really could not make this sort of stuff up. It is farcical, it is more time-wasting and putting yet more work load on our bin men.”
However Cllr Rayment insisted that sanctions would be imposed only as a last resort.
She said: “We only want to enforce as a last resort. We want to educate so that people use their bins properly.”
A council spokesman added: “In reality side waste is not a big problem in the city and in practice we would operate flexibly to take account of particular circumstances, including Christmas and new year.
“The council has targets to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and to increase recycling, and disposing of additional side waste that is not recyclable costs the city more money.”
When asked about whether bin men would not collect any waste in bins with the lid not fully down, the spokesman added: “The legal definition of side waste is any waste not contained in the bin with the lid closed.
“Crews will generally collect bins with lids that are not fully closed, however there may be some situations where it is not possible or safe to do so as the bin may be too heavy to be moved, or may not fit on the vehicle’s bin lift.”
Find out what you can and cannot recycle at southampton.gov.uk/recycle.
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