WEEKLY bin collections in Southampton will end in just three months, it has been revealed.
The fortnightly service was introduced as part of £42.3million worth of savings agreed by the cash-strapped city council when it set its budget last month.
Under the new alternate weekly collection household waste will be collected one week and recycling the next.
Conservative leader Jeremy Moulton said the scheme, which starts on June 5, will have a “huge, adverse impact” on communities in the city centre, particularly those living in rented accommodation.
“I think some people will cope perfectly fine but some people with families, babies or pets, will really struggle,” Cllr Moulton said. “It will make their lives harder.
“If you are living in an area with lots of rented accommodation, it will mean overflowing bins and unsightly street scenes.
“It’s bad news – we are trying to make Southampton more attractive to visitors and businesses.“Having the city a mess will not help that and it will undermine everything the council is setting out to achieve to grow the economy.”
The scheme has also been criticised by anded as “detrimental” and a “backwards” step by Cllr Keith Morrell, leader of the Putting People First Group.
He said: “It is yet another example of the willingness of a Labour council and a Conservative government to run down public services and put at risk the health and wellbeing of Southampton residents.”
City council environment boss Jacqui Rayment said that almost 70% of local authorities in England have moved over to collecting general waste on a fortnightly basis.
She added: “Residents’ recycling will continue to be collected fortnightly, with general waste collections occurring on alternate weeks.“The change will only affect households in the city at this stage, with the majority of flats continuing to have weekly waste collections.
“We understand that some residents may have concerns about waste being collected every other week, however the service will continue to be efficient and meet the needs of the city.
“We are confident that by taking a few simple actions most residents will have no problems managing their waste.
“By recycling wherever possible, the space available in general waste bins can be maximised, whilst also benefitting the environment.”
As previously reported by the Daily Echo, council chiefs trialled fortnightly collections in 2004 – but scrapped them after more than 3,600 residents signed a Daily Echo-backed petition calling for a rethink.