Call for councils to decide waste collections frequency

Posted on 9th April, 2019

Councils should be allowed to have “freedom of choice” over the frequency of residual waste collections, one local authority expert has said.  The suggestion came from Emma Beal, managing director of the West London Waste Authority (WLWA), at a conference in March.

It is thought Ms Beal reflects the views of a number of authorities who do not wish to have to do as the government might command if its policies on waste and recycling become formal requirements on local authorities.

Ms Beal described the consistency proposals for food waste as “the most expensive way that we could engineer food waste collections within what is a very high quality, low cost waste management system”. The government is advocating weekly food waste collections.”

She said: “To reduce the cost within the current system, I think one of the things you have to do is remove the notion of minimum residual waste collections,” she said. “If there are some local authorities that want to go further and lead the way [with reduced frequency collections], then why not let them?”

In its consistency consultation, Defra said the government wants to ensure “that householders are not inconvenienced by being unable to get rid of putrescent or smelly waste weekly or having insufficient capacity to recycle or to remove residual waste”.

This comes with the proposal that Defra introduces statutory guidance on minimum service standards for local authorities.