Local government minister Brandon Lewis has denied the Government’s attempts to encourage councils to keep weekly household bin collections has failed.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles launched a £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme in 2011, claiming councils would have no excuse to retain “highly unpopular fortnightly schemes”. He has since made a number of policy statements calling for councils to keep to weekly collections.
But a report in the Daily Mail, based on data obtained by contacting councils directly, said more than five million households had lost their weekly bin collection service since May 2010.
The paper said 11 local authorities had stopped weekly collections in the last year. It estimated that by the next general election around 18.5 million homes would no longer receive weekly collections.
A spokewoman for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said the department “did not recognise these figures”.
Lewis said: “Our Weekly Collections Support Scheme has safeguarded the weekly service of six million English homes and axed the last government’s policy of forcing fortnightly collections for all.
“This is in contrast to Wales where the Welsh Government is responsible for its waste policy and has an official policy of fortnightly collections and even proposed monthly collections.”
An MRW investigation in September 2012 revealed that of 216 eligible councils, only Stoke-on-Trent had submitted a bid to revert to weekly collections.