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Fortnightly collections increase but weekly remains the most common option

The number of English households having their residual waste collected fortnightly and organic waste collected weekly more than doubled between 2011-12, data compiled by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) indicates.

However, the figures also suggest weekly residual waste collections with no separation of food remains the most common service councils opt for.

The data, described as the “available estimates from WRAP”, were presented by DCLG minister Kris Hopkins as part of a parliamentary written answer on “smelly waste” collections.

It indicates that in September 2012 some 747,024 households in England collected residual waste every other week and organic waste every week, an increase of around 111% from June 2011.

The second biggest growth among collection methods was weekly food waste collection combined with fortnightly residual waste collections. Almost 3 million homes had their waste collected like this in September 2012, an increase of around 70% year-on-year.

But weekly residual waste collection with no separation of food remained the most common collection methods, with councils providing such service to over 7.8 million households.

Hopkins said that in total 14 million households in England have some form of weekly collection of “smelly rubbish”, a term which he used to describe residual and organic waste. This was thanks to the effort of DCLG to retain frequent collection services, he pointed out.

“Many town hall jobsworths, over-zealous NGOs and vested interests in the waste industry remain blindly obsessed with restricting bin collections as a perverse policy goal in itself, and this is reflected in the figures in the table above,” he said.

“Bin collections are not viewed as a public service – but as a policy tool to deliver other arbitrary policy goals.”

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