The Conservatives’ commitment to restoring weekly household collections is to be abandoned because of spending cuts, according to reports.
The Daily Mail says that despite years of promises and former communities secretary Sir Eric Pickles’ £250m Weekly Collections Support Scheme under the coalition Government, ministers have concluded that the campaign cannot be maintained.
The paper quotes a ‘Whitehall source’ who said there would be no new initiatives aimed at restoring weekly collections.
“[The bin fund] is a very expensive scheme and it has proved to be a pretty ineffective one. It would be very surprising if it survives the spending review. There are other priorities. It’s time to move on.”
In opposition, the Conservatives made a high-profile pledge to restore what Pickles called a “fundamental right” for families to have their bins emptied every seven days.
In August a spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) was quoted as saying: “The Government continues to champion frequent and convenient bin collections which protect the environment and public health.”
Many local authorities have moved to two- and three-weekly collections of non-organic waste, arguing they are more cost-effective and do not undermine recycling efforts.
The DCLG is said to be facing cuts of up to 40% in the autumn spending review as local authorities are not protected in the way that the NHS or schools are.