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Council rejects three-weekly residual collections

Public pressure has seen the London Borough of Bexley opt for fortnightly rather than three-weekly household waste collections, despite it offering lesser savings.

Bexley’s cabinet decided against switching to three-weekly waste collections, “which people strongly opposed”, a council statement said.

Instead there will be recycling collections on alternate weeks, the same pattern as for residual waste. Weekly food recycling collections will continue.

This was despite a cabinet report showing a projected saving from three-weekly collections of £1.3m by 2020-21 against £450,000 for the fortnightly option.

Households will receive two wheelie bins to replace the three boxes they currently have for recycling.

Serco provides the collection service, but its contract was due to end in March 2020.

The cabinet decided to extend this initially to October 2021 to enable the introduction of collection changes more rapidly than it could with a new contractor. But the council said it would “introduce more robust performance indicators as part of the contract extension to improve future service quality”.

There had been “poor levels of service by Serco in the first half of 2018”, the report said, and, while it had since recovered, this could be further improved using additional indicators.

Peter Craske, cabinet member for places, said: “We’ve been the highest recycler in London for 14 years and this has only been possible thanks to the support of local people.

“We have considered their feedback carefully and feel what we are proposing is financially sustainable, gives people the wheelie bins they want and an increase in the amount of waste we are recycling.”

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