Future Refuse Collection Still Undecided

Merton council officers to review strategy

The findings of a cross-party investigation into all aspects of domestic waste in Merton are to be re-examined by council officers.

The task group made a unanimous recommendation that the controversial plan to roll-out wheelie bins should not be introduced.

It also recommended that the council examine full costings before rolling out the food waste collection service to the 30,000 homes in the borough who don't yet have the service.

The current waste disposal scheme - with black sacks, boxes for dry, recycleable waste, food waste collection from 50,000 homes - will cost the council an estimated £2.508m in 2011-12, according to the group's report.

merton wheelie binsIt concluded that three options involving the use of wheelie bins would cost more - from £2.806m to £3.243m.

But when the task group's report was present to the council's cabinet, it took the view that more time was needed to review the issue.

Council officers will now look at the subject, and the task group's report over the summer. They will report back in September.

Merton Park Independent Councillor John Sergeant, who chaired the task group, said many recommendations which would make tangible improvements to waste services and recycling rates, would now "gather dust" with the delay.

He added: "These included practical improvements, for example in the areas of public awareness and promoting re-use instead of disposal. We can only hope the Cabinet will get round to their implementation later in the year."

Councillor Henry Nelless, Merton Conservatives’ Environment Spokesman, said: "Labour want to introduce wheelie bins no matter what residents or others think. They are ignoring a cross-party scrutiny review and the wishes of over 2,000 residents who have signed a petition against wheelie bins. Labour are treating residents with contempt and seem hell bent on wasting taxpayers’ money and destroying the look of our streets.”

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June 29, 2011