Falkirk Council prepare to move to a monthly green bin collection

Falkirk Council hopes more residents than ever before will utilise the food uplift service
Falkirk Council hopes more residents than ever before will utilise the food uplift service

It is true to say financial pressures have forced Falkirk Council to make changes to its recycling and waste collection service.

However, it is hoped the move to monthly green bin uplifts could be the catalyst that inspires residents not using the complete collection service – blue recycling bin, food bin and the rest – to now fully engage with the system.

The council will start sending out letters to homes throughout the Falkirk area from Monday, giving residents information on the changes which come into force in October.

Waste strategy co-ordinator Robin Baird said: “The letter lets people prepare for this – it gives them six weeks to get ready for the change. The letter is like a countdown and this is a chance to start using the full service.

“If you have not been using the food bin then we can sort that for you – we have bins available.”

The stark truth, with the council having to find £25 million of savings in 2016/17, is there is no alternative but to comply fully with the new service.

Mr Baird said: “We desperately need the public to come on board with us on this. It costs us £10,000 a day to send household green bin material to landfill and the more money we throw in the ground the less money we have to allocate to different services.

“The only non-negotiable things is not using your recycling services. Some people are not doing it wrong maliciously and we can give them advice and help them. However, if people are purposely failing to use all the recycling and uplift services correctly then there’s nothing we can do for them.

“If your blue bin has the wrong material in it then it will not be uplifted.”

So from October the recycling and waste service will look like this: green bins (every four weeks), grey food bins (every week), blue bin, black box and textile bag (every two weeks) and brown bin (every four weeks).

A new fortnightly collection service for nappies and adult hygiene products (AHP) is available to anyone who feels they need it.

While that new uplift service is ready to go, Mr Baird explained there were sensitive issues when dealing with people who require AHP – not everyone is comfortable putting private items like that going out for collection.

He said: “We work with people on an individual basis to find a way to uplift these items that is suitable for them.”

Councillor Craig R Martin, council environment spokesman, said: “People were concerned about the change to the three week uplift, but that has been fine. There was a fear at the start, but once it actually started there have been very few issues.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all system. If people do recycle and use the service correctly and they still need help then we will help them.

“Some people forget what exactly goes in what bin and just need a bit of a reminder. If they need help we can give them all the information they need.

“Other councils will have to go down this road too. You can’t keep putting money into landfill – it’s like throwing money away. Every council is doing something different, some have started charging for uplifting brown bins for garden waste.”

Visit www.falkirk.gov.uk/ahpcollection for more.

Thousands of residents have signed an online petition in protest over Falkirk Council’s move to a monthly green bin collection.

And, with just over a month until the change to the service, The Falkirk Herald is still getting reports from householders throughout the area about overflowing bins and fly-tipping.

Just this week residents from Findhorn Place, in Hallglen, stated they were at their wit’s end with the build up of refuse in their street.

One tenant said: “There is an ever increasing mountain of rubbish gathering on the road side. Numerous phone calls to the council make no difference as they are each blaming other departments.

“The seagulls, crows and foxes just aid the spread of rubbish around the area. As it stands we are too embarrassed to invite anyone to visit our house as the area is an eyesore.”

Last week a Stenhousemuir resident said: “There is a dog waste bin near Corrie Avenue that is overflowing with household waste and bin bags piled around it. I can only assume someone in a car has come along and dumped it.

“If that’s what it’s like just now, can you imagine what it will be like in October when it moves to four weeks? And it won’t just be here, it will be the whole area.”

The online petition, which has almost 3000 supporters, claims there will be a rise in vermin and fly-tipping when the changes are introduced.

Falkirk Council waste strategy co-ordinator Robin Baird said there should be no problems with vermin if people are using the full uplift service the council offers.

He said: “Food does attract flies and vermin but there should be no green bins lying around with food in them if people are using their food bin, which is collected every week.”

Although the council has no powers to force people to use the full service, Mr Baird said it is in everyone’s best interests to use all their bins correctly.