Council mulls bin reform options

Joel Cocken
Joel Cocken

As a consultation on controversial bin collection changes draws to a close, Wiganers are speculating on what options may be available.

Town hall bosses have proposed moving to a three week black bin rota in order to make savings and reform the service.

I would like to reinstate this petition to try and succeed in getting the 3,000 signatures we need

Joel Cocken

But many residents have reacted with fury, venting their concerns on social media in addition to the online consultation document.

The changes - which are predicted by some to trigger an increase in fly-tipping and pest control problems - have also prompted a protest petition.

However, some residents have suggested practical options on how households can best cope with the three week system.

For example, one issue raised on the Wigan Today Facebook page is how families with babies and young children will deal with disposing of nappies.

The Observer understands town hall bosses are considering handing special dispensation to certain households - such as large families or those with several young children - but would impose strict criteria.

And their gaze may be turned to local authority colleagues in Anglesey, Wales, who operate a dedicated nappy collection service separate from the usual waste collection. This is available to households with youngsters aged three or below with exceptions made for older children with certain medical conditions.

Initial plans requiring parents to show birth certificates to prove their eligibility for the extra service were scrapped after a public backlash.

Wigan borough is the only authority in Greater Manchester not yet committed to a three week rota or a fortnightly rota with smaller bins, such as Bolton, council bosses have said.

But some residents are sceptical whether the proposals will work. Joel Cocken, who started a petition in 2014 when the council moved from weekly to fortnightly collections, has relaunched his protest due to the latest developments.

He posted: “I would like to reinstate this petition to try and succeed in getting the 3,000 signatures we need.”

The town hall says the move would save £2m per year and help to reach recycling rate targets to unlock Government subsidies.

Green bins would remain fortnightly apart from between November and March, starting in 2018.