Council waste policy ‘is fair’

Bin collections:  Bin collecting in Platt Bridge
Bin collections: Bin collecting in Platt Bridge

WIGAN Council has defended its recycling policy after an opposition councillor claimed a two-tier system could be operating in the borough.

Independent Coun Gary Wilkes said he was concerned residents in more affluent areas of Wigan were being treated more harshly, with crews told to refuse to take bins containing large amounts of recycled waste, compared to those in more deprived wards.

He says he has been approached with stories of stickers being slapped on bins where the council’s recycling policy has not been observed.

Coun Wilkes also raised concerns about the 3,305 households in Wigan who are entitled to two black bins for general waste because they have a large family, saying more should be done to encourage those residents to recycle more.

He said: “I have heard reports of the refuse crews being told to just take bins containing contaminated waste in some areas, and I don’t think that’s fair for those residents who are recycling properly. It should be the same standards for everyone throughout the borough.”

However, the local authority strongly refuted Coun Wilkes’ arguments that the playing field is not level.

A spokesman for Wigan Council said: “Crews do not issue stickers, or fail to empty a bin, because of recyclable waste being in a black bin.

“Second bins are only given to properties who can demonstrate a need for them. We would always try to provide more recycling bins before another black bin.”

Coun Wilkes is also determined to tackle the root cause of waste, and called for a Government-led campaign to reduce unnecessary packaging in shops.

He said: “I would like to see legislation against manufacturers who do very little to reduce food packaging as most of it is unnecessary in my opinion.

“When we go to the supermarket we try and buy glass bottles rather than plastic and we buy fresh fruit and vegetables from a local shop.

“The Government needs to get a grip with big companies who pass on the responsibility of recycling to councils and local residents.”