Plea for weekly bin collections

Joel Cocken
Joel Cocken

A WIGAN man is campaigning for the return of weekly bin collections because of the “disgusting” state of overflowing waste near his home.

Joel Cocken, who has launched an online petition with the aim of securing 3,000 signatures, wants Wigan Council to revert back to a weekly rota for black wheelie bins.

The petition follows the recent move by the council to ignore calls from ministers to return to weekly collections, having made the change in 2012.

The 36-year-old, who lives in Winstanley and set up the petition last week, explained that he hoped it would allow people to have their say.

He said: “I’m just a father, who is sick of having rubbish out all of the time, with vermin, animals, flies and maggots nearby in the heat.

“I don’t think it’s healthy or hygienic, or even in people’s best interests. So I’ve stood up and tried to be counted, to give people a position to have their say.”

He explained that while he is able to transport excess rubbish to the tip in his car on a weekly basis, some people don’t share the same privilege, leading to overflowing bins and a scenes he said were “like the third world”.

He said: “I’m getting a lot of comments from people, complaining that they can’t get to the tip and there’s over-spilling waste. They can’t catch up and once the waste over-spills, it’s like spiralling debt and they can’t really get back on top of it.”

Mr Cocken refuted claims that the council would be unwilling to return to the old system for environmental reasons, claiming that it was just the arrangements for the black bins that need to be reversed.

He said: “My argument to the council is: how can it be better for the environment to have rotting waste for two weeks in soaring heat? How is that better for people who want better for the environment?

“I understand about the green element, and I completely agree with that. The arrangements with the brown, green and blue bins should stay, but the black bin is the one that needs to be emptied every week.”

He added that it was vital that the petition needed to achieve around 3,000 signatures, in order for it to have the desired effect.

“I don’t want it to be something that someone’s just done, that generates a little bit of interest and then flies by,” he said.

“I’ve given the people of Wigan the chance to stand up and be counted and I believe from what I’ve read online that they will have to review it if 3,000 people sign.”

However, Coun Kevin Anderson,cabinet member for the environment said the current collections are making a difference with the borough having the most improved recycling rate in the North West over the past two years. He said: “I know it has been difficult to get to grips with the new recycling arrangements but these figures show that we’re getting there which is excellent news.

“I’m extremely proud.”