An opposition councillor is calling on the town hall to relax its controversial three-weekly black bin rota for jjust over half of the year.
Hindley Green independent representative Coun Paul Maiden has started a petition to bring back fortnightly collections of non-recyclable waste from June to January.
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He said that would make the borough healthier during the summer months, when there are more flies hovering around bins full of rubbish awaiting collection and the temperatures are hotter, and give families a helping hand over Christmas when a lot of waste is produced.
Coun Maiden hopes to gain public support ahead of presenting the idea at next month’s full council meeting and called on local authority leaders to discuss the matter with him.
He said: “The amount of complaints I get about the bins and flies is massive. It’s just phone calls and emails non-stop.
“They are not going to back down and go back to collections as regularly as people want, so I am asking for a compromise.
“For summer and the busy festive period we could take the black bin every two weeks. People would be getting their bins emptied, there would be fewer flies and it would not cost that much more. I think that’s fair.
“If the council doesn’t budge on this it just shows they are not interested in meeting people half way.”
So far Coun Maiden’s petition has attracted more than 250 signatures, with comments raising concerns about public health and the possible boost to the borough’s rat population from having wheelie bins full to the brim with waste.
Launching the petition, Coun Maiden said he also believes his idea will help to reduce levels of fly-tipping and of desperate residents having to put waste in other people’s bins.
However, Wigan Council has robustly defended the three-week system.
Katherine Armitage, assistant director of environment, said: “Since the changes were brought in our recycling rate has increased from 43 per cent to more than 50 per cent which is brilliant news for the environment and we want to thank residents for their support and for recycling more, recycling right as part of The Deal.
“Not only have the new collections boosted our recycling rate but we are sending less waste to costly landfill and all doing our bit to look after the environment.
“We understand residents are still getting used to the changes and we will continue to support anyone who feels they need help with managing their waste.
“Wigan Council was the third worst hit local authority in budget cuts and, by 2020, will have lost £160m in government grants.
“A key part of The Deal is to improve recycling rates and residents must all play their part in that.
“The changes to bin collections will save £2m each year and will mean we can protect frontline services and keep council tax low.
“We will also face fines in the future if we don’t recycle as a borough.”
To view or sign the petition, visit www.change.org/p/david-molyneux-black-bins-collected-every-fortnight-from-june-to-january