Consultation on bin proposals needed

Richard McCready

7 March 2013

As Labour's Environment spokesperson on Dundee City Council I am surprised that the SNP-led Administration have still not given any detail on their proposals for fortnightly bin collections despite the fact that the Convener of the Environment Committee announced the policy six weeks ago. 

I'm calling on the SNP-led Administration to publish their proposals and consult on them as soon as possible.

The papers for the Environment Committee on 11th March have been issued and contain no reference to this policy on fortnightly bin collections.

I am surprised that the details of the fortnightly bin collection proposals have not been published.

The Environment Convener has announced this major change in policy but has not had the courtesy to bring these proposals to the Environment Committee.

If the Convener has changed his mind then he should tell us.

If the plan is to continue with these proposals then the committee and more importantly the people of Dundee need to know the details of the proposal

I hope that this is not a tactic on behalf of the Administration to talk about something for such a long time that people accept it as a 'done-deal'.

These changes will impact on every household in Dundee and therefore before they are implemented there needs to be the widest possible consultation.

My position is that I want to do everything I can to protect the environment, if I am convinced that fortnightly bin collections will improve the environment for everyone in Dundee then these proposals will have my support.

However, I will need to be convinced that this is a policy which is suited to a city with such a large number of tenemental properties.

At present, in many of the tenemental areas bins are left out for weeks on end and I would be concerned about the impact of bins left out in such a manner which were full of rubbish.

I also wonder how this policy fits with the decisions made at the recent budget to close one recycling centre at Marchbanks and to change the nature of the other two by making the one at Riverside for garden waste only and the one at Baldovie for all other waste.

I have concerns that this will lead to an increase in fly-tipping and have a detrimental impact on the environment.

In my view changes to domestic bin collections should have been considered at the same time as changes to the recycling centres.

I think that this should also have been considered as part of the council's budget process, it would have been unthinkable for the Convener to announce a change in policy without knowing the financial implications.

I do hope that these proposals are about protecting the environment and not about saving money or cutting jobs.

I am clear that there is a need for the details of these proposals to be made public.

There should be the widest possible consultation on fortnightly bin collections so that councillors can be clear about the views of the workforce, trade unions and most importantly the people of Dundee.

What can the council have to fear from asking the people of Dundee about these proposals?

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