Changes to how household waste is collected in the New Forest will be decided this summer, subject to anticipated government legislation.
If approved at a council meeting in July, New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) waste strategy would see the introduction of wheelie bins as a key part of reducing how much waste is thrown away and increasing how much is recycled.
The proposals would mean, from 2024, households will be able to recycle food waste, a wider range of plastics, and have more frequent glass collections.
This will be possible with a new weekly food waste caddy collection and an alternate weekly collection system, where general waste will be collected one week and recycling the next, both in wheelie bins. Paper and card would be collected in a reusable bag, and garden waste in wheelie bins.
Cllr Steve Davies, NFDC’s portfolio holder for environment, said,
“Making changes to our waste and recycling service is vital. Not least because we are in a climate and nature emergency.
“We must meet Environment Act laws, due to be confirmed by government, reduce our waste, and increase our recycling.
“The amount of waste we recycle now is 34%, which puts us at 174 out of 216 councils in England. We must achieve the UK national target of 55% by 2025.
“We know from our engagement work and research over the last three years that our residents really do want to recycle more. And we also know what has worked elsewhere from looking at best practice from top-performing councils.
“The current service uses 10 million single-use sacks per year. Many of our residents are keen to move to a wheelie bin service for their waste, but we know changing from sacks to wheelie bins raises questions. We know that not all homes will have space for wheelie bins, we know larger families may need larger bins, and we know some people will need assistance with their collections, just as we offer now. And so, we have done detailed work in our proposals to provide flexibility in our service for residents and address any local issues.
“The final waste strategy will provide details on how proposed new containers and the collection of a wider range of recyclable materials will reduce waste and carbon emissions and increase recycling rates. Cllr Davies has pledged that NFDC will help residents adapt to the new waste system.
“We will have events and demos of the new bins, we will provide information on what goes where, and when it will be collected, and we will have experts available to answer any questions.”
NFDC’s sustainable waste management group will now work to finalise the waste strategy over the next few months. On 10 March 2022, an update on the work will go to the council’s environment and sustainability overview and scrutiny panel.
Once the strategy has been approved, the council will work on the rollout of the new service which will include purchasing new vehicles and waste and recycling containers. The council will also work with Hampshire County Council, who are planning a new recycling sorting facility.
For the technical and detailed information about the proposals, the full draft waste strategy can be read on NFDC’s website at newforest.gov.uk/wastestrategy