A proposal to encourage households to recycle more has been binned.
Hastings Borough Council said the proposal to replace all of the town’s 240-litre black wheelie bins with 180-litre models was ‘unjustified’ and would potentially leave the local authority £1m out of pocket.
The agenda for Friday’s joint waste committee meeting revealed HBC had considered the move, but anticipated ‘serious public resistance’ despite the borough having the lowest recycling rate in the county.
The report said: “Having considered this option, it is considered that the proposal is unjustified on the basis that:
“A) The biggest component of the remaining waste stream is food waste and reducing the size of the container to encourage recycling will not address this.
“B) Anticipation of serious public resistance to the proposals on the basis of:
* High cost with no guarantee of success at a time when the council’s budget is under huge pressures;
* Questionable environmental sustainability as existing wheelie bins do not need replacing yet;
* Most residents simply will not want a smaller refuse container;
* Concerns regarding the quality of replacement containers as there have been criticisms of the new bins provided by Kier, such as for garden waste where there was a manufacturing fault which resulted in split bins being delivered to customers.”
The report goes on to say if the project was implemented, it could cost HBC between £530,000 and £1,060, 000.
These funds would have been spent on a communications campaign to inform residents about the changes and hiring a specialist bin supply contractor to manage and deliver the project. It would also have included ‘substantial’ additional staff to deal with communications from residents during the project.
However, HBC will be taking part in a campaign, due to launch in December, which aims to encourage residents to recycle more.
Hastings Borough Council is part of a joint waste contract with Rother District Council, Wealden District Council, Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.
Of all the local authorities, Hastings has the lowest recycling rate.
In 2014/15, the recycling rate in Hastings borough stood at just 28.3 per cent.
This compares to neighbouring Rother, which saw a recycling rate of 44 per cent during the same period.
Wealden District Council’s recycling rate stands at 46.65 per cent, while Eastbourne stands at 34.7 percent.
The report says ‘waste composition analysis’ shows 28.4 per cent of rubbish thrown away by Hastings residents could be recycled.
Representatives from all the local authorities will be at the Joint Waste Committee Meeting in Eastbourne Town Hall on Friday, November 6, from 2pm.
The meeting is open to the public.
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