Basingstoke and Deane’s council is considering only collecting rubbish bins from outside people’s homes once a fortnight.
One of the ideas proposed for the authority’s new joint waste contract would see residents’ grey and green bins being emptied on alternative weeks.
It is claimed that the switch to alternate weekly collections (AWC) would save the council up to £1million a year, while also resulting in a “rise in the borough’s recycling rate”.
But Brookvale and Kings Furlong councillor, Jack Cousens, has disagreed with this point – instead insisting that the move would represent a missed opportunity to tackle the problem.
He said: “I believe that in some circumstances AWC could work, but with the negotiating positions outlined, it is simply a rubbish idea.
“When the council were renegotiating the waste contract, it was the ideal time to say ‘we want our residents to be able to recycle as much as possible from the comfort of their own home’, but they clearly didn’t.
“It seems as if they said ‘what’s the cheapest option, and can we have a discount please?’
“Residents will simply not accept AWC, without improvements to their collections, both in terms or reliability and increasing the amount of recyclable items.
“In the renegotiations the council has failed to tackle our shocking recycling rates, and they have failed our residents too.”
Any possible changes would not come into place until next October, when the current contract runs out, with the idea set to be discussed by the council’s community, environment, and partnerships committee next Wednesday.
The committee will be asked to give its views on what should be considered when re-letting the eight-year contract, with these comments then helping the council’s cabinet to decide what should be tendered.
This contract would also include an option to extend it for an additional eight years, with the council’s member for environment and regulatory services insisting “it would be wrong” not to consider alternative options.
Cllr Hayley Eachus said: “We empty bins from almost 73,000 homes across the borough every week.
“This is an opportunity to look at how we can continue to provide the high levels of service that residents have told us they value, but in a more efficient way, and that will encourage people to recycle more and waste less.
“It would be wrong not to look at the service as a whole and consider all the options, especially given the size of this contract, and the substantial savings the council will need to find in future.”
She added: “At this point, we don’t need to make any decision, we just want to have all the facts and see if there is evidence to support any change.
“I am keen to understand any concerns, and this process will include speaking to residents, so that any decision that is made is founded on a full appreciation of people’s needs and wishes.”