3 Aug 2011

Lancashire council scraps rubbish collection

People in some rural parts of a Lancashire borough now have to remove their own rubbish, as the council tries to save money on bin rounds.

Seven hundred households in Rossendale have been told they will have to put their rubbish in their car boots and drive it to collection points. The new measures are being phased in, but by September all those affected will have had their doorstep refuse collection withdrawn.

Some residents say the council is discriminating against its rural inhabitants, but Channel 4 News finds that urban communities are being hit too.

Rossendale Valley council in Lancashire hopes to save £98,000 by scrapping smaller bin lorries that were specially bought to access the winding rural lanes.

Instead it wants people to use their cars to drive their rubbish to the main road for collection.

Residents outraged at council changes to rubbish collection in Rossendale, Lancashire (Image: Getty)

Some residents are refusing, such as Allison Tarpay, who told Channel 4 News: “I don’t want to put dirty bin bags in a new car”.

Her partner Andrew Hewitt, who now carries the bags up the lane, said the council was putting its residents through an inconvenience.

But Rossendale’s Labour council leader Alyson Barnes said the council had no choice financially.

She added that it was not a legal duty to collect rubbish from the doorstep. Though Ms Barnes admitted: “I’m not expecting people to fully embrace what we’re proposing”.

Another resident Shirley Miller doesn’t embrace the idea at all, deeming the move “rural discrimination”.

But it is not just rural councils that are trying to scrape some savings from people’s rubbish. In Manchester they need to cut costs too, but they have found you mess with people’s bin collections at your peril.

Manchester City Council has been testing major changes to the service, collecting food waste weekly and all recyclable materials every fortnight. Black waste bins, for rubbish that cannot be recycled, is now also being collected every other week.

The move is expected to save the council £12m over three years, but local residents told the Manchester Evening News that the collection changes amounted to “chaos”, with rubbish piling up on the streets.

FactCheck: Manchester - front line in the cuts blame game