Published: October 1, 2011
Weekly bin collections could be re-started in Burnham-On-Sea area

Burnham-On-Sea residents could see weekly collections of general rubbish re-introduced after the government announced on Friday it is making £250m available to help local councils restore the service.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said it is a "basic right" for homes to have their rubbish taken away weekly.

In the Burnham-On-Sea area, Somerset Waste Partnership currently takes away recycling waste on a weekly basis, while general waste is collected fortnightly in order to encourage recycling and minimise expensive landfill costs.

A spokesman for the partnership told on Friday (September 30th) that it would consider bidding for a slice of the cash, although residents appear to be happy with the current fortnightly schemes.

The service, known as Sort It, has been introduced in Burnham over the last two years and there has been minimal pressure to change the collections.

"The Sort It collections have doubled recycling rates and halved the amount of rubbish put out for wasteful and costly landfill," David Mansell, Strategy and Communications Team Leader at Somerset Waste Partnership, told

"The savings in refuse costs have helped cover the costs of the improvements to recycling collections. Survey responses have shown that over 80% of our residents think the Sort It collections are better than arrangements previously in place, when recycling was fortnightly and refuse was weekly. Less than 5% thought Sort It to be worse."

"Nevertheless, Somerset Waste Partnership will look at the detail of what the government is now offering and the Somerset Waste Board, which consists of representatives from all Somerset councils, will decide whether they wish to bid to the government to change collection arrangements."

The government says only councils which guarantee weekly collections for five years and demonstrate improvements in recycling and procurement will be eligible for the funding.

Shadow communities secretary Caroline Flint has dismissed the proposal as a "pre-Tory-conference stunt".

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