Rubbish failures

The fallout from the Conservatives’ failure to keep their election pledge of maintaining weekly rubbish collections can be seen plainly throughout the West Country. From November, in West Wiltshire, residents will see their rubbish collections shifted to fortnightly, with a 240 litre blue-lidded bin added to their existing black box and usual garbage bin. The rest of the county will soon after see the end of their weekly rubbish collections.

"By the end of 2014 we will start saving on landfill tax," says enthusiastic Wiltshire Conservative Councillor Toby Sturgis. "We have invested £7.6m to get this far. If we hadn’t done this the penalties for not doing so would have been very painful." But excuse me, aren’t these so-called penalties completely artificial taxes invented by the European Union to push their recycling agenda and are endorsed by a current British government who chooses to do nothing about them (despite using the issue of weekly bin collections to win votes)?

Still, as chairman of his local climate change board, Cllr Sturgis clearly has a mission that is at variance with his own party’s election manifesto pledge on rubbish collection. British taxpayers and voters are entitled to feel very hard done by on many levels.

In the meantime, changes to rubbish collection and charges levied at some recycling centres are seeing dramatic rises in fly-tipping across the South-West. A report from Somerset Waste Board said there was a clear increase in district councils dealing with an ‘unprecedented number of cases’. Local government seems toothless in its ability to deal with fly-tippers—prosecuting only four people over a year in which over 6000 incidents were reported to Somerset councils. This leaves an enormous bill for taxpayers as councils have to clear up the increasing mess.

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