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Bin collections: Anger at 'unmanageable' new waste plan that could include 6 different bins

The government wants to change the way bin collections are completed by councils from households and businesses.

Rubbish collection uk waste sorted & segregated into recycling paper blue sack glass red bin green food caddy brown wheelie bin garden black landfill
Households in England could be getting more bins under government plans for waste collection. (Alamy)

A government plan to radically reform bin collections has been branded "unmanageable".

Under the proposals to introduce the same waste collection policy across England, households could be issued as many as six different bins.

The government says the move will increase recycling across the country by making it simpler for councils and the public.

But councils say the plan would do the opposite, making it more complicated for people to recycle.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is set to publish its results of a public consultation into the best way to use its waste collection powers.

At the moment, individual councils decide how and when rubbish is collected from households and businesses.

Watch: Woman recycles tonne of litter after building centre in her garden

On Tuesday, Sarah Nelmes, Liberal Democrat councillor and leader of Three Rivers District Council in Hertfordshire, criticised the plan to standardise waste collection across the country.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Local councils know better what their needs are locally.

"It isn't the same in every area. Small towns or rural are very very different from collecting from a high density urban area.

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"If my district was mostly blocks of flats, where do we put all those bins?

"I personally think that it would make it even more unmanageable."

She said her council achieve more than 63% recycling by collecting mixed recyclables, or paper, glass and card all together.

"The more simple you make it for people to recycle and do the right thing, the more likely they are to do it," she said.

"There's just the plain logistics. Every council has to go out and buy all of these extra bins, all of these extra freighters, just how green is that?"

Garbage bins out for collection in Radley Village, Abingdon, England. (Photo by: Planet One Images/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
A major shake-up of how bins are collected in England is planned by the government. (Getty Images)

Under the proposed changes, which could be confirmed later this week, councils will have to collect food, garden, metal, plastic, paper and cardboard waste separately from households and businesses.

Under the Environment Act, which became law in 2021, food waste collection must happen at least once a week.

The recycling rate in England has remained around the 45% mark for the past eight years, and the government has made a commitment for councils to meet a 65% target by 2035.

The Defra consultation expects councils to introduce the new waste policies this year.

A Defra spokesperson told Yahoo News UK: “We want to make recycling easier and ensure that there is a comprehensive, consistent service across England.

"This will help increase recycled material in the products we buy and boost a growing UK recycling industry.

“We have held a public consultation on the proposed changes and will announce further details shortly.”

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