Residents give thumbs up for recycling

A pilot scheme to trial the alternate weekly collection of refuse and recyclables in the Winchester district has met with resounding approval from households involved in the scheme. The trial began in the autumn of 2004 and involved 4,500 homes in Micheldever, Sutton Scotney, Wonston, Abbots Barton, Littleton, Crawley, Sparsholt and Hursley as well as parts of Harestock, Kings Worthy, Shawford and Otterbourne.

Now the results of an evaluation survey have been received that give the new method of collection a positive thumbs up with nearly every household (98.6%) who replied to the survey declaring their support for recycling with 89% in favour of extending the scheme. 9 out of 10 said that they found it easy to follow and that their family had quickly adapted to the new scheme. 90% of households who replied had used the new Green Waste service (which provides a large free sack for garden refuse) and 85% declared themselves satisfied with the new system of alternate weekly collection.

Not only are local residents happy, but councillors are also delighted with the volume of recycled materials that are being collected, which at 38% will more than meet the government's targets for Winchester.

Now the City has plans to roll out alternate weekly collection across the rest of the district during 2006/2007. If approved in February, the scheme will be introduced in two phases, in the north of the district in the summer of 2006 and the south in early 2007.

"The success of the trial has exceeded our wildest expectations," said Cllr Jim Wagner, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health. "This has largely been due to the role played by Serco and the City Council's Environment Team in going that extra mile to make sure that the changeover went smoothly together with the support we had from local residents in working with the new system.

We kept everyone informed on what was happening every step of the way and have been bowled over by the response we have had from the community. We know that it takes time to adjust to any change and we will make sure that we continue to have a strong team of advisors to support households to show how the system can work for them."