All good to proceed - ABC Panel reports to Winchester City Council

The Special Advisory Panel on Alternate Bin Collection (ABC), chaired by Councillor Richard Worrall, has produced its final report after four public meetings were held in June.

The cross-party Panel was set up to address the concerns of local residents at the request of Councillor George Beckett, the Leader of Winchester City Council.

The Panel concluded that ABC has achieved a step change in combined recycling and composting rates, from 17.5% to nearly 38%.  The introduction of a separate garden waste collection service has been widely welcomed although issues with the bags blowing away have been raised.

The Panel heard evidence that the ABC scheme posed no risk to health and that it would not lead to increased problems with rats.

Cllr Worrall commented "The roll out of ABC throughout the District is achieving its objectives and most residents have adapted to it well.  ABC has encouraged many residents to adopt a more thorough approach to the segregation of recyclable items although some people have experienced problems.  Cost savings are not an objective of ABC."

The Panel made several key recommendations:

  • The roll out of ABC phase 2 should proceed on schedule, commencing on July 16th
  • Some properties are not well suited to fortnightly collection and should be allowed to remain on weekly collection.  This will include some blocks of flats, some residents sharing communal bins, and particular dwellings with difficult front to rear access.
  • All residents who raised concerns with the Panel will be contacted by the Council to discuss their concerns and reassess their individual circumstances.
  • It is recognised that there is a risk of smells, maggots and flies, particularly in hot weather.  Residents must ensure that waste is wrapped and that bin lids are kept closed in order to minimise these risks.
  • The Council will offer to collect bins from within the curtilage of a property for a trial period if notified that a householder is away on holiday.

Cllr Beckett said "I am very grateful to Cllr Worrall and the other panel members for looking into ABC so quickly and thoroughly and responding to the concerns of our residents. I am pleased to have it confirmed that the system introduced was done as a response to European and Central Government pressure as well as a real need to handle our waste in a different way.  

"The report has reassured me about the system, but we will be looking at the recommendations to see if there are further ways that we can help people, over and above the thorough system we already have in place."