Did you read the details?

Some of your readers who didn’t read the detail of last week’s front page article may have been confused by the headline – “Fortnightly collection for bins”.

Your reporter was quite right in stating in his article that Derbyshire Dales District Council’s new waste and collection service, which starts in August, will increase recycling opportunities for local people while saving council tax payers £385,000 a year.

However, a quick glance at the headline doesn’t do justice to the fact that we are also introducing a new separate weekly collection of food waste using kerbside caddies, something we opted to do after listening to local people’s views about the potential problem of food waste being left in bins too long.

While the new contract is indeed a value-for-money initiative, it’s actually more about improving the recycling performance of the residents of the Derbyshire Dales. Your readers might be interested to learn that the District Council could have saved a significant additional amount of money by simply going for fortnightly collections of all waste. This was clearly not what local people wanted however, so it won’t happen.

The District Council consulted extensively before agreeing to the new arrangements and we have listened not only to local people but to residents in other areas where this type of operation works incredibly well. I am therefore delighted that, in addition to the weekly food waste collections, over 30,000 households in the Derbyshire Dales will be able to look forward to a new improved fortnightly recycling service that will see more recycling at kerbside with the introduction, for the first time in the Dales, of mixed rigid plastics and batteries.

The new service will be much simpler, with all material being collected from a single blue-lidded bin, while garden waste will continue in green bins fortnightly. Having a large recycling wheeled bin helps people recycle more. We are committed to ensuring less waste gets sent to landfill – something that will help us achieve the Government’s recycling target of 50% by 2020.

We are conscious there are some properties that cannot accommodate wheeled bins, but the good news is that alternative systems will be introduced for these properties, meaning recycling services will be available for every household in the Derbyshire Dales – another first.

So we are confident our much greater capacity to recycle will reduce the amount of residual waste we all dispose of, reducing the need to collect this as frequently. The District Council currently helps large families by providing larger household waste bins and this will continue to be the case with the new contract.

Finally, I appreciate residents will be keen to know more about how the new service will work in August, so I promise that every household will receive an information pack this summer outlining the changes in full. If after getting their information pack residents have any questions, our staff will be gearing up to answer them all over the summer.

Councillor Lewis Rose OBE

Leader, Derbyshire Dales District Council