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Families could face 5-bin headache

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Serco Depot worker in Canterbury
Serco Depot worker in Canterbury

by Alex Claridge

Residents in the Canterbury district could find themselves using up to five different bins for their rubbish under the proposed new waste system.

In 2013, the city council intends to introduce the same system Dover District Council uses as part of the scheme which sees food waste collected every week as opposed to Canterbury’s current fortnightly system.

The city council insists it has not yet decided exactly how the new system will operate in Canterbury in two years’ time.

But if it follows Dover, then residents will find themselves using five different bins.

There are blue-lidded wheelie bins for recyclable waste, a black wheelie bin for non-recyclable waste and a black box for papers and cardboard. Food waste is first put in a small bin kept in the kitchen and then transferred to a larger green lockable bin outside.

Garden waste is put into green sacks and also collected every fortnight.

Single mother Dawn Fenton, 34, used to live in Canterbury and now lives in the Dover District Council area. She believes the five-bin system works.

“It’s not bad as it separates the rubbish right out,” she said.
“You can keep your food waste outside and it doesn’t smell in the house. Also, it’s a lockable bin so it’s not getting opened by foxes or unlike a bag it’s not being ripped open.”

At present, Canterbury operates a system where recyclable waste is collected in clear sacks once every fortnight and non-recyclable is collected the other weeks.

The city council says it decided last year to move to the new system and claims its decision has nothing to do with communities secretary Eric Pickles offering local authorities a financial incentive to switch to weekly collections of food waste.

However, the authority says the details of how it works have yet to be worked out.

Spokesman Rob Davies said: “We will be collecting the same types of rubbish – glass, paper, card and food waste – on the same frequency as in Dover and Shepway, but no decision has been made yet on the number or size or type of bin we’ll use.”

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