Green bags could still be used in ‘some form’

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Green bags for garden waste could still exist ‘in some form’ for people who live in hard-to-reach areas, a senior councillor has revealed.

North Somerset Council announced in October last year it would be looking to make the move from green bags to wheelie bins for garden waste when its new waste and recycling contract starts next year.

Some people have welcomed the move – claiming bins are easier to manoeuvre and less likely to be damaged – while others fear the bins will not be big enough to hold the amount of waste produced from rural gardens.

Initially, the council said green bins were being introduced due to public demand.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said: “We’ve listened to what our residents have told us about green bags, how they get lost when they blow away or can be difficult to move around and tear once they’ve been filled.

“Wheeled green bins don’t have those problems and are actually a more cost-effective way for us to collect green garden waste, providing better value for money for our residents.”

But at the most recent council meeting, the executive member responsible for waste Peter Bryant said the real reason for the switch is because refuse and recycling companies prefer bins for health and safety reasons.

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He says the bags, which have to be lifted by hand by operatives, are being phased out.

He said: “Green bins are probably quite inevitable because all the interested contractors don’t want to continue with bags because of the possibility of injury to staff.”

At the meeting, Weston Hillside ward councillor John Crockford-Hawley suggested some houses with limited access or steep driveways would struggle with bins.

Cllr Bryant said although the likelihood of having bins is high, some houses would still need to use bags.

He said: “It is our hope we can cater for everyone.

“It is fully accepted there are many inaccessible areas and we overcame the problem in the past with houses having black bags instead of bins.

“We will do everything in our power to cover all these eventualities, with this system there will be some form of green bag we will distribute, although probably a smaller one.”

Cllr Bryant said the authority was still keeping the collection of green waste as a free service, although the one-off cost of buying the bins could be up to £20 each.

Other types of kerbside collection will be unchanged with non-recyclable waste collected fortnightly, and recycling and food waste collected weekly.