Croydon council is moving to a fortnightly bin collection service from October to save money on landfill tax.

It will now recycle food on a weekly basis and alternate weekly collections for cardboard, paper and textiles in one collection and the next week collect glass bottles, cans and plastics.

But refuse collections will only be made every two weeks.

The council says it will save £600,000 by moving to a fortnightly collection.

The move comes as the Government is expected to launch a £100k incentive scheme to get all local councils to revert to weekly collections. This has been prompted by complaints that reduced collections lead to a rise in fly tipping and concerns over vermin.

At a conference earlier this year, Local Government minister Eric Pickles said council cuts to bin collections is “an issue which fills middle England with rage“.

He told the New Local Government Network conference: “We need to remember that rubbish is the most visible, most frontline service of all, in return for paying £120 a month in council tax.

“If we don’t sort this out, we will set the cause of localism back by a generation, by creating an army of residents who view their council with resentment rather than respect.”

A council spokesman said: “By taking food waste out of the landfill bins and taking it away weekly there will be far less risk of smelly bins, flies and problems with vermin and foxes.

“The council is still offering weekly collections for food waste, which causes residents the most concern.

“Now that cooked and uncooked food will be collected separately for recycling - and residents have a recycling collection for all other recyclable materials – there will be very little left in the landfill bins.

“Government advice is that local councils should offer the most appropriate and cost effective services for the local taxpayer.

“Continuing to collect the black refuse bin every week is not an efficient use of resources and does not offer value for money for Croydon residents.”

Residents in 126,000 households will be provided with their new food waste bins and a starter pack explaining how the system will work between September 19 and 30.

Most flats will receive their new food waste bin, a smaller ‘caddy’ bin for the kitchen and a supply of 100 free compostable liners. Larger blocks of flats or more will be included in the service before March 2012.

Tina Morris, secretary of the Grangewood and Whitehorse Residents Association, said: “My personal view is that as far as food waste goes, it is an unecessary requirement as if people are composting like they should be.

“Fortnightly collections will mean more rubbish around to attract foxes and rats in the vicinity. The collections seem to work well as they are.”

Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “This is a very positive move for Croydon, and studies of similar schemes around the country show that most families are very happy with the change and find it very easy to deal with.

“The crucial element here is that people will object if their bins are overflowing, or if they feel their bins become unhygienic.

"We’ve deliberately ensured neither of these things happen – food waste collections will keep bins clean, and weekly recycling collections will ensure landfill bins aren’t overflowing.”

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