BINS WAR SET TO RAGE

THERE were growing concerns this week that fortnightly bin collections could be brought back by cash-strapped East Dunbartonshire Council.

The move caused outrage across the district when it was introduced in 2006 by the then Liberal Democrat administration group and was a key factor in their downfall at the last council elections.

Around 8,000 people signed a petition calling for a return to weekly collections.

It’s understood the council is looking at the possibility of fortnightly refuse collections and changes to recycling services in a bid to save cash. It has to make savings of almost £8million in 2011/12.

Ross Wilson, from Bearsden, was one of the leaders of the bins campaign and said residents would unite once again to fight the plans.

He said: “When I heard about this I contacted the council and they said no final decision had been made.

“We want to make sure the councillors know they were expressly elected on a ticket of restoring weekly bin collections and if this changes we will hold them to account at the 2012 elections.

“I know from speaking to people in 2007 the problems that it caused with families with children struggling with a bin collection every two weeks.”

Mr Wilson added: “Just because fortnightly collections are in place in other council areas, does not mean it’s working.”

At a special meeting in December last year, councillors agreed to a revised waste collection service, which will save £300,000 rising to £600,000 in the following two financial years.

It’s understood food and garden waste could be collected together and a single bin, rather than the current boxes, will be introduced for materials that can be recycled, such as paper and plastic.

However, how often bins will be emptied was not decided on.

David Devine, East Dunbartonshire Council’s head of roads and neighbourhood services, said: “Council officers are always striving to improve services and ensure that they represent best value for money, however, the council has made no decision to scrap weekly refuse collections in favour of a fortnightly system.”