PLANS to revise rubbish collections in Darlington are set to be confirmed by councillors after more than half of the people who responded to public consultation said the changes would not affect them.

The proposals to implement an Alternate Weekly Collection (AWC) service in the town are not without controversy however, with a number of concerns raised about the storage of an extra wheelie bin and potential difficulties for the disabled and elderly.

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet will decide between three options for the AWC service when they meet to discuss the results of the public consultation on Tuesday.

Loading article content

The preferred option will see the majority of households in Darlington split their waste between two wheeled bins – one for residual waste and the other for recyclable materials – and a box for glass.

Removals will work on a fortnightly basis, with rubbish collected one week and recycling the next. Most properties will receive a second 240-litre bin, the same as the existing waste bin.

Up to 8,000 homes in the borough will keep their waste wheelie bin but will receive a second box for recyclables instead of another bin, because the wagon for recycling collections will be too big to access the back lanes. The changes –set to introduced by October - are expected to save Darlington Borough Council about £390,000 a year.

The consultation into the waste collection service saw 576 replies from residents, both online and in writing.

Of those, 53.8 per cent said the changes would not impact on them, with 46.2 per cent saying they would be affected.

Concerns included bins obstructing the pavement, difficulties for the visually impaired in correctly separating waste into the right bins, limited capacity for large families and difficulty for wheelchair users to manoeuvre around their properties as a result of additional bins and boxes.

A report from Darlington Association on Disability said pavements have been regularly obstructed by bins since they were introduced and that problems would increase with additional bins and boxes.

In a report prepared for Tuesday’s (January 7) meeting, the council responded to the concerns, pledging extra publicity and enforcement action to ensure people use their bins correctly.