More than 7,000 people have signed petitions against Ashfield District Council’s controversial decision to reduce the size of black bins.
The petitions handed in at a full council meeting on Thursday are thought to be the largest mass correspondence ever with the council over any issue.
Campaigner Darren Harvey and councillors Jason Zadrozny and Ben Bradley presented separate petitions asking the authority not to introduce smaller black bins, use alternative methods to boost recycling and reopen the debate for proper public consultation.
Coun Zadrozny said Ashfield Independents collected 4,465 signatures against the proposal.
His petition called on the Labour group to repeal their plans to shrink general waste and black bins, saying the scheme is expensive and will not achieve the desired outcomes. He added: “It penalises families and shows a lack of understanding of the needs of local families in the Ashfield district.
“We call on you to investigate other options for local recycling without reducing the size of the general waste bins, for example food waste collection, textiles, or rolling out a free brown bin scheme.
“All of these schemes would increase recycling more and cost less than the scheme you are contemplating.”
He said the authority’s plans would lead to increased fly tipping .
Coun Ben Bradley said:‘’Obviously we’re disappointed that this massive public protest has been ignored; the biggest petition they’ve ever received, I’m told.
“Of course we expected it because they’ve already bought the bins and printed the literature before the consultation has even finished,” he added.
Councillor Tim Brown, the authority’s environment portfolio holder, said the council had put forward a sound, fully-costed and sustainable proposal.
He said various alternative options had been considered and rejected because they would not bring about the desired increase in recycling or would be prohibitively expensive.
He added: “Simply investing in education alone to encourage recycling will not bring about the required change.
“People live busy lives and the council needs to support them with infrastructure that makes recycling as easy as possible.”
Introducing a food waste collection would be extremely expensive and collection costs would double. ADC had spoken to hundreds of resident with 91 per cent of people surveyed supporting the scheme.
n Last week in one of our articles, we reported that there had been around 5,000 reported incidents of fly-tipping in the Ashfield area. The actual figure was around 500 incidents. This was caused by a production error.