CONCERNS about “piles of waste” building up on the streets prompted councillors to agree to look at introducing food waste collection with either weekly or fortnightly rubbish collections.

Councillors on Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee were originally advised to move forward with feasibility studies and consultation into fortnightly general waste and weekly food waste collections.

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth put the case for changing the recommendation from fortnightly to weekly general rubbish collections raising concerns about “piles of waste” building up on doorsteps.

Fortnightly waste collections were originally suggested to offset the cost of starting food waste.

He said: “When there are missed collections, industrial action, piles of rubbish around communal bins and fly-tipping, garden waste bins still not being collected or people even not participating in the waste food collection, I don’t think Brighton and Hove at this present time could handle a fortnightly service.

“It’s not something we’re against in principle. We certainly wouldn’t criticise other areas for having it. But we don’t think it could work in Brighton and Hove yet until there is a bit more discipline.

“Missed collections would mean bins not emptied for a month if the collection wasn’t caught up.

“The cost of a weekly refuse collection is of course a cause for concern but must be balanced against the cost of cleaning up the mess of missed collections.”

The Argus: There are fears over missed bin collectionsThere are fears over missed bin collections

Cllr Nemeth said that it made sense to use food waste in an efficient way rather than send it for incineration as the council currently does.

Brighton and Hove also has significantly lower recycling rates than the national average of 45 per cent and these are expected to improve when food waste is included in recycling.

Labour councillor Gary Wilkinson was originally expected to second Cllr Nemeth’s amendment to the recommendations but suggested from the floor that the council looks into offering food waste collections with either fortnightly or weekly general waste collections.

He said: “As a councillor, one of the most recurrent issues in my mailbag from residents is missed bin collections – so I have reservations about reducing household waste collections to just one to take place fortnightly rather than weekly.

“However, I believe that both options 1a and 1b, which incorporate food waste collections, have merit, and as such am proposing this amendment that seeks a feasibility study and business case for both.”

The Argus: Councillors are discussing changes to bin collectionsCouncillors are discussing changes to bin collections

Cllr Wilkinson said that the council must ensure that it carried out a meaningful consultation with residents and listened to what they had to say on collection frequency.

Green councillor Amy Heley, who chairs the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said that she preferred Cllr Wilkinson’s suggestion for both options.

Cllr Wilkinson’s amendment was successful.