Eastbourne cabinet approves alternate weekly collections

Cabinet councillors at Eastbourne Borough Council have agreed to move to alternate weekly collections of refuse and recycling from April 2021 to boost recycling and reduce carbon emissions.

The government recycling target for local authorities in 2020 is 50%, the current rate in Eastbourne is 35%, but evidence shows that in many towns where councils collect on an alternate weekly basis, residents recycle more of their household rubbish.

Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Chair of South East Environmental Services Limited (SEESL), the company that delivers Environment First on the council’s behalf, said: “I’m delighted that all my colleagues agreed that this change is the right decision for local recycling, for cleaner air, the environment and the public purse.

“We declared a climate emergency in 2019 and committed to become carbon net zero by 2030. With this ambitious target in mind, our decision will reduce emissions from bin lorry journeys around the town and improve air quality.

“We’ll be in touch with residents about information about how the new collection system will work and answering all their questions.”

The council undertook one of the most extensive consultation exercises ever undertaken in Eastbourne, asking residents for their views about waste and recycling and that feedback has been invaluable in shaping the new plans for refuse and recycling.

Councillor Colin Swansborough, Cabinet Member for Place Services, added: “So many local authorities across the UK have alternate weekly collections, including our neighbours in Wealden, and it’s clear that it’s an excellent option for Eastbourne too.

“Additionally, we’ll save over £200,000 and at a time when council budgets are under great pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this is not an insignificant saving.”

There will be no changes to existing collection arrangements for residents living in blocks of flats who share large communal bins or for people living in a number of town centre properties.

Assisted collections will also continue for anyone that needs this service.