It’s a question I often get asked, especially be people who move to Totton or Marchwood from other areas of the country where they are “the norm”.
In fact, last time I checked, more than 80% of the country operates a wheelie in system.
The short answer to the question is that New Forest District Council chooses to stay with the plastic bag collection system.
This is an interesting one because surveys carried out a few years ago suggest strong support for keeping the plastic bag system. The Lib Dems carried out a survey in “Focus” and most people replying voted in favour of bags over wheelie bins.
That aside, it begs the question as to whether the council should be doing the “popular” thing, or whether it should be doing the right thing.
There is a very good reason why most of the country has opted for wheelie bins. It’s a more efficient method of collecting waste, better for the environment and because recycling rates always dramatically improve when wheelie bins are employed, it is less costly to the taxpayer.
At present, the conservative run council chooses to stick with the most popular method of waste collection. It is fair to say that there are a lot of people who strongly object to what they see as “large ugly plastic bins” in the street scene.
On the other hand, nobody much likes the regular site of plastic bags having been ripped open by cats, foxes and even horses, with rubbish strewn all over the road.
A few years ago the Liberal Democrats organised a public meeting in Totton to hear the case from experts both “For” and “Against” Wheelie bins. We invited other political parties to participate.
It was a great shame that Tory election leaflets then portrayed this as “Liberal Democrats support wheelie bins”. This bit of dishonesty seemed to work for them because they hold nearly all council seats in the area.
I’m still open minded on the issue and interested in what people think. However, I suspect it will be a long time before the Lib Dems organise a similar event to see whether things have changed.