Collection of food waste set to be cut

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Food waste collections could be cut in the city as part of attempts to balance the council’s books.

Leaders will decide whether to ditch the service, already removed from the budget from next year, which would see some households return to fortnightly food waste collections.

Bosses have acknowledged ending the service could be “unpopular”, but said the service had become “to an extent obsolete”, as food can now be put into grey bins.

Preston Council’s cabinet will discuss the proposals, relating to inner Preston, at a meeting next week.

Coun Martyn Rawlinson, cabinet member for resources, said: “Obviously some people still use that service and no doubt some of those will miss it, but the landscape has changed since it was brought in.”

He said food could now be put in grey bins, and said: “It’s a saving we need to make for budget purposes but it’s a service that has become, to an extent, obsolete. But it does mean for people without a garden waste bin they are only going to get food waste collected fortnightly once again.”

A report to councillors said stopping the collection would require the loss of three posts, and would save £86,192 through employee costs, vehicle expenses and materials.

Coun Rawlinson said: “The money has been removed from the budget, so if cabinet decided to keep it we would need to find the money to go with it.”

He said: “We know there’s going to be reaction, but we hope people will understand the budget situation and changes in waste collection.”

Coun Eric Fazackerley, leader of the Conservative group, said: “My concern is it’s a reduction in recyclable stuff of one per cent, when what we are trying to do is get to a target set by the government.” He added: “They are making the decision because it’s in the 2014-15 budget proposal, so if they don’t save that money they will have to find it from elsewhere.”