Following the news that Conwy Council has taken the step to only collect landfill waste once a month, the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health (CIEH) has expressed its dismay at the decision and warned that the level of public health risk has been elevated as a result.
The decision follows a trial period and, despite claims of increased vermin and residents being forced to burn their own waste, the scheme was officially rolled out earlier this week.
It has been reported that this means over 50,000 homes will see their bin collections reduced to a once a month service, potentially saving the Council around £390,000 a year.
CIEH has previously raised its concerns about the plans, highlighting the likely detrimental impact on environmental and public health.
Tony Lewis, Head of Policy at CIEH, said:
“We have been aware of these plans for some time, but had hoped they would be reconsidered. We cannot hide our disappointment at this retrograde step and share the public health concerns being vocally expressed by people in the Conwy area.
There are real risks with moving to a monthly bin collection system, such as elevated levels of fly tipping, domestic refuse burning, pest infestations, odour nuisance and fly nuisance, especially in the summer months.
Also, any immediate financial benefit of moving to monthly collections is likely to place an additional long-term burden on Environmental Health resources, as Environmental Health will be left dealing with pest and other nuisance-related issues.
Whilst CIEH appreciates the pressures surrounding available resources; we feel that the additional environmental risks and associated costs brought about by this decision will outweigh the immediate cash benefit.
Ultimately, this is a quality of life issue, and we strongly call on Conwy Council to change course.”
Notes to Editors
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About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):
CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing more than 8,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved.
Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.