THE decision to reduce recycling collections in Swindon to a four-weekly cycle has prompted an angry backlash.

Swindon Borough Council cited the number of waste collection staff who are self-isolating because of Covid-19 and a national HGV driver shortage as the reasons behind the move.

The change – which the council says is temporary – came into force on Monday and affects the recycling box collection for paper, cardboard, tins and glass only.

It sparked plenty of reaction on the Adver’s Facebook page – and most of those commenters are far from happy.

Tony Gibbs said: “Total joke, it’s just that the council is on another money saving scheme because they spent all their money on [messing] our roads up.”

Alex Styles said: “Where’s my refund on council tax then? Council tax is so expensive, for what? What gets done around here? I know my bin won’t get collected for a month now, in this heat too."

Steve George said: “Tax goes up and we get less. How does that work? What a joke.”

John Pagett wanted to know whether more recycling boxes would be supplied. He said: “Are we all getting more recycling boxes then, as mine are full, as meant to be collected yesterday. Or (do I) just put it all in the black bin?”

Some were worried the decision would cause people to stop recycling altogether, or to fly-tip their rubbish. 

Sarah Woodhouse said: “There’s a lot out there doing community service. Get them on the job instead of letting our rubbish pile up. Like has been said, people will stop recycling and put in normal bins. “

Brian McCulloch said: ”Great, looking forward to the rise in fly-tipping now.” 
Others were more sympathetic towards the council'

Rachel Butler said: “It won’t [affect me]. As long as the bins get collected, what are they supposed to do if short staffed?"

Cabinet member for waste, councillor Kevin Parry, backed the council teams out on the roads every weekday morning.

He said: “Throughout the whole pandemic the SBC waste crew have been amazing.

“Whilst the situation of track and trace has meant some have had to self-isolate and as a consequence we will potentially miss one collection of tins, glass and paper, 

“I am proud of a team that have been fantastic. Well done SBC waste recycling team.”
The council said on social media: "“If your recycling collection is due this week, you should put your recycling boxes out as normal. If your recycling is collected, your next collection will take place in four weeks’ time (week commencing August 16).

“If your recycling is not collected within 24 hours, please bring it back in and put it back out on your next collection day in two weeks' time (week commencing August 2)."

The same timescales apply for scheduled collections during week commencing July 26.