The Daily Telegraph

New minister backed weekly bin collection­s

- By Emma Gatten environmen­t editor

THE new Environmen­t Secretary has previously warned councils not to reduce weekly bin collection­s.

Weekly refuse collection­s have halved in the past decade as councils try to cut costs and encourage households to recycle their waste.

The Government is considerin­g issuing new guidance to councils to ensure a minimum fortnightl­y collection, but not a return to weekly collection­s.

However Ranil Jayawarden­a, the Environmen­t Secretary, has opposed two-weekly collection­s. When they were proposed in his Hampshire constituen­cy in 2017, he said: “Weekly bin collection­s are best” and fortnightl­y collection­s would “punish families”. If the council wanted to increase recycling, he said, it should “look at those areas of the borough that don’t recycle and sort that out, rather than cutting the service for those that do”.

Mr Jayawarden­a has relatively little experience on his brief of environmen­t, food and rural affairs compared with his predecesso­r, George Eustice, a former farmer who joined the ministry in 2013.

Mr Jayawarden­a’s previous role as internatio­nal trade minister, where he helped secure trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, has led to concerns among farming and green groups that he could back deals that may undermine British producers.

Martin Lines, UK chairman of the Nature Friendly Farming Network, said: “Looking at his track record there’s lots to be concerned about, but I hope he will come with an open mind.”

Mr Eustice once complained of “tension” with Ms Truss in her role as internatio­nal trade secretary, saying during the leadership campaign he’d had some “challenges … getting [her] to recognise the importance of animal welfare, in particular, to make sure that we tried to reflect that in trade agreements”.

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