The Daily Telegraph
New minister backed weekly bin collections
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”.