When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
'Large families cannot cope with small bins'
A FAMILY of nine has criticised council plans to replace its rubbish bin with one almost half its size.
Paul and Amanda Craig, 45 and 42 respectively, live with their seven children, aged from four to 18, in Leach Road, Bicester.
Cherwell District Council began phasing in smaller bins last year to force people to increase the amount they recycle. The family’s bin holds about 600 litres of rubbish but the new one will only hold 360 litres.
They also recycle cardboard, tins and plastics in two 240-litre blue bins, and food and garden waste in a brown bin.
Mr Craig is concerned excess waste will build up at their house or they will have to pay for extra collections.
He said: “As kids get older the rubbish they are consuming increases. If the council doesn’t take all of the rubbish it will charge us to collect the excess.
“It’s not just us affected, it’s all large families.”
The couple, who are both registered blind, have been told they can have a third blue bin to help them recycle more.
But Mr Craig is urging other large families to make a joint stand and is considering launching a petition.
He said: “This is a house of nine of us and they want to give us a smaller bin.
“It will still be collected fortnightly basis but we won’t cope with that. It leaves us with two options – to take the council to court or go to a private waste management company.
“They said it was a change of policy last April and the bigger bins will be removed from houses that need them, and given to blocks of flats.
“The council said try to recycle more and we’ll give you another blue bin, but what about storage for all these bins?
“The back garden is full as it is, we’ve got four bins – where are the children going to play?”
Councils across the country are introducing smaller bins as way of improving recycling rates. This helps cut down on the amount of waste they send to landfill, which can lead to government charges if too much is dumped.
Nigel Morris, Cherwell’s lead member for clean and green, said: “We are in the process of assessing the needs of everyone with one of our larger green bins.
“Most are able to recycle more, meaning they do not need a larger bin, but very large families with babies or younger children still in nappies do need the extra space. Where we are removing the larger green bins, we might be able to offer families greater recycling capacity.”
Changes were introduced following the introduction of the food waste recycling. Households that had the larger bins, or applied for them, had their situations reviewed every three years.