Yesterday's post attracted a comment about alternate weekly collections (AWC) which I thought worth responding to. It is actually about political leadership in general, but AWC is the example cited.
Firstly, the Labour manifesto did have a commitment to massively increase recycling, and detailed working subsequently suggested that AWC was the best way to achieve this. Far from "steamrollering" this we went through an extensive discussion. The proposals were published in August 2010, and the policy finally passed in December 2010. As well as written comments, we ran a series of public meetings. I presented at each of these. I believe I am the first lead member to have done this in Brent. My opinion that AWC is popular is based on these meetings but also the numerous conversations and feedback I have had subsequently. It is also worth noting that AWC is increasingly used across the UK despite Eric Pickles trying to attack it.
Generally, people support more recycling, and are not hostile to the three bin system. The main concerns during the presentations was how to fit the bins in to sometimes small front gardens , and how to educate people in making the system work.
We are still working on getting people to know what to put in which bin, which may not be surprising in a Borough where 22% of households do not have an English speaker and the turnover is so high. However, the blue top bins, where you just stick lots of materials in together, are less demanding of householders than the old green box system, where you were supposed to sort each material separately.