Motion to look at bringing Northampton’s bins collections ‘in house’ falls through

Rubbish could be seen on the Mounts area of Northampton at the start of July following waste collection days.
Rubbish could be seen on the Mounts area of Northampton at the start of July following waste collection days.

A motion to look at bringing Northampton’s environmental services contract back under local authority control has failed to win approval from council leaders.

The contract between Northampton Borough Council and the firm which collects waste on its behalf, Enterprise, has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after the contractors began enforcing the strict two bin bag collection policy contained in its 2011 agreement with the council.

The move has seen several streets in Northampton strewn with black bin liners following collection days, as Enterprise is now only collecting rubbish contained in regulation green sacks and recycling boxes.

At the full meeting of Northampton Borough Council last night, the town’s Labour group asked the authority to draw up an in-house bid to take over environmental services when the current contract expires in 2018.

But the motion fell after the majority Conservative group voted against it.

Deputy Labour group leader Councillor Gareth Eales (Lab, Spencer) said: “We presented them with a unique opportunity to move things forward and get a better deal for residents on environmental services.

“The town currently looks awful with so much uncollected rubbish lying around the place.

“If things go wrong in the future the Conservative Administration will have no one to blame but themselves.”

In defence of Enterprise’s decision to enforce the two-bag policy, a spokeswoman for Enterprise said: “Over many months we have been seeking to support the council to enforce their policy on the collection of side waste.

“We continue to encourage people to recycle and remind residents that only non-recyclable waste placed in wheelie bins will be collected, or if green sacks are used, two sacks will be collected each week.

“In addition, a wide range of recycling services from kerbside boxes to food waste collections are available and there is no limit on the amount of recycling people can present.

“We believe that by encouraging residents to recycle and make full use of these services there will be no excess or additional waste.”