Weekly refuse collections to be binned in East Dunbartonshire?

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CONTROVERSIAL fortnightly bin collections could make a return in Kirkintilloch, Lenzie and Bishopbriggs.

It’s thought the move could save the local authority a massive £600,000 over the next three years.

Fortnightly bin collections were introduced by the council’s Lib Dem administration in 2006, but the scheme was scrapped the following year after a huge public backlash that saw the Lib Dems ousted from power in the council elections.

East Dunbartonshire Council needs to make budget savings of £30million over the next three years. At a special meeting last December, councillors agreed to a revised waste collection service.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “From the consultation we carried out last year, it came forward quite strongly - around 60 per cent - that residents were willing to look at fortnightly bin collections.”

The ‘bins issue’ was a major factor in the 2007 council elections.

Councillor Geekie denied the current Labour/Tory administration, which won power on the back of promises to restore weekly bin collections, had gone back on their word.

Councillor Geekie said: “If we hadn’t consulted with local residents then that would be justified, but we did.”

The council is waiting on the results of a Scottish Government study looking at ways waste is recycled before making a final decision. The results will be published in June.

Councillor Ashay Ghai, leader of East Dunbartonshire Council’s Lib Dem group, said: “Liberal Democrats on the council have questioned for some time whether the current way household waste is collected is sustainable in the long-term, particularly as cuts to other services bite hard.”