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No alternative to £22k bin day letter, says West Suffolk Council as it starts its new collection routes today

A council has defended spending thousands of pounds sending letters to residents in Newmarket about bin collection dates which had not changed.

From today West Suffolk Council has changed when bins are collected from across the district , and has sent letters to all 80,000 houses about the alterations, costing taxpayers £22,000.

In Newmarket, where thousands of letters have been posted, residents will not see a change to their bin collection date. This means if your bin is set to be emptied on a Monday, the collection date will continue.

Cllr Peter Stevens, from West Suffolk Council(21350800)
Cllr Peter Stevens, from West Suffolk Council(21350800)

But a spokesman for the district council said the time of collections in the town has changed and the letters were advising people about the change of collection time.

Online, the authority advised people to always make sure their bin is outside by 6.30am on collection day.

The district-wide alteration to bin days is because new housing in West Suffolk, with the council wanting to keep costs of bin lorries, fuel, and staffing hours down.

A council spokesman said 90 per cent of residents across the district would see either a change to their bin collection day or the week in which their bin was emptied, and letters were the only way to reach everyone.

In Mildenhall and Lakenheath, for example, blue bins will be collected on two consecutive weeks before reverting to fortnightly.

“The alternative would be to have residents complain they had not been informed and that we had missed their bin which would then mean we would have to send out addition bin freighters, use addition fuel and pay staff for additional hours worked, all at a much higher cost to the taxpayer,” the spokesman said.