BIN DAY BLUES?

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THOUSANDS of households across Fife will have to wait more than two weeks for their bins to be emptied when the Council changes to a new refuse collection system.

And a small number will be left with their rubbish for more than three weeks before it is taken away.

The Council says 40 per cent of households will have to wait longer than a fortnight between collections when the new system is introduced from Monday, October 15.

Collection days and times will also change.

Roddy Mann, environmental operations senior manager, said: “There will be a bedding in period from October 15-29, when some households will not receive their collections for more than two weeks.

“We’ve had to re-draw every collection route in Fife so there are some cross-overs. It’s a one-off situation. After October 29, everyone’s collection will be on schedule.”

Mr Mann said during this period, householders waiting longer than two weeks would be able to use their brown bins for additional waste.

He added the very small number going past three weeks would be sent individual letters explaining how their waste will be dealt with.

In the lead-up to the changes, leaflets and calendars will be distributed to every home and there will be an advertising campaign using the press, radio, buses, the council website and social media.

The Council says changing the collection system will save £800,000 a year by making more efficient use of its expensive bin lorries, cutting down on the time they are idle and reducing the number of vehicles it needs.

Currently, refuse collectors work 7.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

New system

Under the new system, they will be required to work from 6.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m., Monday to Friday, on a two-shift system.

Employees have been asked to accept new terms and conditions, which include new working hours and an increase in pay due to working unsocial hours.

Figures released by the Council earlier this month revealed 170 out of 232 staff had agreed to the new arrangements.

The majority of GMB and UNISON members accepted the proposals, but 65 per cent of Unite members voted against and the union will ballot its members on industrial action.

Mr Mann explained the new system to members of Kirkcaldy Area Committee this week.

Councillor Neil Crooks, the committee chairman, said: “Let’s hope agreement can be reached with Unite to avoid any complications.”