A petition calling on Fife Council to scrap plans for a monthly blue-bin collection has attracted almost 5000 signatures in just three weeks.
The online campaign has seen a surge in the number of residents wanting a re-think of the proposal, which will see landfill waste disposal reduced from fortnightly to four-weekly collections.
In an appeal to Fife Council leader David Ross to reconsider, Chris Ryan, who started the petition said: “This measure will increase flytipping and the presence of vermin, not to mention increasing bad odours and increasing the presence of harmful bacteria and insect infestation in areas where our children play.
And he said he believes sanitation to be one of the most important services that a local authority should provide.
“It is up there with education in terms of importance,’’ he added. “Disease outbreaks such as cholera and typhoid didn’t just disappear, they were beaten by improved public sanitation and proper waste removal from our streets.
“Fife Council claims that this measure will increase recycling, but anyone who has been stuck in a huge queue at our local dumps knows that is not true. You can only recycle so much.
“In fact compared to some local authorities Fife’s recycling measures are quite poor.
“The way for Fife Council to reduce landfill is to invest in a proper modern waste sorting centre as other councils have done and not to just stop collecting waste.”
Councillors have already been informed that it is highly likely Fife will become the first region in Britain to move to monthly collections when the nine-month trial, currently underway in several Glenrothes communities, ends in June.
Council officers reported earlier this month it has resulted in a reduction in the amount of rubbish going to landfill, while re-cycling rates for plastics, cans, paper and cardboard have increased.
Councillor John Wincott, Fife Council’s sustainability champion, said the collections in both trial areas had been doing very well, adding: “In the trial areas there have been very few problems with waste going in the wrong bins, and no increase in flytipping in these areas.
There have been no complaints regarding brown bin and just six relating to blue bin collections from the 4000 residents taking part, though a full assessment will not be gathered until the end of the trial.
But comments left on the petition page suggest the change may not be as welcome as the local authority anticipates. Among the main concerns are inadequate bin sizes, concerns over refuge build up in hot weather and the possible threat of vermin.