Douglas Council is urging people to contact it in the wake of a row about bin collections.

On Monday night council leader Claire Wells addressed a hostile audience at a meeting called after the authority introduced fortnightly collections.

Now the council has issued a press statement is urging people to get in touch if they are ‘experiencing difficulty’ adapting to the new waste collection service.

Fortnightly bin collections were introduced 11 weeks ago as part of a change in strategy which includes recycling collections during alternate weeks.

The local authority says the majority of 12,000 Douglas households appear to have adjusted well.

But it wants to help residents with genuine concerns.

Council leader Claire Wells said: ‘We sincerely thank all who have taken the time to share their thoughts with us so far. We have already received feedback from a number of ratepayers who attended the requisition meeting earlier this week and would welcome hearing from others on how the changes are affecting them. We are listening and want to help ratepayers with genuine concerns.

‘A change of this nature will always require a degree of flexibility and we have taken away a number of observations from the points raised by the public on Monday night.

‘We have also reiterated our commitment to a full review of the new strategy after 12 months and, after listening to comments, will be extending our green waste service which will operate from February to November next year.’

Mrs Wells continued: ‘This is an initiative designed to encourage responsible waste management and, since the change in service came into operation in late September, we are generally pleased with the take-up and have already seen our recycling rate treble.

‘However, as we have said from the outset, we know how important our waste services are to all residents and know some households might require additional support so will always strive to help them.

‘We also urge management companies of flats and apartments to let us know if they are experiencing any issues.’

At the requisition meeting, councillors reiterated the reasons behind the move to fortnightly collections, stressing rather than for financial reasons, the initiative is to encourage people to recycle more, minimising the environmental impact of the waste the borough generates.

It was also confirmed that any reasonable additional household waste left at the side of bins during Christmas and New Year will be collected, an extra seasonal service provided annually.

‘This has never been about saving money,’ she added. ‘It has always been about a commitment to strengthen our green credentials and encourage responsible waste management, something we are proud of as a UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man partner.

‘For decades people have been used to being able to throw their rubbish away without worrying about environmental consequences or rising costs. Those days are now over. We can no longer just stand by, unable or unwilling to play our part in the incredibly important movement to improve the world’s environment and combat climate change.

‘We all need to do our bit for the planet which includes looking at our waste habits – reducing what we throw away, reusing items where possible and recycling as much as we can at the kerbside and elsewhere.

‘What we have seen so far gives us the confidence that residents are managing the change but, if you genuinely cannot recycle or have limited recycling capacity, please get in touch with us. We want to work together.’

To contact the waste services team to discuss your capacity issues, call 696445.

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