Cuts to bin rounds will go ahead despite thousands of people calling for a re-think of the plans.

Members of Enfield’s Labour administration vowed to press on with waste collection changes that will see black refuse and blue recycling bins collected every two weeks from spring next year.

Both bins are still collected once a week in Enfield – and two-thirds of people who responded to a consultation on waste collections said they wanted it to stay that way.

The plans were debated again at a full council meeting on Wednesday (September 18) after nearly 4,000 people signed a petition against the cuts.

Palmers Green resident Seraphim Leonidas, who organised the petition, told the meeting most households already filled up their black refuse bins in one week.

He said: “With the new proposals for fortnightly collections, how is it not conceivable that problems will arise?

“Domestic waste will spill onto the streets, encourage wildlife and cause an unsightly and unhygienic mess.”

Mr Leonidas branded the introduction of a £65-a year charge for garden waste a “stealth tax” and said many people would prefer to burn the waste rather than paying the fee.

But cabinet member for environment Cllr Guney Dogan blamed central Government cuts for the changes to bin rounds, pointing out the council had been forced to save £178 million since 2010.

He said: “Our waste collection changes will help us achieve an increase in recycling from 35 per cent to 50 per cent, which is good for the environment.

“Encouraging recycling will create space in existing refuse bins.

“Currently, in the UK, 78 per cent of councils operate a fortnightly refuse collection service. A further four per cent are moving to a three or four-weekly collection arrangement.”

Members of the opposition Conservative Group lined up to back the petition and attack the Labour administration.

Conservative leader Cllr Joanne Laban said: “We had one of the biggest responses to a consultation in a long time. They said they did not want waste collections changed.

“It is up you what you prioritise. Enfield residents, time and again, have told this council ‘back off our bins’.

“Do the right thing and admit you have got it wrong – and keep weekly collections.”

But council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan said the changes were “born out of necessity” due to budget cuts by the Conservative Government.

She added: “As a council, we are doing the very best we can – and fairly – with extremely limited resources.”

Cllr Caliskan said the council had protected services for vulnerable groups – including adult social care and support for children with special educational needs – from the budget cuts.

The council leader said: “We delivered a resilient budget that was fair, that looked after the most vulnerable people in this borough, and I am proud to say we will be sticking by our original decision on waste collections.”

Alongside the move to fortnightly bin rounds, Enfield Council will introduce a weekly food waste collection service.

The council has also earmarked an extra £500,000 a year to clean streets and deal with fly-tipping.

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