Policy proposals have been unveiled for increasing consistency in recycling collected from households, businesses and other organisations.
But this could see four separate bins required for dry recyclables – glass, metal, plastic, paper and card – as well as bins for garden waste, food waste and non-recyclables.
This would mean each household has seven bins in total and the District Council’s Network, which represents 183 local authorities in England with responsibility for waste collection, has labelled the proposals ‘poorly thought out’.
Worthing Borough Council leader Dan Humphreys, who is the DCN’s lead member for enhancing quality of life, said: “These proposals are poorly thought out and will create costly chaos and confusion up and down the country.
“Rather than standardise waste collections, local communities should be able to decide what works best for them.
“What works for residents in villages and rural areas won’t work for people living in flats in a busy town or city.
“It is also wrong that those without gardens are contributing towards the costs of garden waste collections for those who do.”
It is concerned that towns and cities where space is limited will struggle to accommodate the extra bins, with driveways potentially clogged up and pavements blocked as well as the extra collection vehicles needed.
The DCN estimates the proposals will cost £680 million every year and reduce many existing bins into unnecessary waste themselves.
Radical changes on this scale will also require an overhaul of collection fleets, depots and staff, which will be extremely challenging to achieve within the timescale proposed.
It also says plans for universally free garden waste collections should be scrapped, as it argues that households without gardens would be footing the bill through their council tax for those who do. Instead there should be a focus on minimising this type of waste through home composting, the DCN argues.
To comment on the proposals by Sunday July 4, visit the DEFRA consultation website.