One of the driving forces behind a switch to fortnightly bin collections is set to leave Adur and Worthing councils, just weeks before the controversial scheme is implemented.
The councils’ head of environment, Andy Edwards, will step down shortly before the switch to fewer collections is put in place in September.
According to the councils, alternate weekly collections should encourage households to reduce their waste and recycle more effectively.
Critics have argued household waste could become backed up and left at the mercy of foxes, seagulls and other scavengers.
The departure of one of the key figures involved in the switch has raised fears the smoothness of the transition may be affected.
A spokesman for Adur and Worthing councils said: “We wish Andy well with his new challenge. The implementation of the alternative weekly waste collection scheme, aimed at driving up our recycling figures, is unaffected.
“Much of the new round planning and preparation is well under way.”
Worthing Borough Council’s cabinet member for digital and environmental services, Edward Crouch, who pledged to retain weekly collections in his 2018 campaign manifesto, has claimed it is possible to recycle 50 per cent of household waste.
For the last seven months, Mr Crouch has taken on the challenge, alongside his partner, of cutting waste.
Mr Crouch said he had been ‘surprised’ by how much he had been able to recycle, despite always being a ‘keen recycler’.
He credited a change in his buying habits as being the driving force behind the improvement.
“We are careful with what we buy and plan meals in advance to ensure we don’t waste food, which is generally one of the biggest components in weight of general waste,” said Mr Crouch.
“It’s about reducing the amount of waste we produce, as well as recycling.”
Households with young children have suggested much household waste can be made up of disposable nappies and similar items, which take up a significant amount of space in rubbish bins.
The opposition within the Tory-led councils have been critical of the plans. Councillor Rebecca described the introduction of fortnightly collections, ‘at this juncture’, as ‘poorly thought out’.
“It is simply a money saver, with no proper infrastructure in place to deal with food waste,” said the Marine ward councillor.
“Labour wants to follow recycling best practice around the UK with food waste collection, and that’s what we’ll be pushing for in coming months.”
Read more about the changes to bin collections here: