A rubbish time for residents

Protests are mounting within the Jewish community over plans for reduced rubbish collections by Greater Manchester councils.

Around 130 Jewish families, mainly in Prestwich, have signed an online petition against Bury Council's proposal to make collections fortnightly rather than weekly. The council is also confiscating families' second bins and reducing recycling collections to once a month from October.

The backlash from larger, strictly Orthodox families has included a series of meetings urging the council to scrap the plans.

Prestwich councillor Alan Quinn - who invited protesting families to contact him - said concessions to large families was one way forward.

"There have been a series of meetings between senior council officers and the Orthodox Jewish community," he explained. "As councillors we are really trying to get around this. I'm looking to be as flexible as possible. One idea I've suggested is where residents don't have a garden waste bin, they should get an extra recycling bin of another kind."

Rachamim Goodman - a shochet with eight children living at home - is struggling to come to terms with Manchester City Council's fortnightly collections, which took effect in July.

"I have to lug my own rubbish to the tip every week, putting stinking bags in my car," he complained. "We've got 10 people in the household. We do all the recycling we can religiously but it still isn't enough." If he was in a better financial position, he would consider paying for private collections.

Neighbour Anthony Haber said: "We had two bins with six of us in the house. The council seized one of them. Now I've got my second bin back by speaking to the council and I've had my recycling bins upgraded to bigger ones. We are coping with it."

A MESS WHICH INSPIRED BUSINESS

A Bushey businessman who has launched a private refuse collection company says he was prompted by seeing the problems facing Jewish families in his own Hertsmere borough.

Spencer Feldman, 38, is running a national advertising campaign for his Waste Concern firm, in the light of the growing number of local authorities cutting back on collections as part of budget cuts.

He says he has received 500 calls from Manchester regarding his service, which will supplement the reduced council collections.

"Having larger families, Jewish people generally require our services more than most. Households cannot cope."

    Last updated: 1:46pm, September 1 2011