A PETITION has been launched calling on Blackburn with Darwen Council to scrap plans to reduce bin collections to every other week.

The fortnightly bin collections are due to be introduced from Monday, October 3, as the council seeks to save money and encourage people to recycle.

Sabir Esa, who set up the petition on Thursday, which has been signed by more than 180 people, said the proposals made “no sense”.

Mr Esa, who owns the Safe Depot in Blackburn, said: “If you look around Blackburn we have a big litter problem. The streets are not cleaned regularly and it is attracting so much vermin and flies.

“With the amount of money the council is spending on renovating buildings and making unnecessary roads they could be spending it on public services. It does not make sense to me.”

The grandfather, from Lammack, said rubbish on the streets is a big problem in the Wensley Fold, Bastwell and Audley wards.

He said: “I drive through Wensley Fold every morning on my way to work and notice the bins have not been emptied which is attracting vermin and turning it into a tip.

“Victoria Street in Bastwell is a tip.

“It is bad particularly around the takeaways.

“The council is encouraging us to recycle, but when you try and go to the recycling centre in George Street you have to queue for hours.”

He said he thought there was also a lack of consultation on the proposals and that they had been ‘railroaded’ through.

Cllr Mohammed Khan, council leader said: “I really hope people will see the benefits of recycling more.

“If we can get our recycling rates up we have more chance of protecting frontline services and it is better for the environment.

“This change is designed to improve recycling rates and reduce the costs of refuse disposal as well as refuse collection which will save the council vital funds.”

“The majority of local authorities in the North West carry out fortnightly collections and we are currently one of just two authorities with weekly bin collections.

“Provision will be made for larger households with four or more occupants, who are recycling, to be able to change from a 140 litre burgundy bin, to a 240 litre burgundy bin on request.”

Cllr Parwaiz Akhtar, who covers the Bastwell ward, said: “We are not doing this because we want to. We have been forced by the government because of the cuts.

“We are trying to work to get more people recycling so less is going to landfill.”