THE Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole merger is an opportunity to get bin collection right at last.

In Christchurch, household waste collection separates glass, mixed recycling, food waste and garden waste from the general residual waste. This is fairly good and should be rolled out across the whole conurbation.

We in East Dorset Friends of the Earth local group have been asking for this for many years. The trouble is that bin lorries are expensive, and Poole and Bournemouth councils couldn’t then afford to roll out new ones that could collect glass as well. Well, now is the chance!

Josh Wright’s article on March 2, ‘£1.2m bin lorries deal is backed’, gives us hope. The new lorries must be able to pick up glass. The joint council must gradually roll out a separate kerbside glass collection across the conurbation.

Georgina Fry, who will hopefully be the new council’s commissioning manager for major projects, is a good council officer who is unlikely to miss a bargain. So, we suspect she’s been offered a good deal on these lorries.

But Christchurch isn’t the only council with old lorries; Bournemouth and Poole have some old ones as well. These are the ones that should be replaced first, so long as Dorset Waste Partnership doesn’t palm its old lorries onto the new council in a year’s time, when they take over waste collection in Christchurch. They wouldn’t do that, would they?

Paper that’s free of broken glass fetches a much better price. Even if it didn’t, we should still separate at source. We asked the councils to make short-term contracts for waste. Bournemouth did, Poole didn’t, so they must either wait some time for the contract to end or buy out of it. Nonetheless, they must not miss this opportunity.

We add that the council staff are good at helping people to cut waste, so there should be no staff cuts, unless you want fly tipping all over the place.

JENNY ANSELL and JOHN GUNN, waste campaigners, East Dorset Friends of the Earth local group, Nortoft Rd, Bournemouth