The Basingstoke Gazette has launched a Green Watch campaign after the results of its reader poll led to a recycling scheme being scrapped by the local council.
Basingstoke and Deane councillors bowed to pressure from the poll that revealed 93 per cent of residents were against proposals which would have seen recyclable material and residual waste collected on alternate weeks. The paper, which has a combined Monday and Thursday circulation of 31,343 saw 1,792 readers vote, with 1,647 against the plans, prompting the council to ditch its proposal.
It was hoped the move, which would have been subject to a full public consultation, would have improved the borough's recycling rate. Editor Mark Jones said: "It's the biggest response we've ever had to a poll, and as a result the Conservative cabinet had ruled out alternate weekly collection. It's great that local newspapers can get their readers to respond and get engaged in issues like this.
"This proposal has been an ongoing issue here over the last 18 months and so we decided to run the poll.
"We do have an issue in Basingstoke where our recycling rate is very low. Clearly, the big issue is still out there about recycling, and on the back of this poll we have launched our Green Watch campaign. It is very much targeted at recycling and energy efficiency. But this is an ongoing debate."