Redbridge Council draw up plans to charge for green waste collection
08:53 02 December 2016
The borough’s green-fingered residents could soon be forced to pay to have their garden waste collected.
Redbridge Council’s controversial plans, which could come into force from April next year, are set be discussed at a meeting of the council’s service committee on Wednesday, December 7.
If agreed, garden waste collections would also become fortnightly.
Cllr John Howard, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: “Garden Waste collection costs residents £2million each year. Due to cuts from Central Government we’ve had to look at a charge service - this would put us in line with most local authorities.
“Saving £2m from this change means we would be in a better position to protect local libraries, services for the elderly, and our parks.”
If agreed those who wish to have the service would pay around £50 per year and be supplied with five rolls of 10 biodegradable bags.
They would also be able to buy additional rolls of 10 bags for £10.
The bags would be collected fortnightly between April and October with the service halting between November and March.
Barkingside 21 chairman John Sharrock was not surprised at the news.
“I think it’s a shame because it was well-liked, but I understand that in this time of austerity cuts have to be made.” he said.
“I understand that it’s a matter of choosing between the lesser of two evils though, and money had to be saved somewhere.”
Former Conservative councillor Harry Moth also criticised the move.
“Yet again it seems to be this council making no effort not to pass on its costs to residents,” he told the Recorder.
“There is no special provision for the vulnerable and the elderly – what happens to pensioners who aren’t going to be able to take their own rubbish to the dump?
“People are so busy at the time of year they probably won’t notice until it’s too late.”
Cllr Howard added: “We know that the garden waste service is something that residents really value and we don’t want to take it away completely, but the only way to keep the service running while we are under such immense financial pressure is to consider a charge to the service.”
Those who took up the service would have their bags delivered to their house directly.
The plans come shortly after the Council agreed to stop collecting garden waste in the winter, with collections now only taking place between April and October. This year garden waste collections are due to stop after Friday 9 December.