Redbridge councillors clash over proposals to end door-to-door recycling box and garden waste bag deliveries
PUBLISHED: 15:49 09 October 2018
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Redbridge Council is proposing to stop delivering replacement recycling containers and green waste bags, instead asking residents to go and pick them up.
The council says it has around 300 requests a week for replacements - or 15,000 a year.
The plans have been slammed by Conservative opposition councillorsbut the Labour administration maintains it won’t affect services.
The council’s overview committee is set to discuss the proposal, among 25 aimed at saving more than £12m between 2019/20 and 2021/21, at a meeting on Thursday, October 9.
The council estimates it can save £20,000 by requiring residents to collect replacements from a council building, rather than delivering them door-to-door.
Council leader Jas Athwal said that this proposal is “not a reduction in the service.”
“We think our residents would prefer we put this time and money towards delivering a cleaner borough instead of delivering boxes,” he said.
He said that the council is receiving “a huge and increasing number of requests for replacements”.
He added: “Redbridge has had a £166m reduction in its funding from the government.
“The first and biggest priority of the council is our streets, to help achieve this we are investing an extra £300,000 in street cleansing, continuing the free garden waste collection service and keeping our waste collection weekly.
“This is at a time when most councils have moved to fortnightly.”
But opposition leader cllr Linda Huggett believes that the proposals will harm the borough’s recycling rates.
She said: “Residents have been contacting Conservative councillors exasperated at the waiting time for recycling boxes.
“This is a cynical way to deter residents from recycling.
“The borough’s recycling rates are shameful and are amongst the worst in the country.
“Residents want to recycle, and recycling should be easy.
“This puts in jeopardy Labour’s own pledge for a recycling rate of 50pc.
“These proposals will disproportionately impact our most vulnerable residents who may not be able to travel to the depot to collect them.
“Labour can’t even get the basics right.
“We really hope the administration thinks again on these proposals.”