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PRO

The local council in my area (Selby District Council) are considering implementing a charge of £82 per year for the green waste collections that are currently paid for as part of householders council tax. The theory behind this being that the council can then freeze council tax rates at the expense of people who want to use the green waste collection service.

Is this fair? Households who do not use the service would probably say that it is but i don't think there are many in this position. The bins are collected fortnightly and i know from experience that the bins never hold the total amount of waste that can be produced from the average garden in this area.

If implemented i think that there will be a number of likely outcomes;

  • households will bite the bullet and sign up for a paid collection service
  • people will refuse to pay and more home composting will be undertaken
  • professional maintenance providers will be lumbered with the waste

How will these changes affect the garden maintenance contractors in this area if the householder refuses to pay for the service?

  • the odd jobbers working out of the back of their car with no trailer or waste carriers licence will have to leave it for the customer to deal with. This can't be good for them so maybe this area will see a decrease in the number of unprofessional have a go gardeners?
  • legitimate professional garden maintenance contractors will have all the necessary tools, equipment and licences to deal effectively with the change. It will however increase costs for the client.
  • householders may be forced to rethink their views on dealing with green waste and recognise that their are considerable costs for maintenance contractors in this regard. If this is the case then this can only be good for the professional maintenance contractors in this area.
  • certain "outfits" will be totally unaffected as they will continue to fly tip like they always have done.

I cannot say at the moment which way the council will go with this. Ultimately, if they decide to go ahead and people don't sign up it will mean more waste for contractors to deal with and increased costs to the client. If people do sign up then at least it will raise awareness of the costs involved in dealing with green waste and clients may become more willing to accept this. If things stay the same then nobody will be any the wiser except they will see their council tax bill rise. For professional garden maintenance contractors it would be beneficial if this issue was given more press if only to raise awareness and if the decision is made to charge for the collection then i can see that it will give us legitimate business' an advantage over the black market odd jobbers.

What do you think? Have i got it all wrong?

www.ecogardenmaintenance.co.uk

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Replies

  • £82 Outrageous! One of the councillors must want some new golf clubs.

    http://www.horsham.gov.uk/news/15380.aspx

    Horsham Council, West Sussex £27

    But back to your good post on the subject, think we all need to offer a value added service to the customer and take his problem away.

    If you cant beat them join them, see you at the Tip

    http://www.gumtree.com/p/cars-vans-motorbikes/ldv-convoy-tipper-tru...

  • From lets recycle.com

    In Newcastle meanwhile, only 18,000 of a possible 75,000 residents have signed up to a charged-for garden waste collection service which is being introduced in the city in May 2012. This will see residents having to pay £20 a year to have their waste collected.

    Fortunatley my customers in Newcastle were among the 18,000. Due in not a small part to me saying I would have to charge for waste removal.
    I suspect the knock on effect for most households is that green waste now goes out with ordinary waste and goes straight to landfill.
    I feel charge of £82 is pie in the sky and if they implement it take up will be miniscule and you will be justified in increasing charges to cover waste disposal.
    Assuming of course that you have a commercial waste disposal facility on hand to receive the waste, joined up thinking and council policy often do not go together.

  • PRO

    Charging for green waste collections must be spreading throughout the country then. £82 is a lot compared to the other examples given here.

  • Strange I have literally just paid for our green waste bin. £25 per year, I have also ordered a second bin at a charge of £25 and £10 per year for that. So £60 for 2 bins for a year:

    www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/gardenwaste

    I agree with your points Stuart and i'm sure the fly tipping will increase as around here there are many back roads and fen roads which are a common location for all types of fly tipping. I'm predicting an increase in garden waste appearing on these roadsides.

    I have been trying to encourage my customers to pay for their bin as the extra cost for them with me having to dispose of it will far exceed the price of the bin.

    We shall see from April how this pans out.

  • I think this is great news; customers are going to be forced to accept that waste disposal costs money. Now they might appreciate why we have to include waste disposal in our prices, and if they choose not to pay for the council bins you simply add £1 a week to the bill?

    Of course, it will possibly encourage more cheats to fly tip, but I can't see that being the case with the odd bag of grass cuttings. Fly tippers aren't the people who can fit their waste in a dustbin.

    Perhaps if all our waste was charged for at source we'd be a bit more careful about the amount we create? Rather than the current system that seems designed to make people feel "self-righteous" about recycling, when in fact the damage is already done by the time you have the box of cans, bottles or garden waste to take to the tip in your polluting car, or have it collected by a smokey old diesel rubbish lorry.....

  • Step back and look whats next.
    Pay an extra £50 a year if you use the library.
    £20 to have a park pass £30 if you want to use the play area
    The list is endless

  • PRO

    This is a bit like a personalised tax to service use, its £45 per year to park here in Ryedale, and most councils already charge for pest control services.
    We all pay (in theory)to use or support the core council services, e.g.education. social services, emergency, etc.
    If we 'order' a book from a different library but within North Yorkshire CC they charge £1, but that is lot cheaper than the fuel / fares it would cost to get the book ourselves. Whilst £82 is more than other councils charge, potential 4000 litres (approx) of green waste taken by the council is still a lot cheaper than either taking it yourself or hiring someone to do so.
    If the council charges for waste removal were compared the alternative costs of removal maybe more people would sign up?

  • Unless they start charging for all forms of waste removal bar recycling say (perhaps issue credits for this against the other costs), all that will happen is people will insist on putting green waste in the regular waste bin.

  • we've had charges in this area for green waste for years. - it isn't as high as £80 a year but we pay between £14 and £36 (depending on amount and area) and it work really well, - green bags or bins get collected every 2 weeks,- and the fly tipping round here isn't green waste, it's old shed roofs, or builders stuff.

  • Uttlesford in Essex have done this for the last year charging £60 plus £20 for the bin!. They used to offer a free skip once a every other week this has now been paid for by town and councils instead so just means the money for this service is paid for by a different body. So not too much has changed. it has happened because somebody in goverment said that councils no longer need to offer free garden waste disposal yet a sign of cut backs as money gets tighter.

    I know harlow is charging £82/ £90

This reply was deleted.

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