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?