Sunday, June 22, 2008

Green Garden Waste 2 - MPs Blame Share Fails

Both local LibDem MPs have been making mischief in their attempt to divert attention from their Councillor colleagues almighty blunder in introducing the unpopular £35 green garden waste charge.

In correspondence from Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake and a newsletter from Sutton & Cheam MP Paul Burstow, they strongly suggest that the unjustified extra cost was implemented with cross-party support. Neither expressed an opinion as to where they stood on the issue. (I wonder if either have bought a bag themselves.)

In fact, two of my colleagues, John Kennedy and Graham Whitham predicted much of what has transpired when expressing their opposition to the way that green garden waste has been handled. We are fully supportive of the aim of the overall scheme which is to minimise the amount of waste that goes to landfill. The Council will face punitive fines if action is not taken which could make recent Council Tax increases look paltry in comparison. So, we do need to take action now. Stopping the collection of black bags sitting alongside the wheelie bins is an inconvenience that we have to accept.

Garden waste doesn't go to landfill. Encouraging people to compost more at home is an excellent idea but is not a panacea. A bin full of grass clippings will become very smelly and sludge-filled. There is a knack to effective composting that most people (including me) will not be fully aware of. The £35 per bag charge seemed to appear from nowhere rather than as a result of detailed modelling and research. The communication of the changes has been woefully inadequate. The charge is supposed to cover the new kerbside glass collection. However with only 3000 bags sold at the last count, there will be a big hole in the figures. This will be exacerbated by the need to open a new facility at Beddington Lane for residents to take their own garden waste. This is costing the Council about £5000 per week. We have called for the scheme to be halted whilst the Council go back to the drawing board and consult residents.


Anonymous said...

Paul - the collection of black sacks has NOT been stopped. Did you not see my letter in the Guardian? Colin Hall has assured me, in writing, that if people do not have wheelie bins, they can leave up to two sacks out for collection.

Agree with every word you say on the disastrous garden waste collection. It is a complete and utter travesty. Trust Tony Shields to make it look like a load of balls!

Unknown said...


When I referred to the black sacks alongside the wheelie bins, I was referring to side waste. If you have a wheelie bin, then that is all that will be collected. I am pleased to say that we ensured that an open bin policy was not implemented. This means that we will not get ourselves into the situation that they did in Scotland where someone was taken to court for filling their bin too high and being fined because their bin wouldn't quite close.

As you say, black bags will still be collected from those homes where it is not practical to have wheelie bins.

Anonymous said...

While it is admirable to be environmentally sound in policy, measures such as this are doomed to failure when they are abitrarily inflicted on the residents. Mind you, the national government gets away with that ethos all the time so I guess Local Authorities can as well!

Suspect it may be short lived though. Less than two years to election time!

Anonymous said...

so let me get this straight..people are paying 35quid for half of what they used to get for FREE?