In an earlier edition of the Gazette, Councillor Moira Smith states and I quote “Let me be clear, there is no obligation to sign up to the green waste service”.
Yes, the majority of residents have grasped that. What she fails to mention is that residents who have already signed up believing it was obligatory, or have since changed their minds have 14 working days from date of payment to cancel the service and will receive a full refund.
She goes on to state and I quote “the introduction of green waste collections ten years ago has helped the council reduce landfill and boost recycling targets. We are delighted that so many people have already signed up to a service which allows them to do their bit for the environment and always encourage our residents to be environmentally conscious”.
What about our moral obligation? After all, it was she that stated “I would urge people to also show the planet some love and recycle as much as they can. It makes sense to think green”.
That goes without saying. Yes, it was a very wise decision by the council to introduce the green bins.
This charge will have an adverse impact on recycling of garden waste and has negated the very reason it was introduced in the first place. It matters more now than it did 10 years ago to reduce landfill and boost recycling. Failure to meet recycling targets and reduce the amount going to landfill by the council could leave it facing penalties. This is only one of the reasons why the council is anxious to increase the numbers. According to reports 10,000 have already signed up. They have obviously done so to qualify for the discount and maybe they have taken the option to pay £65 for three years to qualify for a further discount. If this is the case it equates to £650,000 already collected by the council which exceeds its target £500,000 a year.
Food for thought: Gateshead Council is increasing the charge for 2017.
It has stated: “The increased charge will help us to cover our costs and ensure that we are able to continue providing the service in the coming year”.
This will, without doubt, be mirrored by our council in the future.
Mr K Rossiter