by Prue Bray on 7 March, 2012
What new bin collection arrangements do I hear you saying?
They start on 1st April. But nobody seems to know about them – or if they do they are confused as to the details. Hopefully BBC Radio Berks has helped to spread the word a bit this morning by featuring the changes on the Andrew Peach show.
The thing is once people DO find out what’s going on, almost to a man and a woman they are not very happy about it.
So what are the changes?
Let’s start with the easy bit, describing what’s going to happen.
First, your normal rubbish. Probably you put it out in a black sack once a week. Well, from April the Conservatives have decided you will have to put it out in a blue sack, supplied to you by the Council. Rolls of 80 bags – a year’s supply – have started arriving on doorsteps across the Borough. Families of more than 4 will be able to request an extra quota of bags. If you need more, you will have to buy them from the council, at a cost of £4 for 10.
Then, recycling. The black boxes continue, with the same limited range of recyclables, but they will be collected every week instead of every fortnight. There is to be a recycling incentive scheme. The precise details of what the rewards will be are not yet known. What is known is that you have to register for it, and then it appears you need to ring up every week to report that you have recycled. The rewards are to be based on recycling rates across the Borough. There does not appear to be any way to check what an individual or a family actually recycle.
And finally, garden waste. Green waste is one of a few parts of waste collection that councils are allowed to charge for – although they are not supposed to make money from it. The existing free green bag scheme is being abolished. Instead you can pay £60 a year to have a wheelie bin, which will be emptied fortnightly, or £1 a time for a paper bag, which will also be collected fortnightly.
Oh, and the day on which your rubbish is collected may be about to change.
With me so far?
Here are the top 3 things I think are wrong with this. There is only 1 thing that’s right – and that’s trying to reduce the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill. There are actually far more than 3 things that are wrong, but you don’t really want to read a 5 page essay, do you?
1 The council says it will not take rubbish away unless it is in their blue bag, and that rubbish put out in black sacks will not be removed. So are they planning to leave it on the side of the road? They won’t necessarily know whose black sack it is. If they don’t take it away, imagine the mess after foxes and magpies have got at it. And if they do take it away? People will realise they can continue to put out black sacks….
2 £60 for the garden waste scheme is too much. The wheelie bin only costs the council £25, and they only have to supply it once. If you choose the bags, at £1 each, well, they only cost the council 15p. There are no concessions for people on low incomes. That is a lot more than many other councils charge. They are pricing the service above what most people seem prepared to pay – meaning it isn’t going to work.
3 The recycling incentive scheme won’t incentivise anyone. Why would it? You can recycle a cereal box or recycle 3 full black boxes and you will get the same reward. And with no way of checking who has recycled what, there is tremendous scope for the unscrupulous to claim rewards they are not entitled to.
The decision to change was made by the Conservatives some time ago, without consultation. Had they consulted before doing it, they might have found these problems at a time when it was still possible to change the scheme. But no…..
Would it be too much to say Wokingham’s new bin collection arrangements are a bit….. rubbish?4 Comments