Residents see red at new green proposals
7:40am Thursday 17th October 2013 in Latest News
PLANS to change recycling days and to bring in a new charge for green waste have been met with condemnation by residents across the town.
Swindon Council’s cabinet will vote on Wednesday on whether a consultation debating refuse collections, which could save the authority more than £1m, should be launched.
Under the proposals, people’s recycling, which includes plastic, paper and tins, will be picked up once every two weeks – putting £520,000 back into the council’s kitty by reducing refuse vans and cutting down on contractual staff paid for by the council.
And residents will no longer have green plastic bags for their green waste but will instead pay £35 for a wheelie bin and then an extra £35 annual fee to have their refuse collected.
It is hoped this will claw back £635,000 for the council. The authority collects 9,700 tonnes of green waste annually with around 60 per cent of people in Swindon using the service.
Around 103 local authorities charge for their green waste pick up out of 302 across the country.
Colin Doubleday, of Old Town, said he thought the new charge was ridiculous and said he did not think he would pay the fee – resulting in him using his car to drive to the tip which he says will be bad for the environment.
“Green waste collection is the type of thing you expect your council to do, it doesn’t feel like an extra service,” said Colin.
“Significantly everyone is going to suffer, by more people using their cars to drive to the tip or by more people fly tipping their rubbish.”
He said the change to his recycling service would not affect him but he knows neighbours who do fill their boxes weekly.
The Labour Group Leader, Councillor Jim Grant, said: “I think what this has shown is that the Conservative’s four bags per household green waste strategy has failed, but changes to the collection service will be a source of frustration to residents. And what they are proposing is another charge to hardworking families while they are already struggling with their cost of living.
“Because of the cuts the government are making everybody understands the Council needs to save money, but disturbing hardworking families’ with their recycling collection and charging them extra while they are struggling with their cost of living surely isn’t the answer.”
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