|Green waste dumped by the roadside in Birmingham|
The KilburnTimes LINK is reporting that the Council's proposed charge for recycling green waste revealed on this blog last week will be an annual fee of £40.
Brent councillors and officers would be wise to look at what happened in Birmimgham in May when a £35 charge was introduced by that Labour Council.
Initially only 20,000 of the city's 400,000 households signed up to pay the charge and there were mile long queues of angry drivers at city recycling depots LINK
Green waste was fly-tipped by residents wanting to avoid the charge and it became an issue in the local elections.
Just before the election bin men were allegedy told to clear up all the dumped green waste according to the Birmingham Mail LINK:
But now binmen have allegedly been told to clear the streets of ALL abandoned green waste this weekend, whether householders have paid for the controversial scheme or not.The proposed charges follow the awarding of the multi-million Public Realm contract to Veolia which is due to take parks maintenance from next month in addition to recycling, residual waste collection, street sweeping and BHP grounds maintenance. Councillors claimed at the time that the new contract would save public money and there was no mention of introducing charges for basic services.
Senior GMB shop steward Paul Langley, based at Perry Barr depot, told the Mail: “All the dumped garden rubbish is going to be picked up this weekend – just before the election.
“Our overtime has been cut and now our crews are being told to collect it all. It means the 40,000 people who have paid for a green waste bin and those who have simply dumped their rubbish are getting the same service.
“I have just spoken to a manager and he has confirmed it.”
This opens the way for other charges for basic services in addition to what we pay in Council Tax.
At the same time as introducing this charge the Council is also considering landlord licensing which amongst other things is aimed at the 'anti-social' issue of untidy and poorly maintained front gardens. The £40 charge hardly seems an incentive to tackle this issue.
And of course we have the Council's anti-fly tipping campaign while this policy looks likely to increase the amount of illegal fly-tipping adding garden waste to the builders' waste currently common on our streets.
Cllr Perrin, new lead member for the environment needs to look at this again.