Making green waste fairer

Should 77% of residents pay for a service they can’t and/or don’t use? 

This was the question the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition asked itself about green waste collections.  About 15,000 (23%) of Reading’s households have a green bin.  Therefore 77% not using the service have been subsidising it.

The greenest option is to home compost; an RBC-run service is not a must-have, so I think it is fair to give residents the choice to opt in – or out.  Those who opt in will be charged £22.50 (£7.50/bag).  The service costs £321,000 to run.  This charge works out at 46 p a week or 92 p a fortnight, which compares favourably to other authorities.  Alternatively residents can opt out and either take their green waste to the Civic Amenity Site or compost at home.  The last collections for those opting out will be in late May.

Many people in my Ward are incredibly hard up and don’t have a garden, so I am very pleased they will not have to fork out for a service they can’t use.  The Conservative-led administration’s policy is to protect and improve services that are for everybody’s benefit like libraries, leisure centres and swimming pools, eg extended library opening times in Palmer Park and a refurbished swimming pool.  This is in sharp contrast to Labour-controlled Manchester which you can read about here where Labour has closed libraries, swimming pools and leisure centres.

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10 Responses to Making green waste fairer

  1. Ed says:

    I think that’s pretty fair, considering the difficult financial times we find ourselves in.

    I use the service and I’d rather pay £22 ish pounds than see other things cut or council tax have to rise to cover the cost.

  2. adrian windisch says:

    Unfortunately some will now put green waste in the landfill bin, which will cost the council more money. A bit more consultation would have helped.

  3. Adrian, was it fair that those without a garden have been subsidising green waste collections?
    There isn’t anything particular ‘green’ about RBC’s Green waste collections: it is used to top off landfill. That was what the Labour administration signed up to.
    I hope you will agree that composting at home is the greenest option!

  4. Steve says:

    Sorry Wazir I disagree with this. Those with bigger gardens tend to already pay more council tax as their houses tend to be bigger. This is just making people pay twice

    I agree with Adrian, people will just put it in their landfill bins

    • Steve, the point is residents have the choice: to use the service or not.
      The greenest option is to have a compost heap in your own garden.
      If residents choose not to pay for the service but can’t compost everything at home, they can take their green waste to the Civic Amenity Site.
      Why should residents be forced to pay for a non-essential service they can’t use?
      I think the kind of people who have green bins care about the environment so would not want to put their green waste in landfill.

      • Steve says:

        Sorry Wazir, as already stated, my council tax bill (which is a lot more than some other houses) should cover this.

        Plus I’m sure £20 is only the starting point. £50 next year? £200 the year after ?

      • Steve, one of my responsibilities on top of being a Ward councillor is sitting on Parenting Panel (not open to the public because of the sensitive work we do as Corporate Parents for the town’s vulnerable children). I don’t think anyone would disagree that this service is essential.
        In contrast however, green waste collections are a non-essential service and, as I’ve said before are not that ‘green’. An important service we are introducing is a kerb-side collection of batteries. As you may know, the chemicals in batteries are extremely harmful to the environment and so the easier we make it for people to recycle their batteries the better.

  5. adrian windisch says:

    To encourage green behavior. At the moment many things are subsidised but I dont hear Conservatives changing them. Airplane flights, nuclear power, why even health and education for under 18 s. Some things we should subsidise for the benefit of all.

    • Adrian
      Thanks to Labour the country is spending £120 million a day in interest payments on the debt they stacked up. Green waste collections are not really all that green here in Reading, and certainly are not essential. I try to encourage people to have a compost heap in their garden. As you know it doesn’t have to cost much to make one and it helps fertilise your vegetables and plants! Would you rather close libraries and/or leisure centres to have everybody subsidise the green waste collections?

  6. Anna says:

    I think 94p a fortnight is a reasonable charge. I’ll be paying as I want my garden cuttings and grass taken away. I do compost as well but can’t compost everything.
    Very pleased that the library is open at lunchtimes.

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