Brent Council’s £850k bin blowout over controversial ‘green tax’

Thousands of green waste bins will be disposed of in the borough

Thousands of green waste bins will be disposed of in the borough - Credit: Archant

Council chiefs estimate that just one in seven households in Brent will pay its controversial ‘green tax’ resulting in the disposal of bins costing up to £850,000.

The town hall predicts that 10,000 out of the current 70,000 properties who use the organic waste bins will pay the annual £40 charge to have it emptied from next month.

As some properties share their bins the council believe they will have to remove between 40,000 – 50,000 bins from homes that refuse to pay the levy.

The bins cost £17 each when they were bought in 2003 resulting in hundreds and thousands of pounds worth being scrapped once the scheme is introduced.

The revelation has angered critics of the scheme who claim the scheme is a waste of taxpayer’s money.

Martin Francis, Wembley residents and spokesman for the Brent Green Party, said the charge was daft and environmentally damaging.

He told the Times: “It certainly looks as if Brent Council is going to end up with a mountain of redundant green bins, perhaps stacked up in Veolia’s (the contractors) depots in our parks.

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“The green bin tax is unpopular and likely to result in more garden waste burned in back gardens impacting on air quality, garden waste dumped in the street, increasing fly tipping or even more ‘low maintenance gardens’ concreted over with little vegetation.

“If few houses in any street actually opt in to the £40 collection what are the economics of sending lorry and labour around to serve just a few households?

”It’s a daft and potentially environmentally damaging policy change.”

Under the changes, household waste would be collected fortnightly from March to November and once a month between December and February.

Paul Lorber, former Sudbury councillor and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Brent North, called the scheme a waste of money.

He said: “I challenge the council to scrap the £40 charge until they devise a way of recouping the value of tens of thousands of the bins currently outside resident’s homes.

“It would seem that councillors failed to plan for the disposal of these surplus bins in the hope that no one would notice that a vast amount of taxpayer’s money will be lost.

“This is another scandal of a massive waste of taxpayer’s money.”

A council spokeswoman said: “As some properties share bins, we estimate around 40 - 50,000 bins will need to be removed.

The bins were purchased through grant funding many years ago and many of the bins that will be collected will be kept in storage to be used when additional residents sign up to the garden waste service, thereby reducing the cost to the taxpayer by not having to purchase new bins.”

Related link: Town hall bosses give green light to controversial ‘garden tax’