Brent residents face fee for green waste collection as council reveals plans for £53m worth of cuts
- Credit: Archant
Residents in Brent will be charged for the collection of their green waste if council chiefs approve a new scheme which will save them £400,000 a year.
The proposals have been drawn up as the newly elected Labour-run council reveals it must make £53million worth of cuts in the next two years.
Currently the cost of the fortnightly collection is included in the council tax bill but under the proposals an annual fee of £40 would be imposed for every household.
If the scheme goes ahead residents who refuse to pay the fee will have their green bins taken away.
According to the council some of the income generated from the scheme will be used to fund an increase in the collection of other recyclables such as glass and paper from fortnightly to weekly.
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Chris Whyte, the council’s head of recycling and waste, told the Times the charge is in line with neighbouring Ealing Council.
He said that the borough currently produces 100,000 tonnes of waste, 60 per cent of which goes to landfill sites costing the council just under £7m a year so the scheme aims to lower that cost.
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He added: “It is about changing they way we collect our waste to improve recycling but also to pay for that by charging for our garden waste service.
“It is about promoting waste reduction. We will give more people the opportunity to recycle food waste.”
As part of the plans, every household will also be provided with a kitchen caddie and an outdoor container to recycle food scraps –which would be collected on a weekly basis free of charge.
He continued: “It is more convenient for people, there has also been a suggestion that because the recycling has been collected every two weeks, people have been more tempted to fly tip. By providing as more frequent service, there is less incentive to do that.”
Those receiving pensions credit, income support and job seeker’s allowance will be entitled to 20 per cent off the charge of the service.
Residents can avoid the fee completely by taking their green waste directly to Brent Reuse and Recycling Centre, in Abbey Road, without charge.
Former Lib Dem councillor for Dollis Hill Alison Hopkins has dubbed the proposals as “ludicrous.”
She said: “Instead of recycling, people will start putting their green waste in their grey bins, so the garden waste will ultimately end up in landfills sites.
“We do not need a weekly collection of blue recycling bin. I think it is a sneaky way of increasing council tax without going through the formal process.”
A week after winning the local elections, Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, warned residents that council tax bills may rise.
He said: “I have frozen council tax for five years running.
“Funding from revenue support is decreasing all the time but demands for our services are increasing. We may need to review council tax.”
The plans for the charges will be discussed at the next cabinet meeting on July 21.
If approved it will start in March next year.