'New bin tax is costing us money' - fury at £650,000 cost of green waste cuts in South Gloucestershire

Councillors Ben Stokes and Steve Reade are furious at the cost of implementing the green bin charge

Councillors Ben Stokes and Steve Reade are furious at the cost of implementing the green bin charge

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting against a green ‘bin tax’ in South Gloucestershire are outraged at spiralling costs of implementing the new opt-in service.

The cost of bringing in a controversial £36 annual subscription service for residents' green bins to be emptied fortnightly is now £650,000, intensifying protestors’ fight for the scheme to be scrapped.

Cllr Ian Adams (Con, Siston and Warmley) said the costs to the council were ‘completely avoidable’.

He added: “You couldn't make it up - this new bin tax is costing money, rather than saving it.

“It's not too late to axe this bin tax and actually save local residents' money in the process."

The £649,000 estimated cost of implementing the scheme includes £111,000 for new ‘in cab technology’ in SITA bin lorries so drivers know which households are paying the tax.

A further £214,000 will be spent on writing off the cost of unwanted lorries, according to figures released by the council’s waste department.

But the largest amount will be spent on collecting (£114,000), storing (£140,000) and disposing of (£70,000) unwanted green bins.

Derek Parry, of Combermere in Thornbury, had complained that unwanted bins would not be collected until October.

He said: “This makes me even more wary over why they have done a U-turn on recycling. A lot of people I have spoken to say the whole thing is a backward step, especially when they only introduced the dual twin bin system in 2004”.

He added: “There must be other councils looking for green bins so why not give ours to them and save on the storage costs?”

The cost of the service has risen from an estimated £560,000 to £620,000 last September.

Boyd Valley Conservative councillors Steve Reade and Ben Stokes said: "Households will be horrified to know that at a time when money is tight this flawed bin tax is costing them a whopping £650,000 to put in place.

“So not only will this damaging policy decrease recycling rates, increase fly tipping and worsen the cost of living, but it isn't even raising any money and is actually costing money to put in place."

But the council said the costs would be cancelled out by the savings, expected to be £1.2million a year, of the scheme and the take-up rate of 28,000 meant costs may be less than originally estimated.

A spokesman said: "With the changes now operational, we are confident that the implementation costs will be consistent with our original estimates and may in fact prove to be lower once we begin the process of collecting unwanted green bins this October.

"The estimates also include a one-off cost for the disposal of unneeded waste collection vehicles and this cost could also be reduced significantly if these vehicles are reused elsewhere within SITA’s fleet."

A petition signed by 4,000 people against the charge has been handed to the council and will be discussed at a communities committee meeting on June 4.

Comments (9)

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7:29am Thu 17 Apr 14

CD1971 says...

Why on earth did they not just reduce the service so collections are made between April and October which would have been a far more realistic service to provide. The amount of dumped garden waste I have seen on my way to work over the last week is unbelievable!

It seems impossible for South Glos Council to make sensible decisions about spending our money. If there is a more complicated and expensive way to implement something they will do it that way just like Government!
Why on earth did they not just reduce the service so collections are made between April and October which would have been a far more realistic service to provide. The amount of dumped garden waste I have seen on my way to work over the last week is unbelievable! It seems impossible for South Glos Council to make sensible decisions about spending our money. If there is a more complicated and expensive way to implement something they will do it that way just like Government! CD1971
  • Score: 7

12:19pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Thornburyboy says...

The problem with most politicians, including local councillors, is that they seem genetically disposed towards spending other peoples money rather than saving it. Coupled with the unshakeable but irrational view that they know better than the rest of us, the result is the terrible state of the nation's finances.
The problem with most politicians, including local councillors, is that they seem genetically disposed towards spending other peoples money rather than saving it. Coupled with the unshakeable but irrational view that they know better than the rest of us, the result is the terrible state of the nation's finances. Thornburyboy
  • Score: 6

7:11pm Thu 17 Apr 14

charliegrove says...

Ummm, seriously? The council papers said upfront costs of about £600k, savings over £1m. You're now saying costs of just over £600k and you said last week about 20k signups, at £36 each makes £720k.

So basically Tories cant read their papers & can't count that the costs are already paid for.
Ummm, seriously? The council papers said upfront costs of about £600k, savings over £1m. You're now saying costs of just over £600k and you said last week about 20k signups, at £36 each makes £720k. So basically Tories cant read their papers & can't count that the costs are already paid for. charliegrove
  • Score: -2

8:27am Fri 18 Apr 14

Exolvestonresident says...

Agree charliegrove, by my maths that means even with the fairly low take up they have covered their costs, or am I missing something? If they stuck £36 on people's bill and kept the same service noone would have complained. Personally I like the chance to pick and choose what services I want and pay for. With a small garden I am not bothered why should I pay the same as people with hugh gardens? And its not covered by bandings, many low bands such as older council or ex council properties have hugh gardens.
Agree charliegrove, by my maths that means even with the fairly low take up they have covered their costs, or am I missing something? If they stuck £36 on people's bill and kept the same service noone would have complained. Personally I like the chance to pick and choose what services I want and pay for. With a small garden I am not bothered why should I pay the same as people with hugh gardens? And its not covered by bandings, many low bands such as older council or ex council properties have hugh gardens. Exolvestonresident
  • Score: 1

10:06am Fri 18 Apr 14

Thornburyboy says...

I agree with Exolvestonresident on the point of picking and choosing which services I want and am willing to pay for but the whole system would collapses if, for example, all the childless people opted out of the biggest single item of expenditure - education.
I agree with Exolvestonresident on the point of picking and choosing which services I want and am willing to pay for but the whole system would collapses if, for example, all the childless people opted out of the biggest single item of expenditure - education. Thornburyboy
  • Score: 2

10:56am Fri 18 Apr 14

Exolvestonresident says...

Good point thornburboy, obviously certain essential services would need to be compulsory. It's a fine line and who would decide but maybe worth considering?
Good point thornburboy, obviously certain essential services would need to be compulsory. It's a fine line and who would decide but maybe worth considering? Exolvestonresident
  • Score: 1

11:00am Fri 18 Apr 14

Thornburyboy says...

Perhaps the answer is that the local authority should be restricted to essential services and prohibited from undertaking discretionary services - ie stop the empire builders.
Perhaps the answer is that the local authority should be restricted to essential services and prohibited from undertaking discretionary services - ie stop the empire builders. Thornburyboy
  • Score: 0

8:41am Tue 22 Apr 14

Hogwarts says...

The collection of green waste has always been paid for through the council rates according to the banding of the property. It will now cost £36 regardless of whether you live in a 2-bed terraced or a 6-bed detached. Where do these councillors get the socialist principles from?
The collection of green waste has always been paid for through the council rates according to the banding of the property. It will now cost £36 regardless of whether you live in a 2-bed terraced or a 6-bed detached. Where do these councillors get the socialist principles from? Hogwarts
  • Score: -2

5:30pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Exolvestonresident says...

Hogwarts because a bin is a bin regardless as to whether its at the end of a drive leading to a mansion or in a bin storage at the bottom of a high rise flat.
Hogwarts because a bin is a bin regardless as to whether its at the end of a drive leading to a mansion or in a bin storage at the bottom of a high rise flat. Exolvestonresident
  • Score: 1

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