‘Encouraging’ start to green waste scheme
Horsham District Council is confident the new paid-for green waste service will be popular with residents despite a petition opposing it.
By the end of May people wishing to continue with the fortnightly green waste collection will need to have paid £29 for the service.
Despite a petition signed by nearly 300 people,the scheme is already proving popular.
Cabinet member for the environment Andrew Baldwin (Con, Holbrook East) said: “I think it’s very encouraging that within 48 hours of it going live we’ve had more than 500 people sign up.”
Roger Arthur (Con, Chanctonbury), HDC cabinet member for efficiency and resources, told the County Times this week that the opt-in scheme was a good deal for residents since neighbouring councils charge between £38 and £72.
He said: “In terms of benchmarking it, we have done what is affordable and covers the cost of the service. We introduced this for free in 2004.
“Residents have had a free scheme while every other local authorities in West Sussex made a charge for it.
“We were in the position to do that then, but not now. We are now getting £2.5m a year less in Government grants compared with then.”
People can sign up by direct debit or make a one off payment of £29 by debit or credit card. The charge is flat rate for the year ending March 2014 so if someone decides to sign up in July, it will cost the same as if they registered today.
Second bins are available to buy from the council for £43.40 and an annual charge of £15 will apply for it to be emptied.
Neighbours can also share a bin as long as it is registered with one householder who is responsible for paying. It will only be collected from their address.
They will receive a sticker for their brown lidded bin, which will display their address and any green lidded bins found to contain garden waste will not be collected.
And there is no evidence to suggest more waste will be fly tipped or sent to landfill.
Operational services manager Dave Robertson said: “We spoke to a number of other authorities and there was no increase in fly tipping when they introduced charges.
“We have a team that deals with fly tipping and we will take enforcement action. For the most part fly-tipping is commercial, very little is by households.”
For information about recycling go to www.recycleforsussex.org and to sign up to the scheme go to www.horsham.gov.uk/gwsignup or call HDC on 01403 739459.