Today, Tuesday 8 November, Redbridge council announced proposed “changes” (council speak for cuts) to the much loved and much used Green Waste kerbside collection service. And since Redbridge council is well known for adopting “best practice” from other councils this could well be the first step to charging; as they do in many other London boroughs like Havering and Croydon.
Which is strange really as the jewel in the crown of this Labour administration has been the free bulky waste collection service, funded and designed to stop fly-tipping; like the half a tree that has been dumped on the green in Atherton Road for the last few weeks. People, usually those “not in the know”, dump green waste too.
It’s a bit of a problem for the council as the funding has, apparently, run out – although funding is always available and can be found for “pet projects”. What I hope we are not witnessing here is the start of a gradual, bit by bit approach towards a charged service - as we know with bulky waste, when you charge you get fly-tipping.
The thin end of the wedge proposals to be discussed at the Neighbourhoods Service Committee on Wednesday 16 November are to cut the service in the winter months and provide three Sunday collection points with ours at Fullwell Cross car park.
While Councillor John Howard may extol the virtues of composting, and he is right to do so, not all garden waste is readily compostable on a home scale and needs a heavy duty shredder – things like my fir tree, hedge and pyracantha trimmings for example.
It may also be worth noting that one lorry driving down a road and picking up green waste is a lot less polluting than, say, 20 car journeys to and from a collection point and that Cllr Howard is also responsible for improving Air Quality in this borough which means reducing motorised traffic.
Green Johanna. She’s a compost bin with a difference and costs a whopping £104.99 but Redbridge residents get a 15% discount. She is a “hot composter” and, apparently, “recycles garden and food waste (even cooked food, bones, meat and fish) into natural organic compost”. And, I’m told, she’s rodent proof.
Me, I’ve got a 900 litre Thermo King and I still use the kerbside garden waste collection service, even in winter …
Here's the official press release.