It looks like Redbridge Council is to introduce a £50 annual fee for door-to-door collection of garden waste – just weeks after it was decided to axe the wintertime collection.
The fee could be introduced from April 2017, meaning next week’s collection could be the very last of its kind. If the plan is agreed, householders who pay the fee would not use the green bags as they currently do, but would instead be given 50 biodegradable sacks. If they need more they would have to pay extra for them.
The plans are due to be discussed next week at a council committee. The councillor responsible for environment and sustainability, Cllr John Howard, said the garden waste collections cost £2m a year to run, and said that introducing a charge would put Redbridge in line with most local authorities.
In fact Redbridge’s neighbouring councils offer a mixed picture. Waltham Forest Council and Newham Council make no charge for garden waste collection. Barking and Dagenham have however just stopped their collection and are consulting on introducing a fee (“as offered in neighbouring boroughs”!). Only Havering Council currently charges a fee – £35 a year, for which residents can either have biodegradable bags or a wheelie bin.
Cllr Howard said: “We know that the garden waste service is something that residents really value and we don’t want to take it away completely, but the only way to keep the service running while we are under such immense financial pressure is to consider a charge to the service.”
The news comes as the council also announced it would not be funding the replacement of dead or dying street trees, as reported here. And it comes just after the announcement that the council was seeking to build a swimming pool in Wanstead.