Tuesday, 17 June 2008

A Rubbish Argument

I just don't get it. This whole debacle over Sutton Council's recently-introduced £35 per bag per year fee for collecting garden waste. I just don't get it!

The reasoning behind Sutton Council's imposition of the fee is simple - to cut down the number of gas-guzzling lorries trundling around the borough picking up garden waste that could quite easily be composted at home (in a compost bin available free of charge from the Council).

I seem to be alone in my confusion over why this has become such an issue - the Sutton Guardian has led with front-page condemnation of these new charges and their readers have been just as vociferous in their condemnation of the charges:

"What are [old ladies] supposed to do with their garden waste if they can't afford the outrageous £35 per bag per year charge? They can't walk that to the dump" rants one reader on the newspaper's forum.

As one who has contendly composted all of my garden waste for the past four years and never once had recourse to the council's garden waste bags, the wrath and rage of local residents is a mystery to me.

If you have a garden, you can have a compost bin. If you are fit enough to do cut the grass and rake up leaves then you are fit enough to put them into said compost bin.

Granted, I only have a small garden and so generate only a small amount of garden waste. But then if my garden was double the size then I'd have plenty of space for the extra compost bin. Clever, huh?

As militant Sutton residents leave their garden waste at the kerbside in 'open defiance' of the new scheme or clog the roads around the local refuse centre, I am left bewildered.

If you can't be bothered to compost your own waste and want the luxury of kerbside collections then that's your perogative - but it's only fair that you alone should foot the bill for this service.

Meantime, neither myself nor my compost bin can understand what the fuss is all about.

Perhaps you can explain?

11 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised there's outrage.
£35 a year for a bag ?? Epsom & Ewell will give you a lovely brown wheelie bin for only £30. Residents of Sutton, come to the other side !!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a phobia of worms does that excuse me?

Ian Morris said...

Maybe I've also missed something here, but if people don't want to pay £35/bag or even want to compost their garden waste, could they not just put their garden waste into their normal brown wheely bins with all their other waste? Its not like the council check what we're putting in them.

j_lo said...

The council probably do spot checks but if you put your garden waste in a black bag, then pop that in your bin, you should be okay.

Anonymous said...

I am apoplectic with rage at having come home to discover my brand new bags have been stolen from the front garden after my first collection! It wont even do anyone any good, as its your address that is registered for collection, its not like the council tour the streets looking for the green bags

Jan said...

Well I'm one of those with a tiny garden mostly patio and borders so I generate maximum 4 bags a year which works out at £9 a bag. I'm not an OAP but I can't afford it. I have no access to a car nor any friendly neighbours who have offered a trip to the dump. I happily walk my glass to the recycle bins (I don't even have enough to fill the silly blue bin), I recycle textiles, shoes etc etc. On the subject of composters I could only fit a tiny one in and a hand-turning one is £160! Also where is there a facility to get rid of misc ellaneous bits that are simply too heavy/big for the bins and the dustmen won't take i.e. old oil radiator, kitchen units etc etc . Didn't they used to leave skips before?

Sue H said...

I think there are genuine problem with this. We have a medium sized mature garden and have had two composters for years. However sticks and other bulky cuttings do not compost in a reasonable time and I produce easily two bags a week of non-compostable garden waste. What's more, putting the lovely compost back on the garden makes it grow faster and faster .. I don't mind paying for one bag, but I need more and can see it would be a big problem to others. My dad would have had a big bonfire, but nowadays that is seen as a nuisance. Perhaps on November 5th?

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps, who cares?!

Anonymous said...

House hold waste centers allow you to drop off your garden waste for free (5 minute drive). You can even get free compost!

You can also take all your other crap there like old shelfs, tvs/electronics, batteries and other items which you can't put/fit into your normal bins and they will take that for free to and recycle whatever they can. Our nearest is:
Kimpton Park Way
http://www.sutton.gov.uk/environment/wasteandrecycling/reuseandrecyclingcentre.htm

Why does nobody ever know this?theres always and old TV/matress at the end of washington road.

Anonymous said...

Washington road takes the pits.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried going to the Kimpton recycling centre recently? When I last tried the queue was almost back to the main road, which from experience is going to be about a 45 minute wait...... 45 minutes times 'x' number of cars churning fumes into the atmosphere?? Very green..... :(

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