I appeared live on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this morning, to express my disgust at the 15% increase to the charge for kerbside collections of garden wast (aka brown bins).
Peterborough City Council leaders have no idea how people live.
At this rate, everyone with a small garden will simply pave over it to avoid the problem of garden waste disposal, while our populations of garden birds and hedgehogs will continue to decrease dramatically, as is the case in London.
Meanwhile, back in the real world...
People on lower incomes in rented accommodation are compelled by the terms of their tenancy agreement to keep they gardens in good order. For many, this increase to £45 per year will simply be more than they can manage on their tight household budget. This is a service the council should provide for free (rather, it should be paid for via our council tax, which, we are also informed, will rise by 6% this year) as we're not encouraged to light bonfires any more.
We will see an increase in fly tipped brown bins and fly tipped garden waste that introduces inappropriate nutrients and non-native specious to our precious woodland.
Residents with large houses and large gardens may well be able to afford the charge. Perhaps Peterborough City Council might consider introducing it for households that can reasonably afford to pay, e.g. band D properties and above.
And residents who cannot afford to pay may be better off composting their garden waste and selling it. You can get a composting bin for less than £10 and lots of good advice from getcomposting.com.
Over-priced and unreliable
It's not as if the city council's brown bin service is even reliable.
I recently helped Orton resident Nell to get the council to empty her brown bin after they repeatedly failed to deliver the service she had paid for. Why should residents who have shelled out for this service then have to deal with the hassle of chasing the council to deliver the service they have paid for?
|I helped Nell to get her brown bin emptied after the council let her down|
It's a Garden Tax
It's time to call the brown bin collection charge what it is: a tax on having a garden.
I daresay Peterborough City Council will push ahead with this increase regardless of how residents' feel about it, but its aspiration to be an 'environmental city' really is nonsense.