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Garden waste charges a "tax for doing the right thing" - do you think changes are needed?

PUBLISHED: 14:58 20 February 2019

the governments new waste strategy could make all garden waste collection free - but councils argue the service has to be

the governments new waste strategy could make all garden waste collection free - but councils argue the service has to be "fully funded" to work Picture: GREGG BROWN

Campaigners behind a motion calling for garden waste collection charges to be scrapped in a Suffolk district described subscription fees as a "tax" on people for doing the right thing.

Labour councillor Luke Cresswell submitted a formal motion to Babergh District Council’s full council meeting on Tuesday, February 19, calling for the £55 annual charge for garden waste bin collection to be axed.

“It’s strange to tax people for doing the right thing,” he said.

“We need to discuss such an important issue and make changes to our recycling.

“Much of this is behavioural but we as a council must have a bigger role,

John Ward, Babergh leader, questioned how a free garden waste service would be financed. 
Picture: PAUL NIXON/BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILJohn Ward, Babergh leader, questioned how a free garden waste service would be financed. Picture: PAUL NIXON/BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

“Unless we do more to protect our county, and do it soon, it will be too late and the affects would be devastating.

“Is this council doing enough at the moment? I would say this is a resounding no.”

The matter will be debated by the council’s cabinet at a future meeting.

Currently, all councils in Suffolk charge an annual garden waste collection fee with the exception of Ipswich.

But the motion has led to questions as to whether the system is wrong, and that free garden waste bins would encourage people to recycle garden waste.

Conservative council leader John Ward did not make a representation during Tuesday’s meeting on the matter, but had previously questioned how a free service would be funded.

He added: “I would urge some caution regarding making the brown bins free.

“Not everyone uses or needs this service and it is right that those who do should pay for it: it is extremely popular and it is self-financing.”

Do you think garden waste charges should be axed to encourage more people to use them or remain to stop cutbacks in other vital service areas?

Should people be charged for the amount of black bin waste they produce to encourage a switch to buying products in recyclable packaging, or would it lead to increased flytipping?

Share your thoughts in our poll online now.

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