Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
Opinion piece by Highland Green Candidates for the forthcoming local elections.
The news that the Highland Council will charge an extra £30 for the collection of green waste is the thin end of the wedge for hard-pressed taxpayers.
It is disappointing that residents are being asked to to pay more. Whilst councils can charge for discretionary services like garden waste, such charges are often unpopular and can be counterproductive by reducing recycling.
The decision is short sighted as it will more than likely cost the Council in additional landfill costs, as well as additional administration costs.
It also unfairly discriminates against those on low incomes, disabled people and pensioners etc., who will struggle to afford this or get to the recycling centres.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to collect residents’ general refuse, but do not have to offer a free garden waste collection service. Up until now, the costs for this free service have been included as part of the waste collection service paid through council tax.
The £30 charge for brown bins is likely to reduce their use and mean that more people put their green waste in with general waste adding to the staggering £4 million Highland Council currently spends on landfill.
The Highland Greens opposes the extra charge of £30 for brown bin collections. Charging extra only increases the likelihood of fly-tipping, or backyard bonfires polluting the air. This will lead to increased costs for the Council in the long run.
Some people may be able to compost more at home and provision of a compost bin instead for these people would make sense but for many people it is not practical and it seems a retrograde step.
Appropriate disposal of waste, including recycling green waste should be encouraged, and should not attract additional charges. Doing the right think for the environment can only ease pressure on the service.
Over 1000 people have signed the petition about this which can be found at: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-against-charge-for-uplifting-brown-bins
Pippa Hadley, Donnie Macleod, Anne Thomas, Russell Deacon, Chris Ballance, Vikki Trelfer, Sandra Owsnett, Topher Dawson
Green Party Candidates for Badenoch and Strathspey, Culloden and Ardersier, Inverness Millburn, Inverness Central, Aird and Loch Ness, Black Isle, Thurso and Northwest Caithness, Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh