Readers discuss the council’s controversial garden waste plans
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Readers discussed council plans to introduce charges for green waste collection across North Somerset.
The council agreed to start charging £50 a year for each 240-litre green bin it empties while promoting home composting in a bid to cut carbon emissions.
Council leader Don Davies said the authority had 'little room to manoeuvre' after 'years of cuts and council-tax freezes brought on by political decisions of past administrations'.
Speaking at the executive meeting on January 7, deputy council leader Mike Bell said: "We can't justify subsidising a garden-waste collection service which only benefits a minority of residents when we're having to cut frontline services in social care and children's services and other things residents say are important to them. No one is going to be forced to pay.
"We're trying to find options like home composting, social composting. We need to take this decision and make it as palatable as possible. The move is expected to save the council £450,000 a year."
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Many took to social media to share their views.
Colin Golland said: "I am totally against this charge. In the first place, we had to pay for the green bin.
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"The council's argument is some people don't have a garden so should not pay for the green waste collections.
"I don't have children so can I not pay for education?
"I am afraid it will lead to more carbon emissions as people will drive instead to the tip. The green waste lorries will still have to come around the same routes, as, if I opt out, my neighbours may decide to opt in. I understand totally the council need to balance the books, but this not one option that the executive should be considering."
Jayne Deborah Goodwin added: "Instead of looking to charge us for the green bins to be emptied, maybe you should give us all the composting bins free of charge.
"Then take a look at the amount of items that are being fly tipped because you insist on payment at the recycling centre. Open your eyes and see what other councils are doing around the country free of charge, and they are hitting their targets."
Sam Sammikins said: "They have been doing this for years in Gloucester and Cheltenham.
"Some people have started putting their weekly grass cuttings in the normal waste, which defeats the object of recycling. Our street has two houses signed up, but the whole street chips in on the cost and use the bins that are signed up to the scheme, so it make it cheaper for everyone."
Christine Annette Miller said: "When the council introduced this service, we had to buy green waste bins £25 each, and now they take away this service and ask us to pay £50 a year.
"There's no point trying to cut carbon emissions, the damage is already done. It will continue to get worse without the council cutting this service down."
Lyn Lovell said: "If they are charging, people are going to refuse to pay. They will pave over their gardens, which will cause more flooding because there will be no draining access.
"I would rather drive to the tip and get rid of my garden rubbish, but I am sure it will cause a lot more fly tipping."
Tony Dawson asked: "Where will it all end? It won't be long before the £50 annual charge will get hiked up annually. Next, they will want an annual charge for street lighting, police pensions, community litter picking, road sign cleaning, refuse collection, tip charging (already started) and cutting the grass on the road verges, even though they won't actually cut the grass anymore because they can now claim they are joining the re-wilding project.
"All this on top of the council tax, which continues to rise year on year despite their coffers overflowing from all the new residents who have moved into the area."