RESIDENTS in Wroughton are fighting back against a council decision to charge for the collection of green waste.
At a special Cabinet meeting last week, Swindon Council bosses decided to charge residents a £40 annual fee for collecting their grass cuttings and potato peelings in a new scheme starting at the end of March.
The new charge could mean the council claws back up to £720,000 a year if 20 per cent of households sign up.
But despite the council savings some residents are concerned that the scheme could lead to far graver costs for the environment.
In response to the new charge, green-fingered Talis Kimberley is calling on her neighbours to get together to form a community solution.
She said: “The council are trying to charge people to do the right thing.
“In the past they’ve asked people to compost more and now they are putting them off altogether by charging them to take it.
“It’s an extremely bad idea. People don’t want to be charged to do the right thing and so their cuttings will just get thrown in the black bin and end up in landfill.”
Talis, who has lived in Perry’s Lane for eight years, is calling on her neighbours and the wider communities to talk to each other and become compost buddies, using each others’ existing composts to dispose of their green waste.
She has set up a Facebook page to raise awareness of the issue and to pitch her solution, and already many of her neighbours have demonstrated their support.
She said: “I have a large compost at the back of my house because I have the space. My neighbour doesn’t have space so she brings things over to put on my compost.
“It’s as easy as putting a sign on your gate saying ‘Compost Buddy Needed’ or ‘Compost Buddy Welcome’. What happens next and how often is up to you.
“That way everybody can do the right thing for the environment, and it’s free.”
The new council scheme for collection of green waste – which residents must opt into – will begin on March 31.
This means that the last collection date for all households under the current four-bag limit service will be made on the usual day between March 17 and March 28.
For their £40, residents will receive a wheelie bin or an annual supply of 100 bags in which to place their green waste.
For more information on how you can pre-register for the council scheme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about Compost Buddies, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/compostbuddies.