Gardeners hit back at waste limit plan

Don Reeve, the treasurer of Swindon Allotments And Leisure Gardens

Don Reeve, the treasurer of Swindon Allotments And Leisure Gardens

First published in News by

COMMUNITY and gardeners’ groups are questioning the workability of Swindon Council’s plan to limit green waste collections to four bags a household a fortnight, The move is an attempt to prevent a repeat of last year’s collection delays.

In September Coun Fionuala Foley, the cabinet member for Streetsmart and corporate services, apologised to the public after contractor Swindon Commercial Services Ltd struggled to clear a week-long backlog, which filled up its storage capacity at Waterside Park and an off-site storage facility.

The council said there had been a massive increase in the volume of garden waste collected last summer, due to ideal growing conditions and householders using the kerbside service rather than taking sacks to the Household Recycling Centre.

Today, the cabinet will be asked to impose a new restriction from April, meaning only four bags of 90 litres each can be put out each fortnight.

Householders will have to take any surplus to the Household Recycling Centre.

The council says where excessive amounts of waste are put out the bags will be left on the street and residents will be written to. Enforcement action taken for repeat offences.

However, community groups have pointed out some people will arrange with neighbours to circumvent the quota – or just fly-tip the excess waste.

Terry Hunt, the chairman of Rodbourne Cheney Residents’ Association, said: “If I had six bags and my neighbour had none, I would put four outside my house and two outside his. “That’s what’s going to happen.

“And I think the reason they got in a state last year is because they didn’t plan for it. “I think it’s a bad idea to limit people, it’s just a matter of planning for it better. On bank holiday weekends they know they’re going to need more collections.

“The fly-tipping will be a problem. People will take a bag and leave it around the corner or at Cheney Manor shops.”

John Brownlee, the chairman of Swindon Walcot and Parks Community Group, said: “We compost everything, but if your house has five bags and next door has only got three, it stands to reason to put the fifth one with the other ones next door, so the neighbours work together. “It’s not going to help reduce the amount of waste that’s collected.”

And Don Reeve, the treasurer of Swindon Allotments and Leisure Gardens Association, said: “I always take my own stuff to the tip and don’t put any bags out. “If my next door neighbour said ‘I have got five to six bags here, can you put some outside your house?’ I couldn’t very well say no to the bloke.

“So I’m not sure they’re going to realise their aim of reducing the workload.” He also feared people would fly-tip rather than get their car dirty.

Coun Foley admitted earlier this week there might be difficulties in telling which bags were linked to which house, adding: “There will be a leaflet campaign going to houses and we’re hoping people will be responsible.”

She said four bags was sufficient for most households, and she claimed the council could not predict the periods of high demand, because it depended on the weather, so bringing in extra staff and vehicles would not produce a reliable service.

Comments (10)

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8:10am Wed 6 Feb 13

semitonic says...

We can look forward to a summer of piled up green bags on our street corners then, thanks to a hapless council who won't remove it because there's too much (even though we've paid them to remove it).

Where's the sense in that?
We can look forward to a summer of piled up green bags on our street corners then, thanks to a hapless council who won't remove it because there's too much (even though we've paid them to remove it). Where's the sense in that? semitonic
  • Score: 0

9:31am Wed 6 Feb 13

Phantom Poster says...

People in larger houses have larger gardens and pay more council tax for the privilege. So how is a flat rate of four bags per household fair?
People in larger houses have larger gardens and pay more council tax for the privilege. So how is a flat rate of four bags per household fair? Phantom Poster
  • Score: 0

10:59am Wed 6 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

I rarely see 4 bags outside homes. Usually 1 or 2 and many have none. I expect this year to outdo last with regards to messing this up along with grass verges becoming jungle like again.
I rarely see 4 bags outside homes. Usually 1 or 2 and many have none. I expect this year to outdo last with regards to messing this up along with grass verges becoming jungle like again. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

11:44am Wed 6 Feb 13

PJC says...

Most of ours goes in the compost bin, I haven't had to buy any for years!
Most of ours goes in the compost bin, I haven't had to buy any for years! PJC
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Wed 6 Feb 13

semitonic says...

Unfortunately due to anti-social selfishness and an erratic green waste collection service, certain people around where I live tend to pile up their green bags outside someone else's house, after dark.

If they don't get collected then it's not their problem any more.

I can only see this getting worse when the collectors come around. If they are actually able to count they will see more than four bags and simply drive on past, laughing probably.

Scandalous, given the amount we pay for them to do a simple job.
Coun Foley admitted earlier this week there might be difficulties in telling which bags were linked to which house, adding: “There will be a leaflet campaign going to houses and we’re hoping people will be responsible.”

Pathetic.
Unfortunately due to anti-social selfishness and an erratic green waste collection service, certain people around where I live tend to pile up their green bags outside someone else's house, after dark. If they don't get collected then it's not their problem any more. I can only see this getting worse when the collectors come around. If they are actually able to count they will see more than four bags and simply drive on past, laughing probably. Scandalous, given the amount we pay for them to do a simple job. [quote]Coun Foley admitted earlier this week there might be difficulties in telling which bags were linked to which house, adding: “There will be a leaflet campaign going to houses and we’re hoping people will be responsible.”[/quote] Pathetic. semitonic
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Wed 6 Feb 13

house on the hill says...

""Phantom Poster says...
9:31am Wed 6 Feb 13

People in larger houses have larger gardens and pay more council tax for the privilege. So how is a flat rate of four bags per household fair?”""

Presumably on that basis those who live in flats or have no gardens or who have paved them over should have a discount?

The whole concept of council tax isnt fair. why should a couple on their own who have a bigger house pay more in concil tax than a family in a smaller house who will clearly use up more council services? If everyone paid for what they actually use now that would be fair!!
""Phantom Poster says... 9:31am Wed 6 Feb 13 People in larger houses have larger gardens and pay more council tax for the privilege. So how is a flat rate of four bags per household fair?”"" Presumably on that basis those who live in flats or have no gardens or who have paved them over should have a discount? The whole concept of council tax isnt fair. why should a couple on their own who have a bigger house pay more in concil tax than a family in a smaller house who will clearly use up more council services? If everyone paid for what they actually use now that would be fair!! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Wed 6 Feb 13

SpeakUp says...

So yet another cause for people to drive across town to the 'recycling centre', queue for ages, save the planet and drive home again. How very sensible.
So yet another cause for people to drive across town to the 'recycling centre', queue for ages, save the planet and drive home again. How very sensible. SpeakUp
  • Score: 0

9:20am Thu 7 Feb 13

Inda UK says...

If you have a nice large garden, where you create a fair bit of waste, you have room for a compost bin.

I have two that are rotated each year. Made from an old garden shed. Medium sized garden. Half a ton of compost created a year, as I also compost kitchen waste.

No excuses.
If you have a nice large garden, where you create a fair bit of waste, you have room for a compost bin. I have two that are rotated each year. Made from an old garden shed. Medium sized garden. Half a ton of compost created a year, as I also compost kitchen waste. No excuses. Inda UK
  • Score: 0

11:23am Thu 7 Feb 13

Phantom Poster says...

Inda UK wrote:
If you have a nice large garden, where you create a fair bit of waste, you have room for a compost bin. I have two that are rotated each year. Made from an old garden shed. Medium sized garden. Half a ton of compost created a year, as I also compost kitchen waste. No excuses.
Please don't presume that I have "no excuses"! There is nothing worse than sanctimonious posters who insist on telling everyone how selfless and green they are.

I also have two compost bins into which I put all my grass cuttings etc. However, I have a large number of conifers which I trim yearly. Those do not compost easily.

Over the course of the year I produce much less than four bags per collection, but I produce more than that occasionally.

I feel no need to apologise for complaining about not receiving a service which I have already pay well over the odds for.
[quote][p][bold]Inda UK[/bold] wrote: If you have a nice large garden, where you create a fair bit of waste, you have room for a compost bin. I have two that are rotated each year. Made from an old garden shed. Medium sized garden. Half a ton of compost created a year, as I also compost kitchen waste. No excuses.[/p][/quote]Please don't presume that I have "no excuses"! There is nothing worse than sanctimonious posters who insist on telling everyone how selfless and green they are. I also have two compost bins into which I put all my grass cuttings etc. However, I have a large number of conifers which I trim yearly. Those do not compost easily. Over the course of the year I produce much less than four bags per collection, but I produce more than that occasionally. I feel no need to apologise for complaining about not receiving a service which I have already pay well over the odds for. Phantom Poster
  • Score: 0

11:32am Thu 7 Feb 13

Phantom Poster says...

Inda UK wrote:
If you have a nice large garden, where you create a fair bit of waste, you have room for a compost bin. I have two that are rotated each year. Made from an old garden shed. Medium sized garden. Half a ton of compost created a year, as I also compost kitchen waste. No excuses.
By the way...... You weigh your compost????????

You really need to get a life!
[quote][p][bold]Inda UK[/bold] wrote: If you have a nice large garden, where you create a fair bit of waste, you have room for a compost bin. I have two that are rotated each year. Made from an old garden shed. Medium sized garden. Half a ton of compost created a year, as I also compost kitchen waste. No excuses.[/p][/quote]By the way...... You weigh your compost???????? You really need to get a life! Phantom Poster
  • Score: 0

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