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TOPIC: Green bin collections likely to go fortnightly

Green bin collections likely to go fortnightly
30 Sep 2016 00:21 #2329

Basil Clarke Basil Clarke's Avatar Topic Author

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Following the public consultation on the future of "green bin" collections, Enfield Council's Cabinet will be presented with a paper recommending that collection of food and garden waste be reduced from once a week to once a fortnight.

green bin itemsA brief item about the proposed changes was posted on the council website yesterday.  It states that 87 per cent of respondents to the survey preferred a free fortnightly collection rather than an optional paid for weekly green bin collection (£60 a year).

According to Councillor David Anderson, Cabinet Member for Environment, because of severe cutbacks in central governmente funding for Enfield, the Council needs to make savings wherever possible.  Either of the options would save at least £400,000 a year.  A third option that was considered was to collect garden waste only during certain months, when demand was highest, but the savings that this would generate would be "a fraction" of this amount.

According to Councillor Anderson, fortnightly green bin collection is "already standard" in many London boroughs and four Conservative-run boroughs even charge for fortnightly collections.

If agreed by Cabinet, the changes will be introduced in March/April 2017.  The paper setting out the survey results and the rationale behind the proposals has not yet been published on the Council website, but should become available at least a week before the meeting at which it will be discussed.  The next two Cabinet meetings are scheduled for 19th October and 16th November.

Fortnightly collection of garden waste will create significant problems for many Enfield households, especially those with large gardens.  At certain times of year gardeners already find it difficult to fit all their waste in the bin when it is being taken away every week.

The bare statement that 87 per cent of respondents were against paid-for weekly collections is not really sufficient grounds for a decision to choose the fortnightly option.  A factor that must be taken into account is how many of the respondents actually generate garden waste, eg people living in flats with no garden or where there is no green bin collection anyway.

An alternative that was not offered in the consultation would have been to make the savings by collecting the black "refuse" bin once a fortnight. This would encourage people to sort their waste more carefully and not put recyclables in the black bin.

Presumably the Cabinet paper will provide a more detailed view of the survey results, the profiles of the respondents and the arguments for the decision that has been recommended.

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Fortnightly green bin collections - the factors behind the decision
17 Oct 2016 23:36 #2330

Basil Clarke Basil Clarke's Avatar Topic Author

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The change is due to be approved by Enfield's Cabinet on Wednesday.

Linked documents on the Council website
Paper arguing for the fortnightly green bin option
Appendex 1. Options Appraisal Process
Appendix 2. Summary of green bin consultation

Having read the paperwork, I'm not convinced that this was the right decision. It's true that 83 per cent of respondents favoured the fortnightly free option, but from reading the paper and consultation report I can't see any way of discovering how many of those 83 per cent would actually have had to pay the £60 a year charge for a weekly garden waste collection. It might well be that a large proportion do not produce any garden waste, so they wouldn't have needed to pay anyway. If they don't use the green bin, then surely their views are irrelevant?

Fortnightly collections will be very inconvenient for busy gardeners. If they take up the option of paying for an additional green bin, this will take up even more space in front of their houses. And some people won't be strong enough to wheel a bin containing a fortnight's garden waste.

Another very important consideration is that the fortnightly green bin option will only produce half the savings of the £60 a year weekly option. The council estimate a saving of £350-400K for the former and £750-800K for the latter.

I'm disappointed that the council didn't consider the alternative of changing to a fortnightly collection of the black "refuse" bins. This would have the greatest positive environmental impact, because it would prompt households to separate out recyclables instead of just putting them willy-nilly in the black bin.

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Fortnightly green bin collections confirmed by Cabinet
20 Oct 2016 11:48 #2341

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As expected, Enfield's Cabinet has given the go-ahead for the switch to emptying green bins once a fortnight, starting in April 2017. The following was posted to the council website today:

Enfield residents' green bin and food collection service will continue to be collected free of charge, but from next April the service will go fortnightly, after the Council's Cabinet agreed last night (19 October) to the cost-cutting proposal.

The decision followed a comprehensive consultation with local residents, which showed that 87 per cent of people were in favour of a free fortnightly green bin collection, compared with just 13 per cent who supported a charged-for £60 a year weekly collection.

In total 3,191 people took part in the consultation.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: "As a result of major reductions in government funding, affecting councils across the country, we are faced with making significant cuts to services.

"In Enfield we have had to make cuts of £118m since 2010 and now need to find additional savings of £56m by 2019/20.

"Surprisingly green bin collections are non-statutory and many councils now routinely provide the service on a fortnightly basis or even less frequently. In addition, some also charge for the removal of green bins.

"Minded by the results of the consultation, Cabinet has agreed to move to fortnightly green bin collections; however, residents can rest assured that we will continue to provide weekly black bin and blue bin recycling collections."

Further communications will be sent to residents, prior to the revised service being implemented, explaining what their collection arrangements will be.

Details of how to recycle can be found on our rubbish and recycling pages.

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