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Plan to charge for emptying green bins in York
FREE green waste collections could end under plans for a shake-up of York’s rubbish rounds.
City of York Council is considering introducing a “subscription-based service” and seasonal garden-waste collections in a bid to save £250,000 by the end of 2013/14.
It says funding cuts mean “unpalatable decisions” need to be made.
The days when residents’ rubbish is picked up could also be altered and “same-day” collections for grey and recycling bins may be stopped to help cut collection costs by £300,000 over two years. The public will be consulted next month on potential changes.
Coun Sandy Fraser , the Labour cabinet’s member for environmental services until tomorrow, said detailed proposals were being drawn up by officials.
Liberal Democrat councillor Ann Reid asked at the recent full council meeting how planned budget savings within the waste collection service will be made, and Coun Fraser said the green bin proposals would be discussed further in September.
It has yet to be confirmed when any seasonal or subscription service might be introduced, possible costs and what would happen if residents did not subscribe, but Coun Reid said she had “major concerns” about any reductions or charges.
She added: “We are also concerned about plans to introduce different-day grey bin and recycling collections. The more complicated you make the system, the more likely you are to get people missing collections and resorting to fly-tipping, or deciding not to recycle. We have repeatedly pushed Labour for information but have not received any firm answers.”
She accused Labour of listing budget savings without firm plans on how to meet them and said the proposals would exacerbate anger over the recent removal of 349 litter bins.
Coun Reid, who formerly held responsibility for front-line street services, said: “I know from experience that the only way to achieve these massive savings would be to make additional charges, reduce the service or make the collection system almost incomprehensible to residents.”
Coun Fraser said: “There are a number of unpalatable decisions required due to the massive reductions in Government funding. Officers are having to produce options to achieve the savings required, which will be considered in due course once proposals have been worked out in detail.”
Roger Ranson, the council’s assistant director for highways, waste and fleet, said: “Like all local authorities across the country facing serious budget cuts, we are always looking at new ways and different options for making services more cost-efficient.
“The council has a statutory duty to collect household refuse, and if and when any changes to waste collections are brought in, we will do this as smoothly as possible with residents being notified in advance. Our current intention is to set options out for members to consider later this year, to introduce next year.”