On 30th June 2017, the Council approved changes to Veolia's waste collection service, including:
- charging for bulky items from 24th July 2017 (£25 for
four bulky items)
- charging for replacement bins from 31st July 2017 (£30)
- charging for garden waste from 23rd October 2017 and distributing wheelie bins to those who subscribe (£75/year)
These changes are intended to help the council save £20million across the borough. Whilst there is no doubt the council has significant budgetary pressures, these changes have been poorly thought through, rushed into implementation, and are likely to exacerbate entrenched environmental issues in the borough including fly-tipping and urban blight.
Haringey’s Corporate Plan 2015-2018 has five core priorities, one of which is to deliver “a clean well maintained and safe borough where people are proud to live and work”. The potential impacts of these changes are at odds with the Corporate Plan for the following reasons:
- Fly-tipping is likely to increase - some residents unwilling to sign up to the service may dump garden rubbish and bulky items on the street. Fly-tipping is already a substantial issue in the borough and the council/Veolia have a poor record in improving this.
- Most residents already have two bins which frequently block public footpaths. An increased number of bins will only increase this problem further. Again, this is at odds with Priority 3 objectives which “will make our streets, parks and estates clean”.
- Residents unwilling to sign up to the scheme but willing to take rubbish to a recycling centre will increase the number of car journeys through the borough. This is at odds with Priority 4, which includes an objective “to reduce emissions across the borough”.
- Charging for garden waste collection is not uncommon in London. However, other boroughs charge between £50 - £60 for the service. £75 is unjustified and offers residents poor value for money compared with other councils. Residents already pay the 8th highest council tax of 33 London boroughs (Band D), this might be yet further evidence of poor value for money being achieved by the Council.
- Although Veolia suggest that other options may be available than a 240litre bin for garden waste, a Veolia Outreach Officer must attend each property before smaller options will be considered. This is an absurd process given the size of the borough, will require a large team (inevitably funded by subscribers or by council tax payers through the existing contract) and may lead to more car journeys through the borough to service demand.
- If bins are lost (or stolen) there will be a £30 charge fee for a replacement. There are many reported incidents of bins going missing already and now there is a charge. this is likely to increase. Veolia will replace bins if damaged by operatives but this is open for debate and challenge, and in some instances operatives may not realise they have damaged a bin during a busy collection. Again, this is a poorly thought through approach by Haringey Council.
- Finally, there is no evidence of reduced/subsidised fees for those unable to meet the annual payment or pensioners included in the information published on Haringey Council and Veolia's websites.
These changes require an urgent review, consultation with residents and amendments before it is implemented. This review should focus on the environmental impact of the proposed changes, alignment with Haringey's Corporate Plan 2015-2018, lessons learned from schemes in other London boroughs including the relative cost savings, and the value for money it will deliver to council tax payers which is a key outcome in the plan. There also needs to be transparency as to how Veolia's existing contract has been amended to offer better value to the council and residents as a result of these changes.
This ePetition ran from 15/07/2017 to 04/09/2017 and has now finished.
1423 people signed this ePetition.