A CONTROVERSIAL proposal to introduce green bin charges in the district has divided residents.
Stratford District Council is considering an annual charge of £40 for collecting garden waste. Currently, a maximum of two green bins or six green sacks are collected fortnightly free of charge. The would generate some £2.2million a year.
But some argue the proposal contradicts the council’s recent commitment to taking action against climate change.
Southam North Independent councillor Tony Bromwich argued: “How then would this be a benefit to the climate when the most likely outcome would be an increase in burning and dumping? In my humble opinion, people will stop using green bins in favour of black bins, burning or dumping.
“In areas of poverty – according to national statistics areas of my ward fall into this – how would residents be expected to pay for this when already they are already struggling with their finances?
“While I appreciate that there’s a cost to composting green bin waste, no bin collections whether it is grey, blue or green bins should have any additional charge to the money residents already pay in council tax.”
Others are more supportive of the possible charge, which is already in place in Rugby and North Warwickshire – although not in neighbouring Warwick.
Stratford Climate Action organiser Dave Passingham said: “Collecting green waste and transporting it up to 20 miles across Warwickshire is not very green. The best way to dispose of green waste is to compost it in your own garden. It then becomes a valuable soil enhancer. Subsidised compost bins are available for £10 from the (recycling centre) at Burton Farm. The money raised from charging for green waste could be used to fund much needed tree planting.”
A council review highlighted potential benefits of the charge including a greater amount of garden waste taken to recycling centres, an increase in home composting and reduced vehicle emissions.
District council leader Coun Tony Jefferson said: “As a local authority we also need to think about our environmental responsibilities and the impact of collecting garden waste across the district and encourage alternatives, such as home composting. We should also be mindful that not all residents take up this service.”
The council will decide whether to hold a consultation into introducing the charges on Monday (October 7).