Local Conservatives are fighting Labour plans to charge up to £55 a year for green waste collections in Southampton, a service which was previously free.
Council officers have warned the Labour Administration that their charges will hit recycling rates in the city; with an estimated 3,000 tonnes of previously recycled garden waste now either going to landfill or incineration. It is thought that 25,000 household which previously used the free garden sack service will not now sign up to the new charges, reducing Southampton recycling rates by 3%.
Labour’s plans come just months after an announcement by the government that the city will receiving funding to introduce a new doorstep glass collection. Labour’s changes to green waste collections will however will more than wipe out the extra recycling this will produce. So despite winning millions of pounds from the government to improve recycling Labour will ensure that recycling in the city goes backwards.
The extra charges come on top of Labour’s increase in council tax, their extra council tax charges for pensioners and their introduction of new residents parking charges. Many residents now face bills of more than £200 a year extra.
The changes will mean residents who want to continue to have their garden waste collected by the council will have to endure a 3rd wheelie bin outside their house as the old green sacks are withdrawn.
Labour’s plans also are a slap in the face for city refuse collections who Labour along with Labour activists in the trade unions encouraged to strike last year. The much reduced service will now mean many workers will lose their jobs.