A controversial decision by Flintshire County Council to charge for garden waste removal has been challenged by a group councillors.
Plans to introduce the seperate £30 charge for brown bin collections were passed by the council’s cabinet committee in December.
Officials said the move will raise nearly £830,000 a year through income generation while saving £130,000 due to a reduction in the number of vehicles and operators required for garden waste collections.
Under the new arrangement, householders wanting the service will have to sign up to the £30 a year service, for that one 140 litre garden waste bin will be collected fortnightly, additional bins will cost £30 per bin per year, currently, householders pay £24 for an additional bin.
News of the new ‘opt in’ charges lit up social media with many residents venting their anger at the prospect of either paying extra for garden waste collections or having to find an alternative method of disposal.
Five county councillors have now ‘called in’ the decision giving those non-cabinet members of the council the opportunity to challenge the decision.
Three Buckley councillors, Cllr Richard Jones, Cllr Dennis Hutchinson, Cllr Mike Peers, Ewloe’s Cllr Dave Mackie and Hawarden councillor Clive Carver have signed the ‘call-in’ notice on the grounds;
- The proposals do not align with the Welsh Government’s ‘Blue Print’ for waste collection.
- The Cabinet Committee considered its approval of the the proposals using unapproved and incorrect scrutiny minutes.
- The proposals do not consider the elderly and vulnerable
- Charges are unreasonable contrary to the environmental act 1990 when compared to other local councils.
- In order to assess full cost recovery the detailed cost of the garden waste collection service is unknown and was not included in any reports
The decision to charge for garden waste collections will now be referred back to the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee where the key points of the ‘call-in’ will be considered before being re submitted to the cabinet for consideration.
It’s the local authority’s statutory duty to collect household waste from properties within the county but it doesn’t have to provide a ‘free’ garden waste collection service.
The service is due to begin on March 1 with fortnightly kerbside collections, the council say that black bin bags left out for collection with household refuse bins will be checked to make sure householders aren’t sneaking garden waste into the ‘residual waste stream’
The council estimate 27,600 Flintshire households will sign up for the garden waste collections.
Householders who pay the £30 a year for collections will be issued with barcoded stickers to put onto brown bins however the council is looking at some point to potentially ‘retrofit’ microchips to bins.