30/08/2015 Leave a comment
One of the big issues to make the news in the last month or so here is Suffolk has been potential changes to brown bin collections. This is a very difficult issue for councils across Suffolk. Traditionally, the county council has had the money to provide substantial funds to each district council to help with recycling and composting. With the pressures bearing down on our finances, the county-wide Suffolk Waste Partnership has agreed to consider changes to the policy.
In short, the county is planning to reduce its funding to District and Borough Councils next year, and so in turn, they are considering whether to continue with a free brown-bin service, or whether to move to a subscription service, while encouraging more residents to manage their own waste through home composting.
Between us, the councils in Suffolk spend around £6million a year collecting and treating garden waste (which in some areas includes food waste). If Suffolk’s councils collectively decide to adopt this approach, the saving will be around £2million a year. At the same time, each local council can decide to retain a universal free service to all residents should they so choose.
A few Fridays ago I agreed to go on Mark Murphy’s Show on BBC Radio Suffolk to talk about the issue, it was meant to be a short spot but in explaining what is happening and taking calls it lasted almost an hour but at the end of it hopefully listeners were better informed as to their choices and perhaps the thinking behind the decisions that Councils and Suffolk Waste Partnership have and are making.
You’ll no doubt be hearing more about this as each District and Borough Council make their decision to charge or not to charge, but at a time where we are being forced to radically cut our costs, there are difficult decisions like this which have to be made.