Green recycling charges could be introduced

CHARGES for garden waste collections from homes in North Somerset could be introduced as the council looks to raise much-needed cash.

Fees are being discussed by members of North Somerset Council’s community and corporate organisation policy and scrutiny panel, although discussions are at a very early stage.

The authority must make cut-backs of �47.3million and green recycling has been highlighted as an area which could help to ease the financial pressures the authority is facing.

The authority rolled out its ‘recycling revolution’ last year in a bid to reduce the amount of rubbish being thrown away, and despite the May Gurney-operated service experiencing collection problems, it has created a drop in the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

Councillor David Pasley, the chairman of the panel said: “We’ve got a massive financial problem which has been heaped upon us as a result of the financial settlement [from central Government].

“We’re looking at every aspect of how we can save money, and to see if there’s a way we can save money or improve our efficiency, and this [introducing green recycling charges] is just one of the areas we are looking into at the moment.”

Cllr Mark Canniford, a member of the panel, said: “My view is that I’m not totally opposed to the idea, as long as the fee isn’t too high so people won’t just go and throw their green waste away at landfill sites instead.

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“Of course the level of the cuts we are having to make mean we have to raise money in a lot of different ways.

“But the recycling service has been a success as more people than ever are recycling, so it would be a huge shame to see all that good work go to waste to save a few thousand pounds.”

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