Monday, 10 December 2012

Wokingham Changes Rubbish Scheme

The waste collection scheme which caused uproar with residents has been overhauled - just seven months after it was introduced. But the change doesnt go far enough.

The new blue bags will be bigger, to fit a 90 litre bin. But there is no change to the green waste scheme. Like many residents a couple of years ago I bought some green bags that the council collected, very useful in autumn when the garden fills with leaves. But now these are worthless as the moneygrubbing council now wants £60 for a brown bin for garden waste. But who would trust them after taking money for green bags that are now themselves rubbish. Shame on Wokingham council for a rubbish scheme.

"Bigger bags, extra sacks for larger households and better customer service are among the changes voted through by Wokingham Borough Council's executive committee last week after councillors admitted the scheme had "experienced problems."

Environment leader, Cllr Angus Ross, said: "The waste team spoke to residents and groups about their concerns, and this will continue.

"We have listened and have worked to ensure the bags are bigger, better quality and tested for their strength."

The original scheme was introduced in April, limiting people living in the borough to 80 blue bags a year.

But a review was launched earlier this year and councillors admitted the bags should be increased to fit a 90 litre dustbin.

Cllr Anthony Pollock told the meeting: "I have found issues getting them into my dustbin. We have learned lessons from this, and the fact that we have been able to keep weekly collections is a real credit."

Concerns were raised about whether increasing the size of the bags by 12% would also increase the amount of waste and Cllr Ross admitted it was "a bit of a risk", but added: "I don't think this will be a major problem."

The overhaul means residents requesting extra bags will be given vouchers they can exchange at a collection point.

Homes with more than five people will receive 100 bags, and extra bags will be available at £10 per roll.

The customer service system will also be improved and calls will be handled by Wokingham Direct, but no changes are being made to the garden waste scheme, and residents can continue to opt-in if they choose to, and buy a brown bin for £60.

But speaking after the meeting, Lib Dem Cllr, Lindsay Ferris, said: "The waste scheme was poorly thought out and badly implemented.

"The Conservatives are now bringing in stronger, larger blue bags that will fit dustbins, but why did they get it wrong in the first place?

"A proper blue bag pilot scheme would have shown up the problems." "

And a better opposition than the LD would have done more about it bthey only seemed to notice the problem the month of the election. They are about as useless as the Tories.

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