South Kestevan, my district council, has a fairly good record for recycling; both of plastics/paper, and of garden waste and green kitchen waste.
Up until this year, you could leave garden/kitchen waste for collection either by purchasing authorised bags (which cost 50p per bag), or by having a big green bin.
I opted for the green bin some years ago. Although I don’t regularly produce that much garden waste, I thought it was neater than bags. The council charged me 20 quid for it, but that was a one-off charge.
Until this year, that is. As from April, South Kestevan have levied an annual charge of 25 pounds. For this you are given a sticker for your bin, to show you have paid; and only bins with stickers will be collected.
I know 25 quid isn’t much, but I have several problems with this:
- It would have helped if South Kestevan had leafleted, telling people this, instead of waiting until people put a full bin out, and wonder why it was not collected.
- Has it occurred to them that putting a sticker worth 25 quid on an object placed on the kerbside overnight is likely to see a growing black market in the buggers?
- Has it occurred to them that many households will simply say “sod it” and start putting garden and kitchen waste in their refuse bins instead, thus undoing all the good work of previous years? I think this is extremely likely.
To add to the insult, the green waste is commercially composted for agricultural use, so there is already a revenue stream attached to collection. Now they want me to pay them to collect stuff which they will turn into something they sell.
Anyway, I am not going to put my waste into the “black bin”, nor am I going to pay for them to collect it either. I considered a compost bin, but with the new garden layout, I don’t have anywhere to keep it. Instead, I have bought myself a nice compact wormery. At the moment, I have no idea how much of my waste it is going to absorb, but it’s a start.
Does this mean I am now keeping livestock?