From: Mrs Angela Webb
I am bemused and irritated by Jane Dubery’s letter which is articulate, but so short-sighted.
Her belief that very few gardeners will fill a bin this frequently, two-week period, is very uninformed. Meads, Old Town, Ratton, parts of Hampden Park, etc have hundreds of homes with gardens 80 foot plus and some owners have exercised their right to a couple of bins.
If the council’s figure of £300,000 is based on the number of homes using the garden waste service, this is around 5,770 households and some thought should be given to what’s involved.
As a gardener, I have come face to face with the waste collection crews and noticed them rushing about like mad. Why? Because the garden waste depot is near Chiddingly, a round trip of 1.5 hours and occasionally the truck is filled up and a repeat trip is needed the same day.
What are the running and maintenance costs of these heavy vehicles? Furthermore many gardeners compress their waste so tightly it can’t be dislodged easily.
As wheelie bins are designed for emptying mechanically, the device that grips and tilts also vibrates to loosen the contents. All this conspires to cause delays.
Regarding the £52 annual charge, Ms Dubery and neighbours’ £13 per collection in reality is 50p per week each. Pensioners with common sense and in receipt of all benefits they are entitled to can tweak their finances for this amount.
I could make suggestions but may be accused of being patronising. As for the ‘phone to book’ idea, it’s unworkable. The sheer number of calls plus admin costs for small payments would eat into council profits. Furthermore the refuse collectors would need to carry a list of addresses to visit each day. I suspect their reaction would be unprintable.