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Date: 2 January 2014

Today's Topic: North Somerset council to charge for green waste collections

Triggers: A BBC local news story

My Grump: This is supposed to be environmentally friendly

Almost a third of councils across England charge to collect garden waste, research by the BBC has found, and North Somerset is likely to follow, with a proposed annual charge of around 40.00.

The authority currently offers a free green waste collection service, which was introduced in 2006, to 94,000 homes across the district, but as there is no limit on the amount of green waste put out for collection, waste contractors May Gurney say this is proving "challenging" for them, which probably means they are having their profits diluted by the time it takes to pick up the extra bags and the fuel it takes to transport their rubbish.

Tipping Green Waste Council executive member for environment, Councillor Peter Bryant, said: "Because of the vast cuts we are having to make over the coming years, all council services are coming under the microscope.... We have to look at every service we offer and see whether we can provide it in a more cost effective way. We are currently looking at the possibility of introducing charging for the collection of green waste. We have a statutory duty as a council to remove refuse from properties. However the collection of green waste is not included in that.

So why are we doing it? I think its a sweetener for May Gurney because it's easy money in the bank.
I don't think anyone will ever convince me this is environmentally sound.

Firstly, congratulations to North Somerset who are recycling 60 per cent of all rubbish and is the top performing unitary authority in the South West and the second best in the country.

Bags of Green Waste I've been composting my whole life. I helped my parents do it, I lived semi-autonomously and did it, I now have a largish garden and do it. So, there is nobody more qualified to tell you that when you compost down one of those green bags worth of clippings, you will be lucky to get a teacup full of dirt. YES, A BLOODY TEACUP FULL OF DIRT!

So, you have gangs of people, driving around the countryside in big, brand new, gas guzzling lorries, picking up what is essentially a handful of dirt from each household. Where is the bloody sense in that? Please, somebody tell me! Even if you buried all that green waste in a deep pit and compressed it all down with millions of tons of other waste on top, you would not make a millimetre's worth of coal.

When you see someone on the news stood next to a mountain of green waste all rotting and steaming, and patting themselves on the back because they have ticked another target box set for them in some far away land, just remember that heap cost all of us hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not millions. BUT IT'S JUST DIRT!!

I understand that standards have dropped and we can now build 20 houses on a postage stamp of land and so people don't necessarily have the space to compost anything, or the need, frankly. Except of course, for the trees that need chopping down, because in order to get the planning permission in the first place, the architect has to strategically stick little green trees all over the plans. These they know will eventually grow into bloody great big trees, and have to be uprooted when they get into the foundations. But that's another story, ha ha.

Please share your ideas below, thank you.

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