FOR nearly two years Eastbourne, Hastings, Rother and Wealden local authorities have been working together on a Joint Waste Collection contract for the collection of domestic waste, recycling, street and beach cleansing jointly across the whole area.
The main objective is to reduce costs (or, in the case of Rother, to minimise any increase in costs, given that our current contract is exceptionally advantageous), achieve 50 per cent recycling, waste minimisation and customer satisfaction.
Currently, our contractor visits 88 per cent of dwellings in Rother in order to collect green garden waste, whether there is any to collect or not.
This is hugely uneconomical. Studies have shown that savings of close to one million pounds could be saved in operating costs across the four districts and boroughs, by introducing a subscription service whereby residents sign up for the collection service.
This is in addition to any revenue generated by making a charge.
Rother District Council proposes making what we feel is a reasonable charge of £25 per year ie £1 per collection.
Rother residents know that the current ‘free’ collection is, of course, not free.
Residents pay for it through the Council Tax.
It is clearly more equitable to charge only those who use the service and not those who have no garden and can never benefit from the service.
By initiatives such as this, Rother District Council has been able to freeze the Council Tax for the last two years and to maintain the lowest Council Tax in the county.
It is also worth noting that residents previously used paper sacks for green garden waste at a cost of £1 per sack.
It is also proposed to collect at kerbside up to 11 different types of recyclates including glass, this is a big increase on the current system.
I believe Rother residents will see a hugely improved service at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.
We will continue to work with our nearest neighbours to find the most beneficial outcome for Rother residents.
Councillor Tony Ganly
Rother District Council