Rother facing rebellion over green waste charges

Council chiefs celebrate a joint waste contract signed earlier this year
Council chiefs celebrate a joint waste contract signed earlier this year
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ROTHER Council’s plans to charge £25 a year for fortnightly garden waste removal are meeting with firm opposition in the Rye and Battle area.

Rye councillor Granville Bantick believes the plan is flawed and will lead to an increase in fly-tipping.

He said: “I thought of course that the collection of recyclables was covered in the Council tax I paid, but no longer is that to be the case.

“I read I will be supplied with a 240 litre brown bin for my garden waste, but I shall be allowed to retain my 240 litre green bin which can be used for cardboard. I shall be putting out two giant bins in my narrow entrance plus two boxes for the recyclables.

“There are many on low incomes who are struggling at the moment to pay their energy bills and household essentials.

“Those people will not wish to add £25 extra to their expenses and rather than have a brown wheelie bin might prefer to take their waste to one of the recycling centres despite the inconvenience and petrol costs.

“Sadly I am almost sure we shall see more fly tipping and the associated costs in dealing with that.

Householders should register in January if they want to use the service and the council claims that 1,800 of them have already “expressed interest” in doing so.

A Rother Council spokesman said: “Like every local authority in the UK, Rother District Council is under immense financial pressure. We must find ways of making savings and need to reassess the services we offer.

“Not every taxpayer in Rother benefits from the current garden waste collections. Only around 85 per cent of properties are offered this service, and only about 65 per cent use it.

“ Introducing a charge, which works out at less than £1 per fortnightly collection, will mean only those who use the service pay towards it.

“As well as making savings, Rother District Council is also committed to keeping council tax down. There has been no increase in council tax for three years and Rother residents pay the lowest council tax in East Sussex. Including a free garden waste collection in the new contract would mean an additional cost to the council which would, in turn, force up the level of council tax for everyone.”

The charge is also being opposed by many Bexhill residents.

Sandy Sanderson of Top Cross Road commented: “The waste is collected, turned into compost and then sold back to us. As Arthur Daly would say, “a nice little earner!” I can see a return to fly tipping.”

When the new waste collection service starts in the New Year, cardboard will be collected free of charge from all households using the current green waste bin. Five days after opening the registration 1,800 households have already expressed an interest. Anyone wishing to take the service should visit