'˜We're right to charge for green bin collection' says Milton Keynes Council

Leading councillors behind the controversial green bin emptying charges are refusing to budge from their decision.

Monday, 13th March 2017, 3:27 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:00 am

Amid a wave of complaints from residents, they are insisting they have “listened to the public” and are doing the right thing.

And they say a grim cash-saving alternative could have been fortnightly or even MONTHLY waste collections.

Martin Gowans, the councillor responsible for waste and recycling, said: “We are one of the few councils to continue to offer a weekly waste collection, with some councils now moving to three or even monthly collections due to the cuts.

“We will maintain weekly bin and recycling collections until at least 2023, and we will continue to collect food waste for free.

“However the cost of doing so is around £400,000 from our current budget. We will meet this by charging for collecting garden waste.”

He said issuing wheelie bin, though a popular choice with the public, is not even an option as it would cost more than £5m.

Meanwhile pink recycling sacks are to stay - but can no longer be picked up from city outlets. They must be ordered from the council and delivered directly to homes to “reduce misuse”.

Mr Gowans added: “ Keeping MK clean and tidy starts with a good waste collection service and a Labour-led MK Council is making sure we continue our excellent waste collection service here in MK.”

Council leader Pete Marland said: “I’m pleased we will be retaining weekly bin collections. It is an example of how we have listened to the public and ensured we are delivering the services people want.”

Labour councillor’s say the £33 a year charge for green bin emptying is good value, equating to 64p a week - the cost of a first class stamp.

The plans form part of the council’s new Waste Strategy, which will be miantained for several years, until at least 2023.

Opposition Tories say the £330,000 generated by green bin charges is a false economy as it will lead to rubbish chaos and dumping.