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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey's Garden Waste Fee Sees Highest Charges for Those Least able to Afford them

Some weeks back we were able to confirm that under the new garden waste collection scheme, you can opt to put your garden waste in sacks rather than accommodate yet another wheelie bin. The charge for a full size bin is £75.00 p.a. For sacks it's £55.

But hold your horses, the number of sacks is rationed to 60 initially. There's a regressive taxation twist to the scheme.

If you use up your 60 sacks, you'll need to pay a further £55 for another 60 sacks. That's 92 pence per plastic sack. It'll be no surprise to learn that you can buy much cheaper sacks but Veolia tell me that they "cannot collect any garden waste which is not in our refuge (sic) bags".

This seems like very odd logic to me. I'm assuming that Haringey see the link between property size (and therefore very often income) and the likely need to use sacks. They say on their website, "If you feel you do not have space for a standard sized 240 litre bin then a supply of biodegradable sacks, or smaller 140 litre bins are available for £55 a year."

What they don't say is that if you live in a prpoerty which can easily accommodate yet another bin, they will collect 240 litres a week of garden waste (using the standard size bin) for £75 pa. However, if you live in a small property (and are therefore more likely to be less well off), they will only collect 50-75 litres per week (for £55 pa). To have them collect 240 litres a week will cost you more like £200+ per year. 

Someone seems not to have thought this through.

Tags for Forum Posts: rubbish, waste collection, waste collection charges

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*gets out calculator*

- Better off household with large space to front of property and 240 litre bin = 0.006p per litre
- Poorer household with little or no space to front of property using 75 litre bags = 0.014p per litre

So the poorer household pays more than twice as much per litre for disposing of their garden waste than a better off household. Oh dear, dear me.

Fancy forwarding all this to the ward Councillors Hugh?
It’s not a precise calculation, but what I’ve shown and Michael has confirmed is that the basis of the charge has a very clear potential to be very inequitable.

It is exactly the occasional users like me who only need to dispose of garden waste - perhaps three to four times a year (it's a very small front garden with no grass) who will get clobbered by this tax.  Up to now the biggest annual clear up has been of the street London Plane tree leaves.  These used to go in the waste bag, but no longer!  From now on I will return the leaves to where they belong - on the street, after all the trees belong to the Council so they should take responsibility for the leaves.

Of course not everyone will fill a bin or use all the bags every year but the annual amount of money you have to part with to take part in the scheme equates to that much per litre, whether you use it or not. A bit like if I have a mobile phone contract that costs £X for Xmb of data per month. Even if I don't use all the data it still costs £X, I don't get my money back for not using it.
Thinking a bit more about it, those with larger houses probably have larger gardens so are more likely to use the full capacity of the bin. Those on the "cheaper" contract probably have small gardens so will put out garden waste less often which will makes the costs per litre actually collected even higher than I've calculated.
It doesn't work like that Spider-Man. You don't get charged for what you put out, you get charged a fixed amount whether you put out one bag a year or one bag a week. It's not a charged based on usage, its more like a membership fee with two levels of membership.
To try another analogy, imagine there was a gym where you could join for £100 a year and that allowed you to use the gym once a week. Another level of membership costs £50 a year but you can only use the gym once a month. So the higher charge would cost 100/52 and the lower 50/12, so the cost per permitted visit is higher for the lower membership charge.
The cost per actual visit is likely to be even higher as some people miss going to the gym now and then but as you can't anticipate how often they'll stay in to watch Corrie rather than popping down to use the stair master, the only reliable calculation is cost per permitted visit.
Which brings us back to the beginning. Those with the money and space will go for the higher annual charge because it's better value. Those without the money and space will have to opt for the poorer value deal or pay per collection.
BTW I didn't ignore your mobile phone post. I'm swapping between a phone and tablet so simply missed it.
Those who are smart....will put the green waste in the normal collection....and not pay anything.


Does anyone know how the bags will work in practice? Will Veolia pick up the branded bags whenever they see them next to the bins?  If so it would make sense for me to buy 60 bags and divvy them up with two or three neighbours, we can then use them ad hoc. I wouldn't get through 60 bags a year otherwise.  Maybe this is what we're secretly meant to be planning to do.

That's how the rubbish worked in New Zealand when I was a boy. You got given some rubbish bags when you paid your rates (council tax) and if you needed to buy any more they were quite extortionate but if you guessed in advance that you could sell some before the end of the year you could make a packet.

Careful what you wish for. I remember seeing think tank ideas when I was working around pay to dispose, so you’re charged by weight. Fine for a small household like mine but imagine if you’ve got a couple of small children and a fortnight’s worth of disposable nappies

Seems like an excellent plan

If this is how it works, ie, it's not address specific, then I would be happy to buy some bags if anyone signs up and has some spares. I think we put our current sack out no more than 6 times per year.

If I sign up and get 60 bags in theory they would last me about 10 years, so could I sign up for one year, get 60 bags then cancel it? I wonder if they will change the colour or design annually to stop people doing this. Of course the rules/system could change leaving the bags obsolete years before I run out.

As it stands we have a tiny garden with very little garden waste and we have a car so we're planning on taking it to the recycling centre.



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