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.
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.
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.
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.