‘No refunds’ says council after green waste backlash

Grantham MP Nick Boles.
Grantham MP Nick Boles.
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PEOPLE who bought green bins in the past in the belief they would only ever pay a one-off fee have been told they cannot claim a refund.

South Kesteven District Council announced last week it is to introduce a yearly charge of £25 for its green bin service.

The Journal has been inundated this week with letters from angry users of the service, many of whom want to know if they can claim a refund for their original outlay of £26 for a garden waste bin, if they don’t want to pay the new £25 annual fee.

However, the district council will not be offering any refunds.

A council spokesman said: “Money paid by existing users of the scheme was for the bin, delivery and administration.

“This did not include the cost of collection and disposal which is currently free but may soon be subject to a small charge to help cover costs.

“In the light of this the proposals are not to refund people who opt out of the service.”

While the council has refused to offer those who withdraw from the service a refund, people who opt out will still be allowed to keep their green bins.

The spokesman said: “Anyone who decides not to continue having their green waste collected can keep their bin for storage of garden waste before they take it to the recycling centre or use it for the storage of things like garden equipment or compost.

“Councillors are also looking at options for converting surplus green bins into additional recycling bins by offering free silver lids which can be swapped for the green lids.”

There are currently around 27,000 households using the green waste scheme. If all continue to use it the council will receive £675,000 in total.

Grantham MP Nick Boles has backed the council which, he says, is facing the same tough choices as authorities at every other level of government.

Mr Boles said: “Government at every level is having to make difficult decisions about how best to save money so we can cut the vast debts we inherited from Labour.

“Of course we would all prefer there to be no need for a green waste charge but those who oppose it need to say how they would replace the £675,000 it will raise. What would they cut? What other charges would they bring in?”

l South Kesteven District Council collects green waste but Lincolnshire County Council disposes of it.

However, the county council told the Journal this week that it does not make any money from disposing of the waste.

A spokesman said: “We do have a composting contract with a number of local operators who will accept garden waste collected by the districts. We meet any gate fees they charge, as we are the disposal authority.

“We do not make any money on this.”

l Is the council right to refuse refunds for those wishing to opt out of the service? E-mail: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk