Outrage has flooded in over the new decision to charge Brent neighbours an annual fee to have their green waste collected.

The idea which has been labelled a 'rip off' was approved in yesterday's Brent Council cabinet meeting (July 21) which will mean locals will have to pay £40 for their garden waste to be collected from April next year.

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Ex Ward councillor for Dollis Hill , Alison Hopkins (Liberal Democrats) told the Observer: "I think it's a stupid idea, it's a rip off for Brent and I think that it is a sneaky way of putting up council tax. Why should I pay for something I already pay for, it's extremely bad for Brent and yet another rip off."

The new service will be an opt in subscription managed by contractor, Veolia, Brent council have said there will be a reduction in the charge for families on low incomes and, there will also be the option of sharing the cost of the service with your immediate neighbour.

However, the new plans did not seem to go down well on social networking site, Twitter, historian, commentator and campaigner for social justice, Katy Layton-Jones tweeted about the issue, she said: "Typical #Brent. The green bins are the recycling bins! Brent residents face fee for green waste collection."

Kensal Triangle tweeted: "Dumping of garden waste will happen more often if @Brent_Council  start charging for green waste."

The alternative Brent Council have given to neighbours who are not willing to pay the charges, are that they can take their garden waste to a recycling centre in Abbey Road in Harlesden.

The council have promised that households will receive a new weekly recycling collection of cans, plastics, cartons, glass, paper and cardboard emptied each week rather than the fortnightly service they currently receive.

 

Lead member for the environment at Brent Council, Councillor Keith Perrin, said: "The introduction of weekly dry recycling and food waste collections is great news for households and is part of our commitment to reducing the amount of household waste that is sent to landfill. The less we send to landfill as a borough the less the council has to pay in landfill taxes which ultimately are paid by all council tax payers. Composting is an excellent way of reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

"In the past food waste has ended up in landfill and I'm sure the new weekly food waste collection will encourage residents to recycle more.

"These borough wide improvements have been enabled by the introduction of a charge for those residents who wish to have their garden waste collected by the council.  Other authorities charge a higher rate for this service. In Brent, at a cost of less than 80 pence per week, it's less than the cost of a sliced bread. However there are alternatives available - the Council subsidises composting equipment and the recycling centre at Abbey Road is free to use for borough residents".

 

A survey of other London boroughs highlighted a range of charges for garden waste service from £35 to £75 per year- Richmond and Bromley both charge £60 per year.

As of next year, the council have said that if someone doesn't pay for the green wast collection service, they will have their green waste bin removed.

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