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Bonkers Blog June 2015

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1 June (Part 1) - The forthcoming Bin Tax

Bexley council issued a Press Release on Thursday…

From September, food and garden waste will be collected separately from homes in the London Borough of Bexley.

The current weekly combined food and garden collection (brown bin) will be replaced with a free weekly food only recycling collection and a chargeable fortnightly garden waste service. All other refuse and recycling collections will not change.

Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Environment and Leisure, Cllr Peter Craske said,
“In common with other Council’s [sic] across the country we have to make savings whilst maintaining vital frontline services such as children and adult social care. The only way we can continue collecting garden waste from resident’s [sic] homes is on the basis of this new system. We will continue to provide all of the other waste and recycling collections.

All residents will receive leaflets in the coming weeks setting out the changes, and will be able to choose whether or not to use the chargeable garden waste collection service.

At £33 for a year - with a further discount for signing up before the end of August - we have ensured that the price for this service is low, and to put it into context, joining this collection service for a year costs less than a single tank of petrol and is similar to a family ticket for one show at the cinema in Bexleyheath.

It is important to note that during the five month consultation period, no alternative budget proposals were put forward and no area of the Council can be exempt from the spending reductions we must make.”

Residents will receive their new food only recycling box between 1 September and 4 October. Their old food and garden waste brown bin will be removed when this is delivered and weekly food collections will then start.

The chargeable garden waste service is available for just £33 a year - or only £27 for the first year if you sign up before 31 August. Those who sign up for the service will have their garden waste collected fortnightly in a bigger brown bin. Residents who choose not to use the service can either home compost their garden waste, or take it free of charge to one of Bexley’s two reuse and recycling centres.

Further information on the changes can be found at from 1 June.

Sign up for the new chargeable garden service from 1 June by visiting or call 020 8303 7777 and ask for garden waste.

The leaflet to which councillor Craske refers, or something very similar, is already reaching residents as this extract (†) from recent correspondence reveals.

I have lived in Bexley borough for 46 years and I can say without doubt the present administration is the most corrupt and deceitful group of individuals I have encountered in my life.

I am writing to you because I have just received a communication from my ward councillor advising me about the new system of garden refuse collection. It contains an explanation from Peter Craske as to why these changes are necessary.

 I have known that this was going to happen for some time because you have been blogging about it for weeks. Craske’s explanation has failed to convince me that this is other than an increase in council tax that they feel unable to admit to.

It seems that BIB is the only news outlet willing to expose the truth about the duplicity and illegality that goes on in this borough.

I am at a loss as to why they get elected though I suspect it could be that taxpayers in the borough are only interested in paying as little council tax as possible. The latest ruse to raise money might act as a wakeup call.

RubbishThose who keep an eye on council news via BiB or elsewhere may assume that everyone knows about the forthcoming bin charges but I suspect it will come as a surprise to most residents. Apathy is king and the News Shopper does not get everywhere, far from it. My distributor told me last week that he only delivers to numbers 1, 3 and 5 in my road. He has no idea why but it is what his instructions say. Very odd.

The Bin Tax may not be a tax but it will look that way. The existing system offers 7,280 litres of waste disposal to everyone without any direct charge. The new one system provides for 6,000 litres of garden waste for £33. The percentage increase will vary according to circumstances but my own contribution to council services will rise by 3·1%. 3·8% if one takes into account the reduced capacity.

Whatever Craske might say it will be seen as a Bin Tax, but look on the bright side. The last time Batman Craske was allowed to be a Cabinet Member he jacked up some parking fees very nearly threefold.

† Edited to remove identifying features.

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