Petition launched as thousands receive ‘brown bin tax’ notice
Around 80,000 homes across Wearside have received an unwanted Christmas gift from Sunderland City Council – a letter telling them they will be charged to have their brown wheelie bin emptied.
In response to the notices, which have been landing on doormats across the city over the past few days, Wearside Liberal Democrats have launched an online petition against the introduction of the yearly £25 charge, saying that it will be bad for the environment and is unlikely to save the council money.
The petition is available online at http://bit.do/brownbintax and urges Sunderland City Council to scrap their plans to charge residents an extra £25 a year to empty brown garden waste bins.
The charge will be introduced from March 2015 and will be in addition to council tax.
Speaking about the campaign against the charge Meg Crosby, Liberal Democrat campaigner for the St Chads ward, said:
“Local residents across Sunderland are really annoyed that we are being asked to pay an extra fee just to have our bins emptied when that’s what we pay our council tax for.
“Wearside Lib Dems are also worried that if people choose not to pay the £25 then their brown bin waste like grass cuttings and hedge trimmings may well go into green landfill bins instead of being recycled. That’s why we have launched this petition to urge Sunderland Council to think again and scrap this damaging brown bin tax.”
Sunderland Council say that the £25 fee “could” save the authority £800,000 a year - but the local Lib Dems have challenged this claim.
In October when ruling Labour councillors announced their decision to introduce a garden waste collection charge a Sunderland Echo poll found that 86% of residents said they wouldn’t pay it. Those households that don’t pay the £25 will have their brown bin taken off them altogether.
Millfield and Thornholme Lib Dems spokesman Niall Hodson said:
“Not only will this brown bin tax be damaging for recycling rates, if 86% of residents say they won’t pay the £25 charge then I doubt Sunderland Council will make anywhere close the £800,000 they claim.
“In the past few weeks its been revealed that in just this last year the Council made a £469,000 loss running car parks in the city, and that Sunderland councillors’ yearly expenses claims were £246,211 higher than those in Newcastle.
“If Sunderland Council ran our car parks competently and reduced councillors’ expenses then maybe they wouldn’t have to introduce this hated brown bin charge.”