Haringey and their refuse contractors Veolia are rolling out new collection arrangements in South Tottenham.
The changes will improve recycling, with large dedicated wheelie bins collected weekly. However, non recycled waste will only be collected fortnightly. Garden and kitchen waste collections will be unchanged.
There is also an expanded bulky waste collection service, with many items collected free.
With the enlarged recycling bins collected weekly, the total volume of doorstep collections will increase for 437 to 502 litres [Service summary PDF]. The proportion of this weekly volume going to landfill falls from 55% to 24%.
When these plans were first mooted last year Haringey’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Nilgun Canver, said “I realise residents will need time to adapt to maximise their recycling so we are phasing in the changes.”
Anything that increase recycling and helps people reduce rubbish must be good news.
But simply saying “residents need to adapt” may not be sufficient. Surely what’s needed here is education and support? We hope that the next few weeks will see doorstep visits (in the evening and weekend) to explain how to best use the new service. The one leaflet through the door and a story in Haringey People is a good start, but may not be enough to inform all residents and change their habits.
All local authorities across the UK are under pressure to reduce the volume of landfill. There is a good environmental argument for this, but much action is being prompted by financial pressure.
Since 2004, landfill costs have shot up from the then tax rate of £14/tonne. In the coalition government Emergency Budget 2010, section 2.128 increased landfill rates from £56/tonne:
The standard rate of landfill tax will increase by £8 per tonne each year from 1 April 2011 until at least 2014. There will be a floor under the standard rate at £80 per tonne, so that the rate will not fall below £80 per tonne from April 2014 until at least 2020.
As Haringey Council points out, they are aiming to save nearly a million pounds with the new proposals:
Reducing the collection frequency of rubbish saves your money. By increasing recycling, we also reduce incineration or landfill, which is costly and set to increase in the future. There will also be direct savings of £300k on reduced vehicle movements and savings of up to £600k on disposal charges as a result of introducing these changes will be achieved.