Waste col­lec­tion ‘menu’ may cut cost

Sunderland Echo - - News - Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter [email protected]­me­dia.co.uk

A bulky waste col­lec­tion ‘menu’ could be in­tro­duced by Sun­der­land City Coun­cil, al­low­ing res­i­dents to pay sep­a­rate charges for dif­fer­ent items.

Last month, Sun­der­land City Coun­cil con­firmed it would re­view bulky waste charges as it faces about £12mil­lion be­ing cut from ser­vice spend­ing next year.

As part of the draft 2019/20 rev­enue bud­get, a re­view of charges for bulky waste col­lec­tion could bring in an extra £15,000.

At a Scru­tiny Co-or­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee, Head of Place Man­age­ment on the coun­cil Mark Speed said planned­changescould­make some col­lec­tions cheaper.

Cur­rently the coun­cil has a stan­dard charge of £20 for up to eight items, with a three-piece suite count­ing as three and a din­ing ta­ble and four chairs count­ing as five.

The pro­pos­als, re­vealed at Sun­der­land Civic Cen­tre this week, aim to pro­vide more flex­i­bil­ity for Sun­der­land res­i­dents.

“What we’re look­ing to do with bulky waste is in­tro­duce al­most a menu, at the mo­ment we have one set price no mat­ter what we’re ac­tu­ally pick­ing up,” he said.

“It’s eight items and in some cases you turn up and they have eight black bags of rub­bish and on an­other oc­ca­sion it could be a set­tee and fridge, big bulky items.

“What we’re look­ing to do is set a price dif­fer­ence for the dif­fer­ent types of items and that’s be­cause of the difCoun fer­ent re­sources we have to send to col­lect those.

“It’s not that we’re bring­ing in an ad­di­tional charge, in fact we might make some of the col­lec­tions cheaper.

“I’m not guar­an­tee­ing that be­cause the re­view is un­der way and we’re un­der mas­sive pres­sure fi­nan­cially but that’s what the plan is around bulky waste col­lec­tions.”

He added that sim­i­lar schemes had been in­tro­duced in South Ty­ne­side and Gateshead which “hadn’t been over con­tro­ver­sial”.

Niall Hod­son wel­comed the scheme but ques­tioned whether there was a link be­tween fly-tip­ping and bulky waste charges.

“How do we en­sure that peo­ple are will­ing to pay more with­out hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on more items be­ing dumped or more peo­ple go­ing to un­li­censed waste ser­vices,” he asked.

Mark Speed, re­spond­ing, added: “I can’t make an ab­so­lute link be­tween the two things, when we in­tro­duced bulky waste charges it hasn’t led to an abun­dance of flytip­ping.

“This charge was put in and it’s not like it’s ab­so­lutely spiked, we have a prob­lem na­tion­ally and a prob­lem with fly-tip­ping more but link­ing the two to­gether isn’t that easy in terms of bring­ing the stats to­gether.”

The bulky waste pro­pos­als are sub­ject to fur­ther de­tails in the gov­ern­ment’s fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment for coun­cils which is due to be re­leased this month.

Firmer pro­pos­als are set to be made in the new year, when the coun­cil de­cides its fi­nal bud­get in March 2019.

Fly-tip­ping in Fox­cover Lane, Sun­der­land.

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