Below are some reasons to
oppose non-collection, or charging for collection, of brown bins in the Welwyn Hatfield district.
WHY NOT COLLECTING, OR
CHARGING FOR COLLECTION, OF BROWN BINS IS A BAD PLAN
1. At the moment, your
brown bin is for garden waste and food waste.
2. Districts that
introduce a separate (sometimes charged) collection of garden waste usually do
this at the same time as bringing in a separate weekly food waste collection
(e.g. Three Rivers –
optional garden waste collection charged at £35 p.a. £28 if on benefits, and
separate weekly collection of food waste in a small bin. St Albans – separate
garden and weekly food waste collected free).
WHBC is considering
bringing in optional charged garden waste collection and no separate
food collection, or no brown bin collection at all.
With no brown bin
collection or with optional paid brown bin collection, food waste would have to
go in the black residual waste bin.
This is because
councils are not allowed by law to charge for collection of food waste.
3. Food waste in black
bins is a very bad idea because:
- all residual/black bin waste is totally
wasted, as it has to be land-filled or incinerated.
- food waste in landfill gives off harmful methane
- residents have been told by WHBC and other
environmentally-aware organisations (e.g. Waste Aware) not to put food
waste in black bins, and all this good practice by residents would be lost
- even more black bins would get too full and
would overflow, causing more littered streets, smell and rats
4. Food waste collected
together with garden waste (as now) is quite a good system because:
the waste can be treated
(by in-vessel composting) to produce compost.
5. Food waste collected
separately is an even better system because:
- Separate food waste can be treated by
anaerobic digestion, which produces a digestate that can be used for very
good compost, and can produce biogas that can be used for heat and for
- The cost (gate-fee) of AD is cheaper than in-vessel
composting. Also, we have new AD facilities in Herts at Coursers Farm.
However, WHBC would need
new or adapted vehicles and new smaller bins to bring in this system. The waste
vehicles used now will need replacing in 2020.
6. Recycled food and garden
waste is sold, not wasted.
Herts County Council is
responsible for the disposal of waste collected by Welwyn Hatfield Borough
Council. Herts County Council receives any payments for the waste. However,
Herts County Council then gives financial rewards back to WHBC depending on how
much recycling/composting waste WHBC collects.
7. Garden Waste should
be collected from all residents, not just those who volunteer to pay, because:
- Welwyn Hatfield already has a huge and costly
fly-tipping problem. Unfortunately some residents, and non-resident
landlords, already tip rubbish in our streets and on our greens and nature
walks. Such people are likely also to dump garden waste if WHBC does not
- More residents may be tempted to fly-tip
garden waste if it is not collected free. There are some residents in WHBC
who need every penny of income they have.
- The household
waste recycling centre at Cole Green does take garden waste, but it is not
open every day and it has very long and dangerous queues. Also, creating
lots of car journeys to dump garden waste there would be polluting and wasteful.
- Some residents
may be tempted to light bonfires of garden waste, which can cause real
annoyance and nuisance to neighbours, and increased complaints to the
Environmental Health department.
8. Other districts in Hertfordshire either
collect food and garden waste separately, or collect food and garden waste
together. There is no council in Hertfordshire that forces residents to put
food waste into the black residual bins.
are 10 districts in Hertfordshire. Four of these collect (or are about to
collect) food waste separately from garden waste. Of these four, two (Three Rivers and Broxbourne) charge for optional collection of garden waste, and
two (St Albans and Dacorum) collect separate food waste and
garden waste free .The other six districts (East Herts, Hertsmere, North Herts, Stevenage, Watford, and Welwyn Hatfield) collect garden waste and
food waste together.
if Welwyn Hatfield were to have no garden waste collection, or optional paid
garden waste collection, without a separate food waste collection, then this
borough would be doing something totally out-of-line with other boroughs in
If Welwyn Hatfield Council were to force residents to put food waste in
black bins, this would also be going against all the recommendations of the
Herts Waste Partnership.
will notice that the latest copy of "Horizons" magazine has a
full-page from "Waste Aware" urging residents in Hertfordshire
to recycle food-waste such as tea-bags. The page says "If every household
in Hertfordshire recycled just one tea bag per week we could divert over 350
tonnes from disposal each year, saving at least £20,000 of council taxpayers'
Hatfield is a member of the Herts Waste Partnership, and has participated in
many of its meetings where the need for recycling of food waste has been
emphasised, so it is hard to believe that Welwyn Hatfield Council would even
contemplate forcing residents to put food waste into black residual waste bins.
Separate collection of food waste in special little bins, weekly, encourages
residents not to put food waste in black bins, because the separate bins
increase awareness, and weekly collection avoids smell. The way forward for reduction of residual
(black bin) waste - and therefore reduction of waste disposal costs and
environmental problems - is to collect food waste separately.
11. An improved
waste-collection system might actually save money spent on waste-collection and
waste-disposal overall. A proper
financial analysis needs to be done. The council tax-payer pays for collection
by WHBC and for disposal by HCC.
12. If Welwyn Hatfield's
waste collection vehicles cannot at the moment economically be replaced or
refitted, then surely WHBC should keep to the free
garden-and-food-waste-together collection until such time as WHBC can make the
necessary investment in the improved waste-collection system.