Homeowner told to foot recycling bill

RECYCLING enthusiast Helen Butcher has been told she must cut the amount of green waste she puts out - or pay �90 extra to have it collected.

Richard Cornwell

RECYCLING enthusiast Helen Butcher has been told she must cut the amount of green waste she puts out - or pay �90 extra to have it collected.

The canny recycler even tried distributing her extra brown bins around the neighbourhood but is sure the council found out, and the authority is now set to take her wheelie bins away.

“I was gobsmacked - it's absolutely ludicrous,” fumed Mrs Butcher, of Trimley St Martin.

“They tell us to recycle as much as we can and that is what I am doing - I recycle virtually everything and you would think they would be pleased.

“But now I have been visited from a Suffolk Coastal official who says I have to pay �90 a year on my council tax to have my three extra brown bins emptied.”

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Mrs Butcher said she picked up the extra council brown bins after buying them for a couple of pounds each.

They can be used for garden rubbish, cardboard, and kitchen and food waste.

“I cannot understand at all why I need to pay this extra �90,” she said. “The council bin men have to come down my street whether or not just one household, half a dozen or everyone puts out a brown bin.

“Most people don't put one out every time so they might as well take my extra ones and increase the amount of recycled material being collected.

“They tell me I cannot put it into a black sack because it will not be taken and the only thing I can do is drive down to the tip with it.

“I don't want to keep doing that - and what if I didn't have a car?

“All I want to do is recycle as much as possible and help the environment.”

She said the council is now going to take the extra bins away and believes officials are watching her closely to see if she puts out any extra bins anywhere.

Do you think the council should charge for extra bins if people are prepared to recycle more? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

SUFFOLK Coastal says it doesn't have to take away garden waste.

“The service that this council provides to all its residents funded from their council tax payments is for the emptying of one brown bin per home every fortnight,” said a spokesman.

“We made it clear from the launch of this service on all its publicity material delivered to homes that if anyone was producing more garden waste they could either join the thousands of our residents who have bought a compost bin for their garden, or they can rent an additional brown bin at �30 a year.

“Alternatively, in this case, the option is to take it to the nearest household waste site.

“There is no legal requirement on any council to collect garden waste and it is an additional service.

“Because this council is committed to the green environment, it has invested heavily in expanding its recycling services, with nearly �500,000 extra being spent in this new financial year.

“It does take extra time to empty additional bins and we also have to pay for the additional waste to be composted at Parham.

“That is why there is a �30 charge for an extra brown bin, and also explains why we encourage people to recycle as much as possible in their own home compost bins.”