Greens call for composting support and wider green bin offer

Denise Craghill and a compost bin in her back garden
Green Party spokesperson Denise Craghill and a compost bin in her back garden

At tonight’s City of York Council Executive meeting, former Green Exec member Denise Craghill has called for any changes to the green bin service to be used as an opportunity to promote home composting and extending the service to any household in the city which doesn’t currently have the option of a green bin collection.

Denise says:

“York is lucky so far not to be one of the councils that is actually going bankrupt, but the lack of sufficient Government funding is certainly very serious.

“This puts the potential £1m pounds or more that could be raised through charging for green bin collections fairly centre stage, as additional income that could be used for supporting York residents in need. The Green Group were unable to persuade our Lib Dem colleagues to take up this option earlier in the year, but I hope the new administration will now take a bold, evidence based and policy-led decision on this issue.

“Recycling garden waste into municipal compost which can be used by residents in their gardens (which we currently do in York) is indeed a good thing. But as the paper says this proposed charge is in place already throughout North Yorkshire and experience shows that charging at this level – less than £1 a week – still in fact retains significant levels of take up. There are also some residents – particularly in the more central wards of the city – who currently have gardens but no green bins service. Many of those I have spoken to recently would be willing to pay, if included in new collection rounds and I’d ask the Executive Members to look very seriously at that option. 

“There will be some very real issues to address, but I’d like to suggest that this is also an opportunity to improve waste minimisation services. Support for home composting should be very proactive, taking a reasonable proportion of first year savings to fund free compost bins and a small proportion of saving to fund ongoing advice and education on composting techniques, gardening for nature and waste minimisation – a capacity the council has lost over the years. There could also be some community or sharing provision for those on low incomes and with small gardens. We will certainly support you on this but particularly if you also take into account the opportunities for service improvements.”

The executive meeting can be viewed as a this webcast on YouTube. Denise’s contribution is after approximately 16 minutes.

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