Havering residents pay �150k for green waste sacks which are sent to landfill

�Havering Council has generated more than �100,000 per year from selling green waste sacks to residents, but the majority of the contents have been sent to landfill for the past seven years, according to a councillor.

The Leader of Havering Residents’ Association, Cllr Clarence Barrett, is angry that the price of the green sacks increased.

Cllr Barrett said: “I find the whole practice really bizarre.

“It has been happening since 2005 and now it provides even less value for money than it did before and they are still being treated in the exact same way as normal household waste.”

The cost of the green waste sacks rose from �1.15 to �1.17 per bag in April, meaning residents now have to fork out �5.85 for a packet of five.

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The sacks are one of two ways that people in Havering can have their green waste collected for recycling.

‘Nothing has changed’

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The contents of green bins are composted, but green sacks are collected with black sacks and taken to the same waste facility.

In 2011/12 around 100,000 green waste sacks were sold.

Havering is one of only a few councils which charge for collecting garden waste, while 75 per cent of local authorities across the capital make no charge.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for environment, said that the council charges for the sacks to cover the cost of producing them, picking them up and administration.

John Robinson, from the Havering branch of Friends of the Earth, said that he first raised the issue in 2005.

He said: “I am amazed that nothing has changed. It just doesn’t seem right to me that these bags are not being turned into compost or recycled.”

Cllr Barrett believes green waste sacks should be collected with the wheelie bins.

Emma Boon, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “The council needs to be clear about what’s happening to green waste.

“They should also stop treating this as a way of raising revenue, rubbish collection is a service residents already pay for through their Council Tax.”

A council spokesman said: “Green waste bags are picked up with black bags.

“They are all taken to the facility on Frog Island where the waste is dried and treated.

“Glass and metal are extracted for recycling, while organic material suitable for composting is created from some of the food and garden waste.

“A material which is used as a fuel is also produced.”

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