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Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Rubbish proposals stink

There is, rightly, huge citizen discontent here over proposals to switch rubbish collection from weekly to fortnightly arrangements. Weekly collection was established by law in 1875 for very sound reasons of disease prevention. For many people - a third of the homes in my London borough are occupied by single people - rubbish collection, street sweeping, road lighting and parks are the only council services they actually receive any benefit from.

The pressure is coming from DEFRA, and is justified on cost grounds. This is a crock of ... rubbish. I've just looked at my borough 'Best Value' figures (they should be on every council website). The annual cost of rubbish collection - 52 times - is about £40 per household. Each household produces around 400kg of rubbish a year, which costs around a further £16 to dispose of. So the total cost of collecting and disposing of rubbish from Chez Raedwald is about £56 a year.

In addition to say £1,000 in Council tax each household pays, the council gets about £4,000 per household direct from government. So rubbish collection and disposal costs about £56 out of £5,000 budget per household - a tad over 1%.

I expect they need the rest of the money to pay for lesbian drug and alcohol outreach workers and suchlike.


hatfield girl said...

Much as I hesitate to mention it, the Daily Mail is suggesting that Defra is pressing local councils to outsource rubbish collection and recycling and rubbish dumps, to arms' length bodies that aren't local authority run; so we won't be able to vote on local refuse services, they won't be council controlled.

mens sana said...

But there is also huge pressure on landfill because we all waste an consume so much rubbish. We have fortnightly collections and they work. We have reduced our output and are much more careful with what we buy, which is good. I wouldn't want to be a family with children in nappies, though