County council review sparked by Welwyn Hatfield’s brown bins service

PUBLISHED: 12:24 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:43 29 March 2017

Councillor Richard Thake

Councillor Richard Thake

Archant

Hertfordshire County Council will review how money is given to local authorities in response to Welwyn Hatfield Council’s imminent brown bins collection service.

HCC disposes of waste collected by Hertfordshire’s local authorities, and provides rebates depending on the amount of rubbish produced.

It has emerged that under the current system, Welwyn Hatfield Council would probably receive more money after introducing its garden waste collection service, despite residual rubbish inevitably rising with the inclusion of food leftovers.

However, county councillor Richard Thake, portfolio holder for community safety and waste management, told the WHT that he has called for a review because the scheme would currently reward environmentally bad practice.

“The system is designed to reward the reduced amounts of residual waste that is sent to the county council for disposal,” he said.

“It was not designed to take into consideration environmentally good practice.

“It’s not a shortcoming of the concept, but things have moved on, because environmental considerations should figure as highly as volume, if not more.”

From April 1, Welwyn Hatfield residents will have to put food waste in residual black bins, as the borough council cannot legally charge to collect it.

Cllr Thake confirmed that if the rewards system is adjusted, it might mean Welwyn Hatfield Council would receive less money than at present if it produces more residual waste.

In the last three years, Welwyn Hatfield Council received £360k, £275k and £224k in rebates, a county council spokeswoman confirmed.

The borough council previously justified the controversial charge by claiming it would make £400k savings.

A council spokeswoman said: “Our council is involved in an ongoing waste disposal review in response to collection changes that we, and several other Hertfordshire authorities, have introduced over the past few years.

“We understand the concerns about food waste and will continue to work toward finding a financially sustainable alternative before we re-tender our existing contract in 2020.

“Sending less waste for processing will always be the best option and has the smallest environmental impact.

“We will continue to actively promote waste reduction throughout the borough.”

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