Green bin tax – Labour will not rule it out.

The last York Council meeting heard that Labour Councillors are still actively considering introducing a Green Bin Surcharge.

Andrew Waller is opposing more green bin charges

Andrew Waller is opposing more green bin charges

As previously reported, this new charge would apply to all green bins not just the supplementary bin charge introduced last year.

Most residents feel that the “winter break” for green bin emptying comes too early in the season. Many homes now have only one more bin emptying day before the service is suspended at the beginning of November.

Like last year, leaf fall has only just begun and adding this source of compostable material to grey bins will do little to improve York’s – now relatively poor – recycling rates.

Labour planning new Hazel Court waste site charges

Reliable sources in West Offices have confirmed that Labour intend to impose new charges – for non recyclable rubbish -taken to sites like Hazel Court.

Bed dumped in field off Askham Lane

Bed dumped in field off Askham Lane

At the moment residents can take items to the “tip” free of charge.

The proposed charge – unlikely to be admitted by Labour until the Westfield by election is out of the way – follow on from the closure of the Beckfield Lane household waste recycling site and an 13% increase in the cost of having up to 10 bulky items removed by the Council.

Bulky waste removal now costs £36.75p

Second green waste bins are now charged for and Labour are understood to be on the on the brink of introducing charges for emptying all green bins

The consequences of these misguided polices are clear to see with fly tipping an increasing problem across the City (see photo)

York Council urged to come clean on Green waste charges

Westfield Liberal Democrat campaigner Andrew Waller is demanding that Labour-led City of York Council comes clean on whether it plans to introduce charges for green waste collections.

He has sought an assurance that ruling Labour councillors have no plans to introduce a charge covering all green bin collections. At present, residents are charged £35 annually for the collection of a second green bin.

Local Liberal Democrats have highlighted a fall in recycling rates, which has been linked to the scrapping of green waste collections between November and March, and the closure of the well-used Beckfield Lane recycling centre. The tip’s closure in 2012 was ordered by Westfield Labour councillor Dafydd Williams when he was the Cabinet member for Environment.

Andrew Waller commented:

“Local residents are rightly angry that the council spent £13,000 on leaflets and stickers telling them that green bin collections are free, when we already knew that because it’s what we pay our council tax for. It would be an outrage if Labour were to now perform a u-turn and introduce charges for all green bin collection.

“Many people I have met in recent months are fed up with the green bin collections stopping before the leaves fall, especially now that they don’t have the option of going to Beckfield Lane tip. People who swept up leaves in public areas were doing the council and public a service by dealing with them before they became a slip hazard – but now their green bins are full from the end of October until March.

“I am concerned that any new charge brought in would lead to a further increase in fly-tipping, which of course costs money to clean up.

“People will not put up with any more decisions being made behind closed doors and so I am challenging James Alexander’s Cabinet to rule it out now. They have taken a service which was part of York’s strength as a green city, and trashed it.”

York Council looking to extend charging for waste collection?

“Scrutiny” review could lead to new fees

It looks like Labour are considering introducing more charges for waste collection and disposal.

Residents criticised Labours decision to introduce charges for second (and subsequent) green bin collections this year.

Mixed messages from Labour

Mixed messages from Labour

This came hard on the heels of some new charges at civic amenity sites (and the closure of the Beckfield Lane facility)

It now seem that the Council is set on considering other charges which may include:

  • Commercial waste collection including service provided to schools and charitable organisations
  • Trade waste disposal at household waste recycling centres including service provided to charitable organisations & landlords/letting agents
  • Clinical waste collection
  • Provision of waste containers
  • Hazardous wastes including chemicals

In other parts of the country Labour have been campaigning against green waste charges ironically using a “one nation” slogan (left)

A background paper can be read by clicking here

Although not specifically mentioned in the York Council officials report, it is known that, in some countries, charges are levied on the basis of the weight of (landfill) material collected from each dwelling.

It will take the review committee several months to report so it is unlikely that any additional charges could be introduced before next Mays Council elections.

Lib Dems call for action as recycling rates fall

Liberal Democrats have renewed their calls for action to increase recycling in York as figures confirm recycling levels fell last year and the Labour run York Council missed its green targets.

Former Coucnil Leader Andrew Waller joins Richard Hill in opposing the closure of the backfield Lane recycling centre in 2012

Former Coucnil Leader Andrew Waller joins Richard Hill in opposing the closure of the backfield Lane recycling centre in 2012

It’s target was to increase recycling to 48%.

Meanwhile, the amount of waste sent to landfill increased from 53% to 56% over the same period.

The council’s target had been to reduce this to 52%.

Last year it was confirmed that landfill tax in York was set to cost the council £4million a year.

The Labour Council courted unpopularity by ending winter green bin emptying 8 months ago, while also deciding to only provide a free collection service for one bin.

The Council also closed the recycling centre in Beckfield Lane in 2012.

Liberal Democrats have called on the Labour council to back ambitions plans to make York the Greenest City in the North, this includes targets to increase recycling to over 50% and work on introducing a food recycling collection service.


Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services, commented:

“Under the Liberal Democrats household recycling increased from 13% to 45% between 2003 and 2011. Labour has failed to build on this legacy and continue the upward trend, instead we are seeing recycling rates failing across York for the first time for a number of years. As a result the percentage of waste being sent to landfill is increasing.

“Labour’s policies such as closing Beckfield Lane and introducing a charge for Green Bins have been unpopular with residents and are bad for our city’s environmental ambitions. Through an increase in landfill tax these policies are now having a direct impact on the council’s finances and the funding available for local services.”

This week industry expert David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of Sita UK, warned that Britain is heading for an annual fine of more than €200m from the EU from 2020 unless there is a rapid increase in household recycling to hit the EU target of 50% by 2020. The European Parliament is expected to consider increasing recycling targets from 50 to 70% for all EU member states by 2030.

Cllr Reid commented:

“Sita’s Chief Executive claims that there is too often a lack of local leadership and a lack of vision on environmental polices. This is certainly true of Labour in York. Labour are squandering the Lib Dem legacy and have refused to back our calls for a cross-party commitment to make York the Greenest City in the North. The latest recycling figures confirm their neglect of this important issue. Urgent action is needed.”


Recycling Figures in York:


Year 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14
Waste Recycled 43% 45% 46% 46% 44% (target 48%)
Waste to Landfill 57% 54% 53% 53% 56% (target 52%) (Item 8 – ‘York Monitor’)


More on the Lib Dem call to make York the Greenest City in the North can be found here:


Resident’s in parts of York to benefit from recycling trial


Recycling plastics
Over 800 residents living in Upper Poppleton are set to benefit from a new trial enabling them to recycle other types of plastic packaging for the first time.

From 20 June until 29 August residents in Upper Poppleton will be able to recycle plastics including yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and fruit trays along with the usual plastic bottles and tin cans.

Green bin charges raising £40,000 a year for York Council


The York Council has revealed that it is receiving an additional £40,000 a year from the new charges introduced for emptying supplementary green (garden waste) bins.

Each household has been entitled to have only one green bin emptied free of charge since the beginning of April 2014.

When the Labour Cabinet decided to introduce the charges in April 2013, they were told that there were at least 5000 additional green waste bins in use in the City.

They hoped that, by charging £35 per bin per year, they would generate over £122,000 a year in increased revenue.

In reality only 1166 households have decided to pay for the extra bins.

It is unclear that is now happening to the green waste that was previously collected.

While some will be “home composted”, more is likely to be going into grey bins.

This will potentially generate more than £50,000 in landfill tax “penalties” making the charging scheme look unattractive to Council Taxpayers who will have to pick up the extra bill.

Glass recycling collection suspended in parts of York

Lib Dems call for extra green bin collection

Liberal Democrats have called for an extra green bin collection to take place this month after residents criticised York Council.

Green Bin

Labour run City of York Council’s controversial changes to garden waste collection mean that the last green bin collection before April 2014 has already been completed. However, leaves are still falling from trees across York and a mild autumn has seen late grass growth and some evergreens continue to need trimming.

Lib Dems have been swamped by complaints from residents who say leaves and garden waste are piling-up. Meanwhile, council officers have admitted that the garden waste which have been collected last winter will end-up in landfill this winter – causing a further rise in landfill tax for the council.

Latest figures reveal that York is currently failing to meet any of its key recycling targets and the amount of waste being sent to landfill is increasing. This increase will see the cost of ‘landfill tax’ rocket to £3,918,960 – a £581,360 or 17% rise on 2012/13.


E petition started as Council stops green bin collection

Green Bin

This is the last day that the Council will be emptying green bins this winter.

One resident has started an “on line”  petition aimed at getting the service restored.
Click here to access it

The petition reads

We the undersigned petition the council to collect and empty our Green Bins throughout the Year.

Autumn leaves are falling everywhere and gardens are still growing but we have nowhere to put our Green Waste unless we store it until spring or take it at our own expense to Hazel Court.
We have all paid for this service to the council who have short changed us by cutting winter collections