Thu, 21 Jan 2021
WEST Berkshire Council will not be refunding residents over its suspension of garden waste collections.
Green bin collections were suspended for two weeks on Monday to allow waste crews impacted by coronavirus to catch up on a backlog of recycling in the district.
A £50 charge was introduced in 2018 as the council said that it could not afford to continue a garden waste service without asking residents to pay a separate charge, owing to mounting financial pressures.
Speaking at a meeting last week, executive member for the environment Steve Ardagh-Walter (Con, Thatcham Colthrop and Crookham) said: “This time of year there is little garden waste being generated, plants are not growing a lot.
“We are very happy to be able to offer residents on resumption of the service an additional three bags of garden waste that will be cleared, as well as the green bin.
“In reality the service is being suspended and all that garden waste will be cleared on the first collection after February 1.
“Given all these factors we will not be refunding the pro rata equivalent of the garden waste subscription to residents.
“The diversion of officer time and money towards working out, calculating and administrating payments would not be worthwhile and would not be helpful for the residents of the district.”
Council leader Lynne Doherty (Con, Speen) told the NWN: “It works out at about £1.90, the cost of the collection.
“It would cost more in administration to administer the refund.”
Mrs Doherty said that the details of the scheme did not require the council to offer a refund if there was a postponement of the service.
The terms and conditions state: “There will be no refund for collections missed due to unforeseen circumstances or adverse weather suspensions.”
Mrs Doherty said that the current situation is classed as exceptional circumstances.