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Missed opportunities over green waste

I have suffered my very own Green Bin Disaster Day with a double whammy over garden waste collections.

The first was when a BBC local radio station invited me to discuss on air the implication of charging for green waste on recycling rates. Or so I thought.

However, interviews with local people broadcast before my appearance were solely complaints about the propriety and value of a new £40 fee. I’d barely completed one answer pointing out that the component of council tax for the core collection was a highly reasonable £130 or so when the interview was curtailed for technical reasons. Frustrating.

But not as annoying as our first ‘missed collection’ of green waste at home that same day. Doubly so as we are in the first month of a new fortnightly collection regime and I needed an empty bin ahead of Easter gardening. Trebly so, because I wasted my time as a dutiful citizen by going online to report the entire street’s missed collection.

We left the bin on the street just in case, but no RCVs materialised. I called an engaging council man who promised they would come that day. They didn’t and still hadn’t nearly a week after I reported the problem*.

The poor customer service and zero communication was more galling than the missed collection, especially as I played the game initially by using the council’s online reporting process.

Both incidents remind me how much we take household collections for granted and - generally - how seamlessly they are carried out. Listening to the comments of the local radio listeners emphasised how important it is that householders understand what a good deal they are getting.

The second showed how important it is to keep householders onside. There has also been some grim cctv footage in local newspaper websites of appalling behaviour by collection crews around the country.

As ever, they are a tiny minority but we must not allow such incidents and bad practice to undermine the sterling efforts of collection authorities in these trying times.

*Six days late, my green bin WAS emptied, with the bin left blocking the gate – presumably to let me know!

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