Readers have their say on Mansfield District Council’s brown bins plans

NMAC12-0449-1''Mansfield District Council Brown Bin
NMAC12-0449-1''Mansfield District Council Brown Bin

CHAD readers have joined in the debate on Mansfield District Council’s contentious decision to introduce a charge for the collection of brown bins.

In a report last week we revealed that 6,000 homes in the district had signed up to pay £25 per year for the new garden waste scheme, while 2,250 had contacted the authority to opt out and ask for their bins to be taken away.

When the story appeared on our website, dozens of readers posted comments, with some saying the scheme was good value for money and others denouncing it as a stealthy way of raising Council Tax.

Residents outside of Mansfield district, in Ashfield and Newark and Sherwood, also discussed their different experiences of garden waste collections.

Ashfield has had a garden waste collection service operating for eight years, charging £20 per household for the first bin and, new for this year, £10 for each bin thereafter.

A council spokesman said that in 2011 there were 12,683 subscribers to the scheme, up from 500 when it started in 2005.

“The scheme currently contributes over 10 per cent to Ashfield’s recycling rate,” the spokesman said.

“The council has received many positive comments regarding the scheme when asked for feedback.”

A spokesman for Newark & Sherwood District Council said the authority had looked into introducing a paid-for garden and plant waste collection two years ago but there had not been sufficient interest.

“In order to make the scheme viable, the council needed there to be a considerable response from people,” he said.

“Despite carrying out an extensive consultation and mail-out to homes across the pilot area, mainly in the western side of the district, the response was not of a high-enough level to justify introducing the scheme, so the plans were shelved for the time being.”

Mansfield District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, Coun Philip Shields, said he was ‘very encouraged’ by the initial response from residents and urged households to join up.

The scheme begins on 1st April and the cost will be £25 even if residents join part-way through the year.

Residents can pay online at www.mansfield.gov.uk/gardenwastepayment and set up a direct debit to pay annually.

They can also contact Mansfield 463 463 and pay by debit or credit card, pay by cash, debit or credit card at the Civic Centre, by cheque, made payable to Mansfield District Council, and posted with the completed tear off slip on the leaflet to Mansfield District Council, Hermitage Lane Depot, Maunside, Mansfield, Notts, NG18 5GU.

Here is a selection of what you have been saying about the brown bin debate on our Facebook site - www.facebook.com/mansfieldchad, via Twitter to @ChadNews and our website, www.chad.co.uk

No-one likes a charge that they didn’t have to pay before. However £25 per year isn’t a huge amount ... £1 a fortnight. It is certainly a lot cheaper than using fuel fortnightly to go to the tip - Stagsense, writing at www.chad.co.uk

There will be many people who like me have not contacted the council to opt out and who also will not pay for the brown bin service. I’m not wasting my time contacting them to get them to take the bin away they will have to find out for themselves - jgWoodhouse, writing at www.chad.co.uk

It’s been £20 in Ashfield for a while. Better than backwards and forwards to tip - skegbymick, writing at www.chad.co.uk

Views from the streets of Mansfield

WE took to the streets of Mansfield to ask for your views on the £25 charge for brown bins and people’s reactions.

Sue Flintham (66), of West Bank, Mansfield, said: “I have a fair amount of garden rubbish. I think it is a useful service and I am pleased it will be all through the year.

“It should be a free service there for everybody but I do not think £25 is excessive. It is just the way things are.”

Marlene Tunney, of Wingfield Road, pictured with her daughter Helen, of Mansfield, said: “I think it is good value. We have got quite a big garden and have a lot of grass cuttings.”

Sean Douglas (48), of Limestone Rise, told us: “It is something you get used to. It was a good service when it was working.

“But I sometimes agree with people when they say it is a way of putting Council Tax up and I will only pay it while it is separate because once it is incorporated you do not know it is there.”

Viki Millington (30), of Warsop Vale, added: “I think it is disgusting. We pay Council Tax. I go to work and we should not have to pay extra.

“I pay £1,100 as it is. We cannot afford to live nowadays.”