I’ve blogged here before about the long queues at our tips – particularly Lifford Lane – since Birmingham’s Labour Councillors started charging £35 to remove green garden waste. With only a tiny fraction of Birmingham households opting to pay for the charge, it was obvious the queues at the tips would grow massively as people sought to dispose of their garden waste there for free.
When I mentioned this before, one Labour Councillor declared it a non-story on Twitter. Well, the non-story is being reported in the Birmingham Mail again today – the latest news being that bin men had to be diverted from their rubbish collecting duties yesterday (Good Friday) to deal with the massive queues of people trying to offload garden waste at the tip.
Last time it was residents in the queue who were angry, now – according to the Mail – the bin men are angry too at being diverted from their normal duties.
Meanwhile the collections for those people who HAVE signed up for the £35 per year green waste service have, in many cases, been little short of shambolic.
I have a number of roads where residents report getting missed collections every single time there should be a collection. Either the lorry doesn’t come to the road at all, or it comes but only empties some people’s bins and not others.
And then there are the people who have ordered and paid for bins weeks ago, but still haven’t got them. Needless to say, they’re pretty angry too.
The city is also awash with piles of green bags which have been left out by people who either don’t know about the new service, or don’t care and have just fly tipped them.
This was an ill thought out policy. It will cost more money in the long run if extra personnel have to be diverted to the tip to cope. The queues of traffic around Lifford Lane can’t be helping air quality in the Kings Norton area. The Council is having to employ a department of “wheelie bin police” to sticker fly tipped bags and knock doors to tell people to take them off the pavements. And as for the fly tipped bags which aren’t taken back in (often because they were fly tipped outside a house by someone who lives elsewhere) – either the Council will eventually have to spend money taking them away, or they will leave them permanently and the city will look more and more messy.
Every way you look at it, it’s a disaster. A disaster caused by Labour. And it need never have happened. The Conservatives produced a balanced budget which kept this front line service and made economies in back office functions instead. That’s why we have pledged to Axe The Tax if elected in May, and refund all those people who have already paid. And we’d remove the fly tipped bags from our streets.