A policy which meant residents in the Warwick district had to pay for recycling containers has had a “successful” first year.
In June 2016 Warwick District Council introduced the new policy to start charging households for replacement recycling containers in an effort to save millions of pounds in the long term.
Previously the council had provided new or replacement wheelie bins, red recycling boxes and bags free to all homes. This was costing the council £165,000 a year.
Under the 2016 policy, new or replacement grey and green wheeled bin cost £25, a recycling box with lid cost £5, a recycling box lid only cost £1.50, a recycling bag cost £2.50 and there was no charge for the food caddy as they were funded by Warwickshire County Council.
As well as the new costs there was also an additional £5 delivery cost per order.
Many residents were not happy when the new policy was announced.
At the district council’s Executive meeting last Thursday (August 31) councillors discussed how the policy has gone over the last year.
The information was gathered from the council’s customer relationship management system, as well as other sources.
Cllr Moira-Ann Grainger, the portfolio holder for neighbourhood services, said: “I believe it has been a very successful start, yes there have been complaints but it has stopped people just applying for bins and bags just because they can.”
In the data collected, the number of complaints received was also recorded.
According to the council documents “the majority of complaints received are with regards to containers going missing after collection”.
According to the data there have been 819 “expressions of customer dissatisfaction” about the policy over the year period.
Despite complaints the first year of the charging policy has generated £77,000, which according to the Executive documents “means that the cost of waste container provision is almost being covered by the contribution from residents”.
During the meeting councillors highlighted that the recycling level for paper was down. According to the data gathered by the council the amount of paper collected in the 2016-2017 period was 883 tonnes compared to 1,694.76 tonnes in 2015-2016.
Cllr Grainger addressed this decrease. She said: “The reductions in the paper recycling is almost certainly down to the reduction in newspapers. This is something that is pronounced all over the country.”
Councillors at the meeting voted to continuing with the charges but also that a criteria be drawn up for waiving the charges where there are special personal circumstances such as financial hardship.”
A criteria for these circumstances are set to be drawn up.