Midlothian residents angry at garden waste charge

Midlothian Council's decision to introduce a garden waste collection charge provoked fury on the Advertiser Facebook page last week.

Residents wishing to retain their brown bin collections will be charged £35 per bin when the service re-starts in spring 2019. Plans for the implementation of the service were approved at last week’s full council meeting.

The decision caused anger when the Advertiser broke the news last week on our website.

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Taking to Facebook, Ann Landels said: “My question is “What next?” I see this as the thin edge of the wedge and to say that the service at the present time is ‘free’ is just a nonsense as it has always been included in the council tax.

“I am particularly aggrieved by this because my husband (he’s 80) regularly sweeps up leaves and needles from our drive which come over from a neglected council property next door to us.

“We have always swept them up and put them in our brown bin. Well that’ll no’ be happening any more!!!”

Adam Livingstone said: “The reason for collecting garden rubbish was to stop fly tipping. Now what do you think will happen? They used to collect bin rubbish every week now its fortnightly but no cuts to the tax.

“It’s the same when building houses, it was the council’s responsibility for the maintenance of the green belt areas, but because of the continual cuts which have been created over the years they have managed to wriggle out of that responsibility as well.

“Now people who are buying house are hit with the responsibilities of paying a private firm to maintain the grass etc. Its the biggest con going yet people just except it.”

Councillor John Hackett (Lab), the cabinet member with responsibility for waste services, defended the charge, he said: “We fully understand why some residents might be unhappy about having to pay a small charge for a service that is currently provided free. However, we hope householders will appreciate the financial difficulties Midlothian Council is facing, and the value of the service, and sign up for garden waste collections.”