Cllr. Long said, “I welcome the Council’s backing for a review of the current pricing policy on special collections. At present those on benefits have to pay the same as everyone else for special collections by the Council for large items such as old furniture and white goods which cannot be lifted in the normal bin collection service.
“This is very unfair and I am calling for a change in the current policy, where only pensioners are currently exempt from payment for special collections in the Borough. Given that many people on benefits receive less than £100 per week, it is unreasonable that they have to pay the full rate for these special collections, which can cost £40 or £50, depending on the amount of material that needs to be collected.”
“I also believe that the introduction of this measure this is likely to reduce the level of fly tipping and so reduce the cost to the Council of clearing up after illegal dumpers. The government today called for councils across the UK to introduce measures to stop fly-tipping. I would like to see such legislation being enforced in Castlereagh as soon as possible, and I will campaign to secure its introduction.”
Michael Long concluded: “At Thursday’s Council meeting, Councillors agreed to a review of the current pricing structure, and the issue will now be discussed at the Technical Services Committee in September. I hope that following this review, that those on benefits will also qualify for free special collections or at least a reduced amount.”