Council’s special collection decision is ‘rubbish’ – Alliance

Alliance Vice Chair and Castlereagh Councillor Michael Long has criticized the Castlereagh Council decision to refuse a reduced rate or free special collection of large items for people who receive benefits. Following Cllr Long’s request, only Alliance backed a proposal for a capped rate of £10 for those on benefits and Cllr Long has branded the outcome as ‘rubbish’ for those on low incomes.

Cllr Michael Long said, “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.

“Only pensioners and people who are visually-impaired are currently exempt from the charge. Alliance had asked for a review of the pricing policy in the hope that those on benefits would get free special collections or at least at a reduced rate.

“However, when the matter was debated at council, only Alliance backed a £10 cap on special collections for those receiving benefits.

“Given that many people on benefits receive less than £100 per week, this decision can only be described as rubbish.

Its disgraceful that those on benefits have to pay the full rate for these special collections which can cost £40 or £50, depending on the amount of material to be disposed of.

“Whilst there may be some cost implication of introducing this measure, some other Councils already provide free special collections for everyone.

“I also believe that this measure would help to reduce the level of fly tipping and result in savings for the taxpayer, as the cost of clearing up after illegal dumpers would be greatly reduced.”


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