Harrow Council criticised over garden waste service fees

Another gardener has criticised his council’s approach to garden waste collection charges and urged them to provide more options for taxpayers.

Kanti Shah accused Harrow Council of being “pedantic” when it comes to its garden waste collection service, with residents only able to sign up for a full year’s subscription at a cost of £75.

It comes despite many users not needing the service through the winter months and others delaying their sign up because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is absolutely ridiculous, particularly in the current climate,” he said.

“Instead of making things easier for residents, the council are making it more difficult and are not taking their best interests into account.

“Look, they are in charge so they can make the decisions – but when it next comes to voting, I’ll know what to do.”

The council changed its brown bin options this year to encourage people to sign up for a full year’s service, which runs from April to March next year.

There was an option to sign up for the summer service – running from April to the end of October – but the deadline for this was set at March 7 and is no longer available.

Its garden waste team explained the decision to simplify the collection service was to make it more viable after issues with budgeting.

It added these changes were put forward through an “active marketing campaign” and were noted online in the service’s terms and conditions and frequently asked questions sections.

But Mr Shah suggested it was more about making things easier for staff and raising council revenue, rather than supporting residents.

He also took issue with the council’s claim that it took the decision to “reduce errors” in the service, noting that, in his experience, it had been “running fine” over the past three years.

He added he had been late signing up in the past, often getting three- or four-months’ worth of collections but paying for six, but he acknowledged this was his fault and welcomed the flexibility.

Earlier this month, another Harrow gardener, Rahul Shah, criticised the council’s approach along similar lines.

He added it was particular unfair to have such strict rules given that Harrow has some of the highest garden waste collection fees in London.

Harrow Times | Local News