Author Topic: Garden Waste Collection Charge  (Read 25947 times)

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Offline epiphany

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Garden Waste Collection Charge
« on: October 31, 2016, 08:28:03 pm »
Welwyn Hatfield Council will be launching a consultation tomorrow asking whether residents would be prepared to pay for garden waste collections (brown bins) and if so, how much.


http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/proposal_to_charge_for_garden_waste_collections_in_welwyn_hatfield_1_4756014


I always thought that WHBC actually recouped the costs of collection by selling the compost?
 
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Offline Angel

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 08:32:09 pm »
I thought we did pay in our Council Tax.
 
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 08:36:39 pm »
Welwyn Hatfield Council will be launching a consultation tomorrow asking whether residents would be prepared to pay for garden waste collections (brown bins) and if so, how much.

Thanks Epiphany, I wonder what impact this would have on fly-tipping? I saw a load of garden waste dumped off West End Lane today. I can't see this helping matters. BTW, here is the direct link to the survey.  www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WHGardenWaste
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 08:41:32 pm »
The survey seems to indicate that carrying on as we are isn't an option. Got to Q5 and had to give up because of the lack of options. It seems the choice is no collections or pay for it.   :icon_scratch:
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 08:48:51 pm »
Just discovered you can click 'next' to continue without having to choose between 'Discontinue service' and "Pay subscription". Q8 made me smile. I filled in the form with a suggestion. (Not true, of course).  ;)
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Offline mannyd

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2016, 07:44:42 am »
This already happens in other counties. My parents (in Lincolnshire) have been paying for at least a year - think it's about £25 a year. They also allow you to pay for a 2nd bin, which is appx £15 per year
 

Offline Ferdie

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 08:47:46 am »
Yet again, our council gives us no option. In an effort to provide a so called survey, it basically tells us they will be charging us. End of. What is the point of surveying us when the conclusion is already decided? Just a way to waste more money and appear to 'consult'. This is another way of taxing people. It has already been introduced elsewhere in Hertfordshire and other counties too, so the result is a forgone conclusion. So alternatives are pay up or shut up. If you can't afford to pay, solution is compost it, burn it, (add to pollution & anti social behaviour), take it yourself to the tip or disguise it in your landfill waste - (that's an own goal for the council and will increase its costs). The Cole Green Recycling Centre has already reduced its opening hours, so the fifth option of dumping it becomes attractive to those that don't care. And we wonder why fly tipping is increasing. At least with building rubble, house clearance rubbish etc. there is a chance of tracing its source, but good luck council trying to trace the source of food waste, grass and hedge clippings! Happy days for rats ahead!
 
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 08:51:47 am »
Yet again, our council gives us no option. In an effort to provide a so called survey, it basically tells us they will be charging us. End of. What is the point of surveying us when the conclusion is already decided? Just a way to waste more money and appear to 'consult'. This is another way of taxing people.

I totally agree with Ferdie. This is not a consultation, it's an ultimatum. I see three main issues with this.

The first is the wording of the survey. Question five reads: "The Council is currently considering whether to stop collecting garden waste, or introduce a subscription on a paid for basis. Which option would you favour?" The two options are 'Discontinue service' or 'Pay subscription'. There are no other options available, so, when the survey is over and the data analysed they will have a number for those who ticked 'Discontinue service' and a number for those who ticked 'Pay subscription'. They won't have a number for those who might think this is a mistake. That could be spun into a mandate for change based on public demand - which, of course, it won't be - which brings me on to the second issue.

I am concerned that this will discourage recycling. People will find ways round it. And driving to the tip isn't a carbon-neutral alternative (I can see a day when there will be an entrance fee to get into the local dump once they see the data piling up for that option - question 8 later in the survey). Burying food/garden waste in a black bin bag and shoving it in the black bin will be hard to stop - unless they open every black bin during the round. That would result in recyclable material going to landfill. And then there is the local fly-tipping plague which, I fear, will get worse if this is enforced.

I am happy to pay an annual charge; in fact we could do with a second recycling bin because we always manage to fill our brown bin - I'd pay for that, too. But that's not the point. The council, in their introduction to the survey (grab from the council website below) has failed to explain the financial reasons why this decision has been taken and why it was able to cover the cost before but can't now.

The third issue is whether some local residents will be able to afford to pay the extra - even if we want the service. Will the council introduce some form of means-testing? And if not, how can they be sure that any system they introduce is fair? It just doesn't feel as if it's been thought through properly.
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Offline Ferdie

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2016, 08:58:46 am »
In Torbay Devon, neighbours club together to pay for a bin between neighbours. A lovely idea if one has a small garden and one gets on with the neighbours. Not sure what happens when one neighbour starts using more bin space than others... a recipe for a falling out! In BP & surrounding areas with large gardens I think it is assumed that the residents are all wealthy and can afford to pay more. Not sure why the council is not generating income from recycling garden waste. I presume it is low grade due to residents incorrectly recycling and much of it is rejected and goes to landfill instead? Once again a selfish minority of people that don't care, cost the rest of us a fortune!
 
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Offline Editor

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2016, 09:41:01 am »
As well as responding on individual sites please consider responding to the draft Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP).  This is frightening in its inadquacy - over £240million has been estimated to supply the infrastructure needed to support the 12,100 additional dwellings in the area.  Sources for this money are not clear and are based on trust!!!  Without a viable infrastructure plan the Local Plan itself is not viable.

Aquila made a point in the thread about 'Housing and development in North Mymms', which could be related to this. Perhaps the provision in the Local Plan for services to support the proposed new homes isn't adequate? Below is the relevant section (the recycling part) of the Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan August 2016.

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Offline epiphany

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 09:58:09 am »
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 10:11:24 am »
More here - http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/anger_at_welwyn_hatfield_council_s_proposal_to_charge_for_garden_waste_collection_1_4757679


Good points from Nick36 commenting on WHT site -


"The title of the consultation and the whole of this article miss the point that it is NOT a "fortnightly garden waste collection" it is a "fortnightly FOOD WASTE and garden waste collection". So if the proposals go ahead, what will happen to the food waste of the people opting out? In with the general rubbish, or will the Council start a new food waste collection service? Is that going to mean the Council has to spend money distributing yet another new set of bins, and what will happen to the old 'brown' bins of people opting out of the new garden waste service - will the bins become waste themselves? The alternative of individuals taking their garden waste to dumps (if you can find one still open) will mean more vehicle miles, not very environmentally friendly! Many of the councils adopting a charge are predominantly rural, where the majority either do, or could, use home composting instead. WH is predominantly urban, with places like Hatfield having a population where home composting is simply inappropriate."
 
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Offline Susan

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 11:18:00 am »
Totally agree with what everyone has said. In addition, I'm not clear on the cost implication between the two options. Assuming the subscription pays fully for the service, the discontinue option is really a subset of pay subscription option.

So the survey, in effect, leads to only one answer. ie Option 2, Pay Subscription, and if you vote for Option 1, you still get that choice with Option 2.
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2016, 01:34:00 pm »
Latest from WHT - http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/where_is_the_continue_as_is_option_welwyn_hatfield_residents_criticise_bin_consultation_1_4757906

Glad to see others are bothered by the wording of the survey and the lack of options. I tweeted about that this morning.

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Offline Cathy

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2016, 09:27:58 am »
Nick36 on the WHT site has made a very valid point about the brown bins being for food waste as well as for garden waste.
It is not clear if WelHat Borough Council intends to introduce a new small food waste bin at the same time as charging for collection of brown bins for garden waste. This has been done by other councils.
If not, to charge for collection of brown bins would be an extremely backward step in environmental terms, because residents who chose not to pay for brown bin collection would have to revert to putting food waste in their black bin. Food waste going in black bins wastes this useful material, and leads to an increase in the amount of "residual waste" which needs to be landfilled or incinerated. It also leads to overflowing black bins, with the accompanying problems of waste blowing into the streets, smell, and rats.
Herts county council's own Matt King, Head of waste management and environmental resource planning, in a report to HCC Waste Partnership to be presented this week,says:
 "7.3 In order to charge for green waste collection, district and borough councils cannot include food waste in the receptacle; therefore, if they do not wish to invest in the necessary capital and ongoing revenue required for separate food waste collections, this material is likely to be directed back into the residual waste containers. This is a backwards step in environmental terms and the wrong message for residents who have been encouraged over many years as to the importance of reducing waste and diverting material from the residual containers."

 
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 09:37:13 am »
Food waste going in black bins wastes this useful material, and leads to an increase in the amount of "residual waste" which needs to be landfilled or incinerated.

Well at least Veolia should have enough stuff to burn in order to justify the £1bn HCC deal for an incinerator at Hoddesdon then. I am not suggesting that might have influenced the decision to make recycling harder.  ::)
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Offline trekbat

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2016, 10:25:29 am »

A suggestion that is certainly food for thought.


However, there is another much simpler alternative to that proposed by the council - increase council tax (IF the cost of providing the service has actually risen).


But then some people wouldn't be able to claim that Council tax hasn't risen for 'x' years.


 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2016, 10:45:03 am »
The survey seems to indicate that carrying on as we are isn't an option. Got to Q5 and had to give up because of the lack of options. It seems the choice is no collections or pay for it.   :icon_scratch:


Just completed survey - was able to leave this question unanswered and move to the next.
 
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Offline pinchefalise

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2016, 04:01:03 pm »
Likewise I left this blank and moved on. When it came to alternatives I said Fly tipping (but hasten to add that that is NOT an option actually). Just to make the council think!
 
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Offline Cathy

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2016, 05:31:30 pm »
Three Rivers council will be charging £35 a year (£30 for those on benefits) for the next full year.
Three Rivers also have separate collection of food waste. So they have an environmentally good waste solution, although at a cost to members of the public who have garden waste.

I see that the WelHat Times is reporting that WHBC "is unable to say what would happen to food waste if garden waste collection became a subscription-only service"
and a council spokeswoman said ""At this early stage we are seeking views on garden waste, and, depending on the outcome of the consultation, will consider the options for food waste collections."
This is obviously not the way this issue of waste should be consulted on, as collection of food waste and collection of garden waste are connected issues,  and I suggest that someone on WHBC who does know what is planned overall should do the public the courtesy of telling us, and then we can respond to that.  Helen Bromley is the relevant councillor  on WHBC.
 
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Offline Cathy

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2016, 10:14:21 am »
 Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is currently consulting on whether residents would accept a charge for the collection of garden waste.

One major problem with this consultation is that residents have not been told how food waste would be collected if garden waste was charged for. Councils are not allowed to charge for collection of food waste, but they can charge for collection of garden waste. So, if collection of garden waste were to become an optional chargeable service, then food waste could no longer be put in the brown bins, as it is now.

The most environmentally-friendly way of collecting food waste is to collect it separately. Councils such as Three Rivers already do this, using small additional bins.
Separate collection of food waste is environmentally good, because separately collected food waste can be anaerobically digested (AD). In anaerobic digestion, food waste is microbiologically broken down in enclosed containers in the near absence of oxygen. The outputs produced are digestate, which can be used instead of fossil fuel-intensive fertilisers; and biogas, which can be used to generate vehicle fuel, heat, electricity, combined heat and power, or refined and directly injected into the gas grid.
The combination of both outputs means that anaerobic digestion is environmentally preferable to composting.

Collecting food waste together with garden waste, as WHBC does now, is the next best option; but garden waste can be woody and therefore unsuitable for AD, but possibly suitable for either traditional composting or in-vessel composting.

The worst system environmentally is to put food waste into the black bin, together with the “residual waste”. The food waste then is totally wasted, as it has to be land-filled or incinerated. If WHBC starts to charge for collection of garden waste, without separate collection of food waste, residents would have to put their food waste in the black bin.

Food waste in the black bins also causes problems because the black bins become full to over-flowing, with rubbish blowing on to our streets and verges, and with problems of smell and rats. Hatfield in particular already has a problem with over-flowing black bins.

At the moment, all residents should be putting food in the brown bins and recyclable material in the blue-lidded bins. There is very little waste that really needs to go in the black bins.

Perhaps in future our council will move to separately-collected food waste. If this is what is being considered, then please will the council inform the public now. In this case, some residents might accept a small charge for optional collection of garden waste. Three Rivers borough currently collects food waste separately, and charges £35 a year (£30 for those on benefits) for optional collection of garden waste. One disadvantage of charging for garden waste collection is that it could well lead to even more fly-tipping in the borough.

What must not happen is that WHBC charges residents for garden waste, forces residents to put food waste in the black bins, and uses the money collected for general WHBC expenditure.


WHBC needs to cease this consultation and ask the question properly, informing residents of what is actually on the table, not with partial information as currently.

 
 
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2016, 10:19:11 am »
WHBC needs to cease this consultation and ask the question properly, informing residents of what is actually on the table, not with partial information as currently.

Excellent, informative and clear post. Thanks for that Cathy. In fact it's so good I have tweeted it and copied in Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

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Offline trekbat

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2016, 10:40:49 am »

Hmmm...trying out a hunch, I just filled in the survey AGAIN using the same library computer - without any error messages.


That suggests that the survey is wide open to abuse. Respondents - for all the Council knows - could be sitting in Veolia offices in France ie. not WH residents.


So any data from this - or any other survey using this methodology - is unreliable.


What a farce.
 
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2016, 10:50:28 am »
So any data from this - or any other survey using this methodology - is unreliable.

Yes, I noticed there was no request for any personal information when filling it out. Not sure what value it has. BTW, I like Cathy's summary, and, if that was being proposed I would happily pay an annual fee.

Perhaps in future our council will move to separately-collected food waste. If this is what is being considered, then please will the council inform the public now. In this case, some residents might accept a small charge for optional collection of garden waste. Three Rivers borough currently collects food waste separately, and charges £35 a year (£30 for those on benefits) for optional collection of garden waste. One disadvantage of charging for garden waste collection is that it could well lead to even more fly-tipping in the borough.
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2016, 09:43:41 am »
Good for OWL (the online watch link) set up by Herts police. They've come up with an alternative survey that is far better than the one set up by Welwyn Hatfield Council. I've just completed it. Here is the OWL message and click here to go directly to the survey.

Quote
WHBC Garden Waste Consultation

Dear Watch Member,

Foe the 10 years that OWL has been in operation, it has been mainly used to report issues around crime. OWL is in fact a non-political tool for the community to use, covering other community issues. For example, if a waste bin collection fails to happen, or if a major pothole has been noticed, the Local Coordinator has the ability to let their neighbours users know that it has been reported by an OWL message.

Following the recent survey put out by Welwyn & Hatfield Borough Council on the garden waste collection (Brown bin) issue, many residents have expressed disatisfaction to local and social media at the survey only providing two options of response; either to charge or cease the service.

Attached is an alternative survey that allows the person completing it to have the third option of 'Continue existing service unchanged' and also adds a freeform comments box. This alternative survey, once completed, will go straight to the Council so that they may know the wishes of local people more clearly.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WHGardenAlt
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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2016, 07:47:22 am »
I see the OWL alternative survey about Welwyn Hatfield's recycling waste plans is now closed.
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Offline Cathy

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2016, 08:19:27 am »
 WELWYN HATFIELD BOROUGH COUNCIL
IS CONSULTING NOW UNTIL NOV 28TH
ABOUT THE COLLECTION OF GARDEN WASTE

Please respond to this consultation.
The official survey form allows only two options: no garden waste collection or pay for garden waste collection. There is no space to say “continue as now”, or to comment.
So, the best way to respond is to
email contact-whc@welhat.gov.uk , indicating that you are responding to the consultation on garden waste.
Also, you can copy to:
helen.bromley@welhat.gov.uk (Councillor with responsibility for environment)
john.dean   (Leader of Council)
WHBC Cabinet members: duncan.bell, tony.kingsbury, mandy.perkins, bernard.sarson, roger.trigg.
Also please copy in the local WHBC councillors for your own area.

Below are some reasons to oppose non-collection, or charging for collection, of brown bins. You might use some of these points in your response to the consultation.

WHY NOT COLLECTING, OR CHARGING FOR COLLECTION, OF BROWN BINS IS A BAD PLAN
1. At the moment, your brown bin is for garden waste and food waste.

2. Districts that introduce a separate (sometimes charged) collection of garden waste usually do this at the same time as bringing in a separate weekly food waste collection
(e.g. Three Rivers – optional garden waste collection charged at £35 p.a. £30 if on benefits, and separate weekly collection of food waste in a small bin. St Albans – separate garden and food waste collected free).
WHBC is considering bringing in optional charged garden waste collection and no separate food collection, or no brown bin collection at all.
With no brown bin collection or with optional paid brown bin collection, food waste would have to go in the black residual waste bin.
This is because councils are not allowed by law to charge for collection of food waste.

3. Food waste in black bins is a very bad idea because:
 all residual/black bin waste is totally wasted, as it has to be land-filled or incinerated.
  • food waste in landfill gives off harmful methane
  • residents have been told by WHBC and other environmentally-aware organisations (e.g. Waste Aware) not to put food waste in black bins, and all this good practice by residents would be lost
  • even more black bins would get too full and would overflow, causing more littered streets, smell and rats

4. Food waste collected together with garden waste (as now) is quite a good system because:
the waste can be treated (by in-vessel composting) to produce compost.

5. Food waste collected separately is an even better system because:
 Separate food waste can be treated by anaerobic digestion, which produces a digestate that can be used for very good compost, and can produce biogas that can be used for heat and for power.
  • The cost (gate-fee) of AD is cheaper than in-vessel composting. Also, we have new AD facilities in Herts at Coursers Farm.
However, WHBC would need new or adapted vehicles and new smaller bins to bring in this system. The waste vehicles used now will need replacing in 2020.

6. Recycled food and garden waste is sold, not wasted.
Herts County Council is responsible for the disposal of waste collected by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Herts County Council receives any payments for the waste. However, Herts County Council then gives financial rewards back to WHBC depending on how much recycling/composting waste WHBC collects.

7. Garden Waste should be collected from all residents, not just those who volunteer to pay, because:
 Welwyn Hatfield already has a huge and costly fly-tipping problem. Unfortunately some residents, and non-resident landlords, already tip rubbish in our streets and on our greens and nature walks. Such people are likely also to dump garden waste if WHBC does not collect it.
  • More residents may be tempted to fly-tip garden waste if it is not collected free. There are some residents in WHBC who need every penny of income they have.
  • The household waste recycling centre at Cole Green does take garden waste, but it is not open every day and it has very long and dangerous queues. Also, creating lots of car journeys to dump garden waste there would be polluting and wasteful.
 
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2016, 08:58:09 am »
This full page advert appears inside the front cover of the HCC magazine 'Horizons' currently being delivered to all households and demonstrates a distinct lack of joined up thinking between HCC & WHBC.



 
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Garden Waste Collection Charge
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2016, 08:54:25 am »
 
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