Conservatives urge SNP to reverse bulk uplift charge in Glasgow

Residents will have to pay £35 for up to ten standard items with each electrical item also costing £35.

Conservatives urge SNP to reverse bulk uplift charge in Glasgow iStock

Glasgow’s Conservative councillors are urging the SNP administration to reverse the bulk uplift charges introduced this week. 

From Monday, residents who want their bulk waste collected will have to pay £35 for up to ten standard items with each electrical item also costing £35.

Councillor Thomas Kerr has written to the SNP convener for sustainability claiming that the move will do “nothing to alleviate Glasgow’s rubbish problem” but instead make it worse by placing a financial barrier on people using the service. 

He said: “The fly-tipping situation is terrible. I am getting constant emails and tagged in images all over the city of overflowing bins and mattresses lying about.

“The city is an absolute tip and for some reason the city administration has not been able to get a hold of it at all. Despite promises that they were going to come down hard on fly-tippers and put more people into the neighbourhoods department.

“These measures have not worked and instead it has just exasperated the problem and this charge I think is going to make it even worse.

“We have been given a week’s notice for the council to bring in a charge like this. It doesn’t make any sense to me and I genuinely believe that it penalises people who stay in flats and who are not as well off and don’t live in the bigger houses in the city.

“If you stay in a flat in the city and you don’t have a garden, where are you supposed to put stuff while waiting for the bulk uplift coming to get picked up. It could take weeks before a bulk uplift comes around.

“The council is encouraging people to use public transport now they are telling people that if you’ve got a car just take it to the dump yourself. What if you don’t have a car or can’t afford it? You are then forced to use this service.

“I don’t think the council realises that on the ground this is going to be an absolute disaster.

“It feels like the cleansing issue has gotten worse since the beginning of the pandemic. If we don’t acknowledge the problem exists then it won’t get solved.”

Kerr also says in his letter that the move will create a “two tier” system between car owners who will be able to transport their rubbish to the dump free of charge and those who don’t and will be forced to pay for the service. 

The Conservative group will continue to oppose the charge and continue to encourage the administration to reserve the charges.

A council spokesman said: “Charging to collect bulky items is standard practice in almost every other local authority area in Scotland. The decision to introduce charging for bulky items was democratically agreed at a full council meeting in February 2020.

“The vast majority of people will always dispose of their waste responsibly and we are trying to encourage greater re-use and recycling of unwanted items.

“Reducing the amount of waste we produce as a city is good for the environment as it helps reduce our carbon footprint, which is essential if we are to tackle the climate emergency.

“People can dispose of their large, unwanted items at our waste centres free of charge while the vast majority of the city’s housing associations now also collect large items of behalf of their tenants.

“The feedback we’ve had from other councils is that they saw no significant change to fly-tipping rates after introducing charging for bulk uplifts. We will continue monitor fly-tipping around the city and will take enforcement action where ever possible.”

By local democracy reporter Catherine Hunter

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