Richmond's schools and charities face rubbish collection charges

Concerned: Fiona Brennan from the Greenwood Centre

Concerned: Fiona Brennan from the Greenwood Centre

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Charities and schools will have to start paying to get their rubbish collected next year.

The Government’s new legislation means they will no longer be exempt from the charges.

Richmond Council announced this week it would cover the cost of disposing state school and college waste but they would have to pay for their own rubbish collections from April 2013.

Charity offices in the borough would need to fork out for both services, putting added strain on their annual budgets.

Fiona Brennan, chief executive of the Greenwood Centre, in School Road, Hampton Hill, expressed concern about the new charges.

Her charity looks after people in the area suffering from social isolation.

She said: “From the information we have received so far, this could amount to an additional expense for already hard-pressed local charities.

“Our estimate is about £1,000 a year. I think there is a strong case for charities to be exempt, as we are being asked to take on an increasing number of referrals from social services and health trusts to ensure the delivery of top quality services.

“This is at a time when we are trying to adapt to the new commissioning process, which could put our finances under further pressure.”

Councillor Virginia Morris, cabinet member for environment at Richmond Council, said the Government decided to reclassify all waste producers into three categories.

Independent schools and charity offices would be treated as commercial organisations, while state schools would still only be seen as having household rubbish.

Coun Morris said: “We have had a dialogue with our schools as to how this could work. Schools are already recycling well and were keen to retain free recycling collections. 

“We recognise that keeping recycling free gives them a real incentive to do even better, reducing their rubbish collection costs.

“With regards to charities, it is worth highlighting that this does not impact on charity shops, only those charities that have offices in the borough.

“We are aware that for some charities this might be concerning, so we have agreed to delay the introduction until April 2013.”

Schools will still be able to get their recycled rubbish collected for free and the council will offer them a waste audit to identify opportunities to keep costs down.

Charities that get small business rate relief will be eligible for a discount on their charges.

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