Scouts win battle over rubbish bags

PUBLISHED: 17:15 10 May 2007 | UPDATED: 10:21 31 May 2010

The Scouts with the orange bags – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

The Scouts with the orange bags - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

A CHANGE in policy by Uttlesford District Council has meant that Saffron Walden Scouts no longer have to pay to have their rubbish bags collected. In November last year the Reporter told how the 1st Saffron Walden Scout Group were being treated as trade c

A CHANGE in policy by Uttlesford District Council has meant that Saffron Walden Scouts no longer have to pay to have their rubbish bags collected.

In November last year the Reporter told how the 1st Saffron Walden Scout Group were being treated as trade customers by the council, requiring them to purchase blue bin bags at a cost of about £1.10 each.

However, the council has now changed the way it treats the group and has begun providing them with orange bags free of charge.

Steve Willis, Scout leader, said: "After pursuing this for six months, the council has now decided to provide us with these orange bags that are used by voluntary groups.

"Although it might sound like a small thing, the £120 or so we would have had to spend on bags in a year is a lot of money when you consider that the Scouts raise it all themselves.

"We'll now be able to use that money for more worthwhile things, like the purchase of equipment."

The Scouts had been required to pay for their waste collection by the council due to the fact that they were not residential customers.

This meant that they fell into the trade waste category and were treated like a business, despite the fact that the Scouts are a registered charity.

However, in April the council introduced a sub-division within the trade waste category, entitling community groups to have one bag collected free of charge per week.

Diane Burridge, Uttlesford District Council's director of operations, said: "We are currently rolling out this new scheme, which entitles community premises such as places of worship, halls and youth organisations to free waste collection.

"We have written to everyone on our database, but if there are any other groups that feel they may be eligible I would encourage them to get in touch with us here at the council.

"Additionally, if these groups have already purchased blue bags then let us know when you speak to us and we'll arrange reimbursement."

Steve Willis said that the policy change would make a real difference to the Scouts.

"We really didn't expect this to go anywhere," he said, "but we've suddenly got the answer we wanted!"

Any other groups who think they may be eligible for free waste collection should call the council on 01799 510510.

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