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Petition aims to bring back free green waste collection in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:24 26 October 2016

Hilda Gooby and fellow Green Finger gardening club members have collected a petition to retain their free green bin collection service.

Hilda Gooby and fellow Green Finger gardening club members have collected a petition to retain their free green bin collection service.

Archant

Residents are campaigning to bring back free green waste collections as a consultation on a paid-for service comes to a close.

Barking and Dagenham Council ended its free collections last month but a petition calling for it to be reinstated has attracted 1,696 signatures.

Keen gardener Hilda Gooby, 73, who delivered the plea to Barking Town Hall on Friday, said: “I just think they’ve got their priorities wrong.

“The majority of gardeners are getting on a bit in years so they should try and prioritise the elderly. They are going to do a lot of harm by doing this.”

Mrs Gooby, of Dereham Road, Barking, launched the campaign with other members of Green Fingers gardening club when the £220,000-a-year service was under threat in July.

Their petition focuses on bringing back the service and extending it beyond a “much too early” September end.

Cllr Rocky Gill, who handed in the document alongside Mrs Gooby, said it was an “important service” for all residents.

“Why should we pay for a green service when it’s a free service in Redbridge and Newham?” he said.

Green Fingers founder Peter Railton believes the move could ruin gardening for older residents who aren’t able to take their bins to recycling points.

“It’s vital,” the 78-year-old, of Elms Gardens, Dagenham, said. “I think the council should be paying for it – it’s in the interest of the borough to keep the area tidy.”

Cllr Lynda Rice, cabinet member for environment and street scene, thanked Mrs Gooby for organising the petition and welcomed the 6,000 consultation responses received so far.

“If there’s sufficient interest in a paid-for service, we will work out the details and agree what kind of service we can offer next year and at what cost,” she said.

The consultation runs until Monday. Visit lbbd.gov.uk to take part.

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