Kingston Council has U-turned on a £15 fee for new recycling and waste bins after residents complained.
The charge was planned as the council looks to balance its budget and plug a Covid gap of £4 million.
Around 18,000 bins are ordered by Kingston residents each year, costing £400,000 for the taxpayer, according to the council.
The authority had already U-turned on a planned £5 charge to visit Villiers Road tip, with the decision hailed as a “victory for residents” after thousands signed a petition against the charge for non-household waste.
The opposition group Kingston Independent Residents Group (KIRG) claimed charges would increase fly-tipping in the borough.
But KIRG are still campaigning against a proposed limit of 20 trips a year to the tip so the council can save £5,000 a year.
(Image: James Mayer)
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service last week, KIRG leader Helen Hinton said: “Unfortunately, Kingston Council has refused to back down on the 20 trips per household per year, which is more prescriptive than any other council.”
Helen claimed Kingston Town Centre is “drowning in filth” due to a possible increase in fly-tipping, adding that “the whole waste management system in The Royal Borough of Kingston is in turmoil”.
She added: “We’re going to have to keep fighting this 20 limit.
“Councillor Sweeney was saying he didn’t want fly-tipping discussing, which in the high streets is particularly terrible and a lot of that is due, I’m sure, to people thinking: ‘well I can’t go to the tip so I’ll just dump it here’.”
In response, council leader Caroline Kerr said: “This was considered in the context of a very challenging financial situation.
“What residents perhaps don’t often see is the difficulty of balancing the budget, when you have no revenue support grant across central government.”