FOLLOWING last year’s announcement of the Borough of Poole’s new proposal for garden waste collection, the public response has been mainly in opposition.

However, the real issue which seems to have been overlooked is the damaging impact of such a scheme on the environment as a result of the ‘opt-in’ and ‘opt-out’ element.

This begs the question ‘What is happening to the uncollected waste?’, as it is feared that less green alternatives for disposal are used when home composting and using a car to access disposal sites are not an option.

The proposal will also affect willing participants who may find themselves left out when, as one report suggests, non-viable rounds are axed.

Surely, the essential part of any borough’s environmental policy is the effective control and disposal of its household waste, not based on choice and ability to pay.

Also, the ideal of allowing limited garden waste in small black bins and committed bin-sharing amongst neighbours may not be popular or practical during the busier periods of the gardening season, bearing in mind areas with predominantly larger gardens.

When striving to promote Poole as ‘A beautiful place’ the council obviously regarded the environment important enough to launch two extra bin rounds to separate household recyclables and a pilot scheme for garden waste, both have been successful.

In conclusion, if a charge was necessary to include the borough’s remaining two-thirds, it would have made more sense to fairly apportion this amongst all garden households so that each paid a nominal sum, perhaps included in the council tax.

This approach would have been less complicated with the effect of reducing the environmental issues as well as eliminating the ‘opt-in’ charge and the need to employ administration.

As the proposal now stands, this places the present system in jeopardy and makes a mockery of the Borough of Poole’s commit-ment to a green environment.