Hundreds sign petition against bulk uplift charges

More than 500 people have signed a petition to reverse the newly introduced bulk uplift charges brought in by Glasgow City Council.

Councillor Thomas Kerr says the city is facing a cleansing crisis

Conservative group leader Thomas Kerr said he expected support for his petition, which already has 517 signatures after just a few weeks, is only going to grow and said the fee will do nothing to clean up the streets of Glasgow ahead of COP26.

Charges at £35 for the waste collection service were introduced at the beginning of July. The aim is to change the way people think about recycling and encourage them to reuse household items.

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The City Council insisted that charging for all collections of bulky items was introduced following a democratic decision of the council in February 2020.

A proposal to reverse bulk charging was put forward at the full council meeting for this year’s budget, but this was rejected. The conservative group is now planning to bring a similar motion before full council in September.

Mr Kerr said: “The response has been overwhelming to our petition against the bulk uplift charge since we launched it less than two weeks ago.

“In normal circumstances, we could now invite everyone to the well-known Drygate pub in the city and pack it out.

“That is now the sheer volume of the hundreds of people who have already voiced their opposition to these completely discriminatory charges. They have delivered a damning verdict on its implementation.

“The administration cannot ignore these residents any longer. These numbers on our petition are only going to grow and grow. How many people need to sign the petition before the council drop these charges?

“It will do nothing to clean up our city ahead of welcoming world leaders in a few months and is discriminatory against those who can’t afford it.

“While the Covid pandemic unfortunately means we can’t bring all these people together in the Drygate, the fact that we should send a message loud and clear to Susan Aitken. Glasgow rejects the bulk uplift charge.”

In response, a council spokesman pointed out that local authorities charging to remove large items was something almost every Scottish council had already introduced.

And he said: “Our new resources and recycling strategy, which received all-party support, also aims to minimise the waste the city produces by encouraging greater re-use and recycling of unwanted items.

“Reducing the amount of waste we produce as a city is good for the environment as it helps reduce our carbon footprint, which is essential if we are to tackle the climate emergency.

“People can dispose of their unwanted items at our waste centres free of charge while the vast majority of the city’s housing associations now also collect large items of behalf of their tenants.

“Zero Waste Scotland’s on-line reuse tool can also help to identify organisations that collect items free-of-charge among other on-line options.

“The vast majority of people will always dispose of their waste appropriately and there has not been an increase in fly-tipping reports from across the city since charging for bulk uplifts was introduced.

“But we will continue monitor fly-tipping around the city and will take enforcement action wherever possible.”