Garden waste charge would be first in Scotland

Garden waste

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A gardening retailer’s research has shown that Angus Council would be the first Scottish local authority to introduce a charge for garden waste collection, if the proposed move is approved.

The local authority has outlined plans to introduce a garden waste subscription service at an initial cost of £25 a year. It will be offered to only those households that currently receive a kerbside garden waste collection. The charge per bin would be based on full recovery costs for operating the collection service.

The proposal for the garden waste would also see a stop garden waste collections in December and January. It is estimated that these changes will generate savings of £393,000.

According to research from Mantis, all 26 Scottish councils that offer a regular green waste collection service currently provide it at no extra charge, as it is covered by council tax contributions. The remaining 19 authorities do not offer this type of service to residents.

However, Angus Council will join 45 percent of English and Welsh authorities in charging a yearly fee in an effort to cope with budget cuts. Although the £25 annual charge would be an unwelcome addition to many residents’ household costs, Mantis’ research shows it is relatively modest compared to the average fee of £41.33 (+65 percent) in England and Wales.

However, this alongside the recommended closure of several recycling centres will make it much less appealing for householders in the county to dispose of organic waste responsibly.

David Goose, Managing Director at Mantis, said: “We hope that garden waste collection charges will encourage more people to take up home composting, which is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of organic waste. However, there are concerns that fees will increase fly-tipping, or divert more recyclable waste to landfill.”

Angus Council’s communities committee is due to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the proposals, as part of a wider review of waste management services and public conveniences in the county.