Non-statutory service

A Generic Photo of garden waste. See PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column.

A Generic Photo of garden waste. See PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column.

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Time is running out for Angus residents wishing to pay the new £25 annual charge for the garden waste collection service.

Angus Council confirmed last week about 9000 households had signed up for the service in the two weeks since its launch, out of more than 50,000

Between Monday, May 30, and Thursday, June 16, Angus households signed up for 9393 garden waste bins via the subscription service, with the number “increasing by the hundreds each day”.

Residents have until Friday (June 24) to sign up for the service and the £25 annual fee – the equivalent of about £1.20 per collection.

Letters have been sent out to each householder to ensure they are eligible for the service after Monday, July 4.

The council stated: “You can still subscribe after June 24, but the fee remains static at £25. There are no concessions or rebates.

“Financial constraints mean we can no longer provide this non-statutory service without introducing a fee, but by keeping the charge per bin as low as possible we aim to only recover our costs for collection.

“This relates to the non-statutory garden waste collection service only. No charges will be applied to the other statutory collection services we provide.

“Nineteen Scottish local authorities do not offer this service, but we wanted to give households the option of still receiving a dedicated garden waste collection service, rather than stopping the service altogether.

“As happens now, it will be possible to share a communal bin. The bin will be registered and collected from one address. Such agreements are a matter for you and your neighbour, not the council.

“Those who have signed up are reminded that their day of collection may change from Monday, July 4 and they should visit the council’s garden waste page on its website to find out more.”

Many residents we have spoken to have explained they have refused to pay the £25 charge and will hand back their green bins “as a matter of principle.”

One told us: “I feel I pay for this service anyway with my council tax.”

When asked what their plans were other commented on our Facebook pages.

Valerie Petrie posted on our Kirriemuir page: “The residents of Angus pay their council tax for the council to empty the bins provided. If the council can’t afford to empty them then don’t provide them.”

On Forfar’s page Rona Barker said she had opted out of the service.

She will put most of her garden waste in a compost bin and some weeds in her general waste bin.”

On our Montrose site Mandy Muir posted: “If they hadn’t froze the council tax for so long this wouldn’t have to happen. I refuse to pay a penny more and will be having a compost heap.

“What did they really expect? They will eventually stop the service all together if the majority don’t pay the fee.”

Beth Turnbull questioned what the annual increase in charge will be.

She posted: “I’ve paid. I get my money’s worth but not everyone will. They encourage us to recycle then this. Lots of people not paying. I don’t mind but wondering what annual increase may be!! All because the government forbade councils from increasing council tax for so many years!”

She added: “Just walked down Bents Road, Montrose. About 20 bins out but just three with a paid sticker. That tells a tale!”

Liza Burness explained she had also paid. She said: “I’ve paid, least we are still getting an option to get it collected unlike other councils. Only problem is trying to get in touch to make sure the payment has gone through. They don’t seem to be answering their phones today.”

Joyce Watson called the charged “outrageous” and suggested the council should move the fortnightly collection service to every three weeks to save money.

She posted: “I’m pretty disgusted with the charges. Why not just reduce the frequency of emptying the green bins to three weekly or once per month. Most people won’t pay the charge and this will only encourage fly tipping.”

An online petition against the charges has also received more than 2000 signatures.

Householders wishing to register can sign up online on the council’s dedicated garden waste page or contact the ACCESSline for details on 03452 777 778 (Monday to Friday - 8am to 6pm).