On Monday 7 October, Stratford-on-Avon District Council's Cabinet will be considering a proposal to begin a consultation on introducing a chargeable garden waste service.
Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: "The District Council is facing significant financial and environmental pressures. As the government grant, which made up a large part of the council's income, has been phased out, service provision needs to reflect the reduced funding available or fund existing services from other income sources.
"Many residents find the garden waste collection service very convenient, so by introducing a charge of perhaps around 80p a week, the District Council will be able to continue to provide a cost effective, efficient service for households that want it while minimising the overall cost of the service.
"As a local authority we also need to think about our environmental responsibilities and the impact of collecting garden waste across the district and encourage alternatives, such as home composting. We should also be mindful that not all residents take up this service.
"However before introducing a charge we need to carry out a consultation with residents to establish whether a chargeable garden waste service is viable in the district."
The consultation would aim to find out:
- Whether residents would continue to use the garden waste service if it became chargeable.
- If so, how much would they be prepared to pay for the service.
- If not, how would they dispose of their garden waste.
Options available to The Cabinet are:
- To approve public and stakeholder consultation based on the proposal.
- To decide not to proceed with the proposal and retain a free of charge garden waste service.
- To decide no longer to provide a garden waste service from 1 August 2022 (the start of the District Council's new waste collection contract).
- The District Council has provided a garden waste service since 2003.
- Garden and food waste is collected together.
- Currently, a maximum of two green bins or six green sacks are collected per property free of charge on a fortnightly basis (all-year round). There is a charge for the emptying of third or subsequent bins of £45 for 1 year; £62 for 2 years; and £80 for 3 years. No charge is made for green sacks.
Summary of proposal
- To introduce a chargeable garden waste service from 1 June 2020 to align with the grass cutting season.
- Proposed annual charge of £40 per wheeled bin or equivalent sacks.
Additional bins/sacks will be charged at the same rate.
- A 5% discount in the first year will be offered to residents who set up an annual Direct Debit for the service.
- A free compost bin will be offered to residents who are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction and who choose not to participate in the service.
- It will be a single annual subscription fee, payable in advance and non-refundable.
- The subscription year will be fixed from 1 June to 31 May (12-months).
- Bins/sacks will be emptied on a fortnightly basis throughout the year.
- Households will be able to use their existing bin(s).
- Residents will be required to 'opt-in' to the service on an annual basis. They will receive a branded sticker/tag each year so that the crews are aware of the bins to be emptied.
- Residents who do not want to opt into the service but still want to receive a weekly food waste collection will be provided with a food waste caddy, on request, free of charge (if they do not already have one). This caddy will then be presented on the scheduled garden waste collection day and the contents emptied and composted.