STRATFORD District Council has now admitted green waste charges could be on the way – as exclusively revealed on the front page of the Herald on Thursday 19th September.
In a statement released today, Friday, the council said its cabinet will consider a proposal to begin a consultation on introducing charges, when it meets on Monday, 7th October.
On the cards is a plan for an annual charge of £40 per green bin or equivalent sacks from 1st June next year.
Council leader Cllr Tony Jefferson said: “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).
If brought in, 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.
Those 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.