Moving ahead with £20 bins

BOROUGH residents are to be banned from putting their garden waste in green wheelie bins following the recommendation of a new garden waste collection scheme.

Under the proposed system, residents requiring the disposal of garden waste will have to buy a brown bin from Boston Borough Council – costing £20.

This will be collected fortnightly, 16 times a year, during the main growing season from March to October.

At the council’s overview and scrutiny meeting on Wednesday, members voted to recommend the new scheme for approval by cabinet. However, concerns were raised about those on low income and benefits, who may struggle to pay the £20, and it was agreed the council would look into ways people could pay in installments.

Coun Paul Goodale said: “I’m not in favour of charging people for them, people already pay council tax for waste collection.”

Coun Carol Taylor inquired about the possibility of halving the cost for those on housing benefits.

George Bernard, head of operations, said there are currently 6,700 people on housing or income tax benefit and pointed out that reducing the cost of the bins by £10 would equate to £67,000 costs for the council.

Coun Michael Brookes added: “Some people can buy a bin with their neighbours and share one. It would be the sensible way to go if they don’t produce much garden waste between them.”

Explaining the need for the new scheme to go ahead, Mr Bernard said: “Over the last few years the cost of landfill has become very expensive. Since 1996 we have been allowing people to put green waste in their bins. We now need to get across to the public that putting it in their residual bins is an expensive way of disposing of it.”

The new scheme will see garden waste diverted from landfill where it currently costs the authorities £88 per tonne to process, compared with £23.36 per tonne sent for commercial composting.

If the scheme goes ahead the council will also replace its ageing refuse collection fleet at a cost of £900,000; and change workers’ shift patterns.

The authority will make a final decision on the garden waste collection service today (Wednesday). Subject to approval, it is expected to be introduced in July.