Boston’s green waste service on verge of being dumped

Kirton ru8bbish pick up garden waste recycling

Kirton ru8bbish pick up garden waste recycling

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BOSTON’S garden waste collection service is on the verge of being dumped.

The scheme which serves the whole borough will be thrown on the scrap heap unless Boston Borough Council can find £40,000.

The Saturday green waste collection service – which would ordinarily start next week – has seen its Government funding from Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) scrapped. And so far no alternative cash has been found.

The borough council’s operations manager George Bernard said: “We are now working very hard to try to identify funding to allow us to provide some form of service this year, but at the moment it remains unclear as to whether we will be successful.”

The scheme, which runs from the end of March to mid-November, sees a collection team sent to designated sites in Boston and the surrounding villages on a rota basis (like the one pictured here in Kirton).

In 2006-07 Boston was just one of 17 local authorities to score ‘zero’ in government statistics for the amount of green waste collected for recycling. But over the last four years, the borough council-run service has diverted some 3,000 tons of this kind of waste which may have otherwise gone to landfill.

With no funding now available this success is unlikely to grow.

In 2007-08, Defra provided £28,424, in 2008-09 £41,066, in 2009-10 £40,980, but last year (2010-11) this fell to £11,884. The borough compensated for the big drop in funding by splashing out £19,166 of its own cash.

Mr Bernard said: “The service was provided with a Government grant from Defra and although we managed to provide the service last year, the funding was totally used up just before the end of the last growing season.”

He added: “We will make an announcement as soon as we know that we are able to provide the service.”

But with keen gardeners already out mowing their lawns, it looks likely they will have to find an alternative way to dispose of their green waste.

And the council has already said putting it in either of the recycling or domestic waste wheelie bins is not an option.

This means a potentially lengthy trip to Lincolnshire County Council’s recycling depot and tip in Slippery Gowt Lane, Boston.

l What do you think? Email stephen.stray@jpress.co.uk