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Councils charging up to £96 a year for garden waste collection

A shocking 42% of councils in Britain will charge residents for garden waste collection in 2016, new research from Mantis has revealed.

Although it is a statutory right to have your general refuse collected, local authorities do not have to provide a garden waste service (under the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012), even though many of us expect this to be covered by our council tax contributions.

The findings show that the number of British councils charging for garden bin collections has doubled over the past five years, suggesting that recent council budget cuts are to blame for the ‘garden bin tax’ becoming widespread.

Harlow District Council charges the highest fee for a standard service: £96 per year. But residents can be subject to even higher costs if they require a garden bin delivery, or would like more than one bin emptied.

With the average annual fee for the standard service at £41.26, there have been concerns that residents will fly-tip their waste in order to save money.

Bradford Council councillor Rebecca Poulsen said: "My concern is will [people who don’t want to pay] go to the effort of taking it to a household waste site like Sugden End, or is that garden waste going to be dumped in a layby? Particularly in rural areas, it could be quite unsightly."

There is also the worry that people will put organic waste in their regular wheelie bin, meaning it will take up precious space in landfill rather than being recycled.

Residents who want to avoid garden waste fees and dispose of green waste responsibly can visit their local Household Waste and Recycling Centre, but a better option is home composting.

Because it does not involve any transportation, home composting is the most eco-friendly way to recycle organic waste. There are no ongoing expenses — just the upfront fee for a composter — and you’ll yield nutrient-rich compost (so there’s no need to buy from the gardening centre).

Homemade compost is also hugely beneficial to your vegetable patch, as it tends to be of a much higher quality than store-bought. This makes for healthier, bigger and tastier crops. Make sure to check out our advice section for more tips on growing your own veg.

 

 

Written on Monday 30th May 2016 by Emily Plumb

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