brown bin

Harrogate Council consult on £39 a year fee for garden waste wheeled bin collection

24 October 2015

Residents across the district are being asked for their views on whether Harrogate Borough Council should change its garden waste service to an optional chargeable service from 2017.

Currently the council is only able to offer a free kerbside wheeled bin collection for garden waste to approximately 60% of residential properties in the district, with other residents having to purchase disposable garden waste bags.

The proposed new service would eventually see all suitable properties being able to have a garden waste wheeled bin for an annual fee of £39.

Full details of the changes are still to be decided, but the council is looking for residents’ comments on its preferred option, which would mean:

  • A wheeled bin garden waste service would be offered to all suitable properties in the district
  • The council could respond to demand for new properties to be added to the scheme, and fulfil demand for additional capacity from existing users.
  • Only those residents who choose to receive the service would pay for it.
  • All the garden waste collected would be recycled.
  • Subsidised compost bins will be offered to those residents who do not want to participate.
  • Revenue generated would support other environmental initiatives such as an expansion of the kerbside recycling scheme to include more materials that can be collected.

Councillor Michael Harrison, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Waste Reduction and Recycling, who oversees the waste collection service said:

Since introducing our kerbside garden waste recycling collection service we have seen a huge reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill.  However, we have an anomaly whereby some residents either have no service, or are having to buy green garden waste bags which go straight to landfill, whilst other residents receive a superior wheeled bin garden waste recycling service at no charge.

This situation will only get worse as the district grows, as there is no realistic prospect of rolling out the wheeled bin service in its current format to any more properties.  Introducing a charge will enable the Council to respond to increasing demand, but ensure only those residents who want to use the service pay for it.  In addition, the revenue generated will give the Council flexibility to invest in our other kerbside recycling schemes, which could see items such as brown cardboard, more plastics and tetra paks being collected.

A public consultation will allow residents to have their say on the plans for the garden waste service.  Residents will be kept fully informed should the decision be made to introduce any changes to the service. Any changes would not be introduced before summer 2017.


The public consultation runs until 22 November and is available on the council’s website at

Paper copies of the questionnaire are available from the council.

1 Comment

  1. Harrogate Borough Council are being very liberal with the truth with regard to statements made in their questionnaire. They are justifying the £39 charge as being comparable to that of neighbouring Councils. I have read the survey and as previously pointed out, it contains errors. It assumes the costs of removing garden waste in a 240 litre bin rather than 140 litre would be significantly higher in their cost comparisons – untrue. The current system uses 240 litre bins. York City Council do not charge for the first garden waste bin, they charge £37 for a second bin. Richmondshire charge £17 for the first bin and £12 for each additional bin. It would appear that Leeds Council do not charge for removal of garden waste.

    It currently costs HBC £412,259 for 46,558 garden waste bins. If a charge of £39 is introduced, it will generate estimated income of £964,129 per annum in addition to saving the cost of the current system. A charge of £30 per bin is estimated to generate £592,841. (The estimated incomes include income from recycling credits). HBC has also not informed residents that if it makes a profit from charging for this service instead of recovering the cost it will have to form a company.

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