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 http://www.harrogate.gov.uk/cpi/Pages/Have-your-say.aspx
Paper copies of the questionnaire are available from the council.