Another Staffordshire council to bring in 'money grabbing' garden bin charge

Another Staffordshire council is set to charge residents for their garden waste. Council leaders at East Staffordshire Borough Council have agreed to the final step for the introduction of the controversial garden waste subscription.

It is now set for a six-week consultation before subscriptions open in October. Once the consultation has been completed council officers will then review the feedback and make changes as needed with the aim of starting collections in January 2025.

The proposals to start charging residents were only put into a budget document in February and at the time it was said that a decision on whether to introduce the charge would not be made until next year. The subscription service has received a backlash from Conservative councillors and local MP Kate Kniveton who called it a “money grabbing exercise.”

READ: Big change to £2.5m garden waste contracts in Staffordshire Garden waste collections will not be affected

READ: Cash-strapped Stokies now have to pay council £40 to get garden bin emptied Stoke-on-Trent City Council is bringing in the £40-a-year charge - from April Fool's Day

Households are set to be charged £40 a year for their waste to be collected, provisional figures show. This would yield £864,000 a year in income for the council.

The cost of providing garden waste collection is estimated to be £1.1million with a gate fee per tonne of £29.72. However over the past four years the amount of garden waste being recycled has fallen.

Currently it is envisaged that residents will sign up to the service for a full calendar year. This means regardless of when you sign up you will still be charged for the whole year, with no discount rate applied.

No refunds will also be offered to residents who no longer need the service or move out of the area. However residents that move around East Staffordshire will be able to move their subscription to their new address at no extra cost.

Residents will also be charged full price for each bin that they have. Currently residents are entitled to three garden waste bins, however if this was to continue in January when the service is likely to start then they would be charged three times.

Households that already have a brown bin are encouraged to keep it and can be used for storage or as a compost bin. Residents will be charged £35 for the supply and delivery of a new brown bin.

Cabinet Member for Communities and Regulatory Services, Councillor Simon Slater commented: “I think on this side, I think all of us were to a large degree reluctant to introduce but I think after 14 years of cuts we’ve experienced as councils we’ve been put in a situation where ultimately we have no choice to do it.

“It seems to me that if we didn’t do it other authorities are facing bankruptcy and so forth and if that happened to us obviously the consequences to the authority would be far worse.

“I think in an ideal world this would be centrally funded by the government but unfortunately this is the position we’re in and has been set that pretty much every other authority has to charge for this.”

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