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Review of the chargeable garden waste service

Published: 06/12/2018

Flintshire County Council’s Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee will discuss the impact of the chargeable garden waste service at its meeting next week.

The new charges were introduced in April 2018 to help the Council balance its budget and to ensure this discretionary service achieved full cost recovery.

Scrutiny will be asked to support the continuation of the charging policy for 2019 and beyond and that the current cost of £30 per bin will remain the same in 2019.

In the first year of the subscription process, 33,871 permits were sold which means over 40% of residents have subscribed for at least one bin to be collected under the new service.

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:

“The actual take up marginally exceeded our financial target which means that we can potentially look into technology based systems which offer a more efficient method of registering a bin to a property. This will speed up the management and payment process and will remove the need to issue stickers each year.  We are recommending that options for this are considered and introduced in time for the 2020 season."

A further proposal is not to extend the service to a year round service.  There has been limited demand for the service between December and February, and, although we did receive a small number of requests for a full year service, the majority of residents have accepted the service as provided. All Household Recycling Centres receive garden waste throughout the year.  It also leaves capacity to collect extra recycling which accumulates over the Christmas period which is one of our busiest times of the year.

It is also recommended, after careful review, that no reduced rate will be offered to residents on benefits.  It would be difficult to provide such a discount without passing additional costs onto other non-eligible residents and the management of such a system would be costly and time-consuming in carrying out checks and monitoring any changes in circumstances.  A third of those who bought into the service are part of the Council Tax Relief Scheme.

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