Tue, 27 Nov 2018
HAMPSHIRE residents will have to pay an extra £7 a year to have their garden waste collected from January.
Charges will increase from £35 to £42 in exchange for three extra collections a year.
When the new service becomes available, residents will have the option of purchasing a large brown wheeled bin at an initial cost of £18.
The 240-litre bin will hold more waste than the two 90-litre sacks which are currently provided.
The introductory offer of £18 will be in place until Sunday, March 31, 2019.
It will then revert back to the normal price of £28 from Monday, April 1.
Residents will still have the option of placing their garden waste in their two sacks for collection. This will also cost £42 a year.
Additional sacks will incur a £21 charge.
Alternatively, residents can have both a bin and the sacks if required.
There will also be a Christmas tree collection for the first time included in the service.
There will be more collections made over 50 weeks of the year – currently the service runs over 44 weeks.
It means the number of collections will rise from 22 to 25.
The changes were approved at a Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, November 13.
Cabinet member for regulatory services and the environment Hayley Eachus said: “The council’s garden waste service is very popular, with more than 10,500 residents now subscribing to the service.
“By introducing more green waste collections for the majority of the year, together with the option of a large-wheeled 240-litre brown bin, which will give better value for money, we hope to attract even more residents to benefit from the collections.
“The service is a convenient and cost-effective way to recycle your garden waste, avoiding trips to the household recycling centre and contributing to the borough’s recycling rate.
“I would encourage residents who regularly collect garden waste throughout the year to consider this excellent service.”
The changes mean there will be the introduction of a rolling year payment scheme for customers to sign up to a full year’s subscription, which will be renewable on the date they joined the scheme.
However, there were concerns among some councillors.
Councillor Michael Westbrook, on behalf of councillor Jack Cousens, said: “I am pleased that more than 10,500 residents recycle their garden waste, but I am concerned the proposed changes could lead to a reduction in these numbers.
“At present the residents have the option to have a pro-rata service, so if you only need collections during the summer months that’s what you pay for.
“Changing to this annual subscription may well mean residents who already struggle to pay the existing charge drop off the system.
“To lose residents already on the system would be a backwards step.”
Councillor Stuart Parker (Lib Dem) added: “I very much welcome the drive to introduce brown green waste bins and in general principal I am very supportive of it.
“I am hoping that this will be a measure to reduce the need for separate car trips to the waste site and therefore reduce pressure on the site so environmentally it gets all the right ticks.
“My only disappointment in this is that we are looking for the initial charge to purchase the bin and have to make the link between that and the generation of additional revenue.”
Basingstoke and Deane has some of the lowest recycling rates in the country.
Ms Eachus said: “We are always looking for ways to increase our recycling rate and we cannot be compared like-for-like with other authorities.”
However, at the cabinet meeting, she said: “I’m not saying we will absolutely remove sacks, but I’m not saying we won’t.
“But if we do look to remove sacks in the future it will be fully reviewed and taken to committee and all the different options will be looked at.”
For more information on changes to the garden waste service, visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/gardenwaste