Tue, 29 Jan 2019
WEST Berkshire Council has generated an income of £1.3m from its garden waste recycling charge.
This is £400,000 more than the local authority had anticipated in the scheme’s inaugural year.
Approximately 26,700 households have subscribed to the optional scheme, which charges £50 for the collection of their garden waste.
The numbers were revealed at a meeting of the district council’s executive on January 17.
The local authority had hoped 45 per cent of eligible households in the district would subscribe to the scheme – which was rolled out on September 3, 2018 – in order to reach its £900,000 annual net surplus target.
Despite the positive uptake, the council has stood by its claim that the scheme will not generate any profit and its actual net surplus will not be known until the end of the financial year.
Any surplus generated, the council says, will depend on a number of factors, including the costs of administering the scheme, final project costs and changes to waste disposal habits.
In October last year, opposition deputy leader Alan Macro (Lib Dem, Theale) accused the local authority of inadequately informing residents of a cheaper £25 option to have their garden waste recycled.
The £25 charge is included in the terms and conditions if residents opt for a part-year subscription.
Last year, figures showed neighbouring Reading Borough Council generated more than double what it claimed it needed by charging for green waste collection – £404,000 more – after introducing the charge in 2016.