What do new garden waste proposals mean for Colchester?
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Here’s what you need to know about the proposed changes to garden wate changes in Colchester and how much you will have to pay.
What are the rules on garden waste right now?
Currently, residents in Colchester either receive a free wheelie bin for storing garden waste or a reusable white refuse sack. A four sacks can be left out per fortnight and these are collected from the kerbside.
There is currently no additional charge for garden waste collection.
What is proposed under the new scheme?
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The council has proposed changing to an opt-in subscription service called the Garden Club.
There will be an introductory fee of £25 to join the scheme, which will run from October to the end of March 2021.
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Then the Garden Club annual subscription would cost £50 a year, with concessionary rates and ‘early bird’ offers available, using a similar to the funding model rolled out in Ipswich and Tendring.
All those who join will be provided with a wheelie bin to replace their white sacks if required.
Subsidised composters will also be available.
When will the new garden waste scheme be decided?
The council’s scrutiny panel will assess the plans and any public feedback on July 7, with a decision being voted on by the cabinet on July 8.
What does the opposition say about the plans?
Conservative Lewis Barber, who is joining the council scrutiny panel, said: “We have deep concerns on the proposals for the garden tax being introduced by the council.
“We recognise councils are facing significant financial pressures due to Covid-19 but so are households across the borough.
“We are concerned about the environmental impact of this decision and that it represents the introduction of wheelie bins by the back door without consultation.
“Although many residents do prefer them, in Colchester the policy has always been to work on a ward-by-ward basis based on the views of residents.
“This imposes them on the whole borough and the whole thing has been done in one week with no input from any councillors apart from the eight Liberal Democrat and Labour members who sit in the cabinet.”
What does the council think?
Martin Goss, cabinet member for waste, environment and transportation, said: “These new proposals give our residents a choice.
“The Government makes it clear that garden waste collections are an extra service which we do not have to provide.
“We’ve looked closely at what other councils do in putting these proposals together to ensure the service offer and pricing provides good value for money and is affordable.
“Many councils give residents no choice at all, but we have worked hard to develop a range of options for residents.
“We are also working with garden centres and companies to give residents a range of offers, involving free seeds or discounts when they join the Garden Club service.”