NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 15th, 2017.
Plans to charge households in Flintshire will be forced to pay £30 for garden waste collections from next year have been approved.
As reported by Deeside.com last month fees for collecting garden waste bins will be charged in addition to annual council tax bills in a bid to plug the council’s budget black hole.
Officials say the move will see the council raise nearly £830,000 a year through income generation while saving £130,000 due to a reduction in the number of vehicles and operators required for garden waste collections.
It’s the local authority’s statutory duty to collect household waste from properties within the county but it doesn’t have to provide a ‘free’ garden waste collection service.
The council expressed ‘grave concern’ around its budget last month following the Welsh Government decision to slice a further £1.6m from the funding the authority is set to receive next financial year.
With Flintshire facing up to an even greater funding gap, officers were tasked with finding ‘innovative ways’ of bridging the £13.3m shortfall in 2018.
Under the new arrangement, householders wanting the service will have to sign up to the £30 a year service, for that one 140 litre garden waste bin will be collected fortnightly, additional bins will cost £30 per bin per year, currently, householders pay £24 for an additional bin.
The service will operate from 1 st March – 30th November and collections will be fortnightly from kerbside.
Once the new arrangements commence black bin bags left out for collection with household refuse bins will be checked to make sure householders aren’t sneaking garden waste into the ‘residual waste stream’
The council estimate 27,600 Flintshire households will sign up for the garden waste collections.
Householders who pay the £30 a year for collections will be issued with barcoded stickers to put onto brown bins however the council is looking at some point to potentially ‘retrofit’ microchips to bins.
A report by Flintshire County Council’s chief officer for streetscene and transportation Steve Jones says;
“Given the increasing financial pressures on the Council from both reducing budgets and the reduction in Welsh Government grant funding, it is now necessary to introduce a charge for the garden waste service in Flintshire.
Whilst the decision to introduce a charge for this service is a difficult one, it should be remembered that garden waste can still be taken to the Council’s household recycling centres – without charge and the decision to provide and operate a more extensive household recycling centre service than was advised by WG, will result in 5 modern and well operated household recycling centre sites being available to residents, at strategic locations across the County.”