Council introduces £30 charge for collecting garden waste

From March 2020, householders will have to pay £30 a year to have their garden waste taken away by the council.

The move is designed to raise £289,000 a year. It is part of a package of measures introduced by Inverclyde Council to offset a cut in funding from the Scottish Government. Over the next two years the council is having to make £7million in savings and is shedding 58 jobs.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Environment & Regeneration Committee said, “The council regrets having to introduce this charge. It is not a decision that we wanted to take but it was one that we agreed unanimously if reluctantly. The alternative would have been to cut other council services.

“Increasingly, this is the reality for Inverclyde residents - having to pay for non-essential services to subsidise the essential ones.

“This necessary, but unwelcome charge, will have a direct financial impact on local people. In addition it is likely to have a serious and detrimental effect on local recycling rates.”

Currently the council collects grass cuttings, weeds, shrub cuttings and hedge trimmings from around 22,000 properties a year. In 2018/19 this amounted to 3,880 tonnes of garden waste and contributed 11% to Inverclyde’s annual recycling performance.

Experience at other local authorities shows that just over half of households can be expected to pay to have their garden waste taken away. This is equivalent to 12,300 homes in Inverclyde and would result in nearly 1,700 tonnes of garden waste going to landfill instead of being recycled.

Householders who pay to have their garden waste taken away will be issued a non-transferable permit to attach to their brown bin. Householders who choose not to take part in the scheme will have to take their garden waste to the recycling centres at Pottery Street and Kirn Drive.

Nine of Scotland’s 32 local authorities currently charge for garden waste collection with fees ranging from £25 per bin to £36 per bin per year. Three more are expected to introduce charges soon. The nine councils are: Aberdeen City, Angus, Dundee City, Edinburgh City, Falkirk, Highland, Midlothian, Moray and Perth & Kinross.