Garden waste charge rise backed by councillors - here's how much the cost has increased by

Scarborough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee has backed a planned rise in the cost of garden waste collections in the borough.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:41 am
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:42 am
Garden waste charges have been increased.

The authority wants to add £5 a year to brown bin collection licences as the council looks to offset rising costs, bringing the charge to £38.

A report prepared for the authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Board today said that the cost of providing bins and garden waste sacks has also risen since the council last looked at its pricing, meaning it is now making a loss when selling both items to residents.

The report added that the loss of funding from recycling credits from North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) also meant the current £33 a year licence for fortnightly collections was not sustainable.

It concluded: “The council faces considerable budgetary pressure and this, coupled with the reduction in financial support from NYCC, leaves little option when considering the pricing strategy for 2020/21.

“An increase to £38 for a licence would result in a net neutral budget position for the council and prevent additional savings having to be found from elsewhere.”

The charge for a new brown bin and for 10 garden waste sacks would also rise by £5 to £20 under the proposals.

The scrutiny committee supported the rise, which will need to be agreed by the full council at a later date, though the support was not unanimous.

Three councillors voted against backing the rise, including independent Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff.

Cllr Donohue-Moncrieff questioned how charging people for recycling garden waste fitted in with the council’s declaring of a climate emergency and how it would tackle it, something which has been discussed earlier in the same meeting.

She said: “I have got issues we how far we can go with increasing this [price].

“The message this sends is ‘we want you to help save the environment, but we are going to charge you for it’.

“I question the trajectory of the policy, we should be encouraging people to plant in their garden so that they are observing carbon and things like that.”

In the financial year 2018/19 the council collected approximately 6,000 tonnes of garden waste but its overall recycling rate was 35.3%, which is just above the bottom quartile for performance nationally and the lowest in North Yorkshire.

The £38 figure would put Scarborough £11 above the national average for collection and make the total first-year payment for a new customer, including the bin, £58, the highest in the county. Currently, 16,262 residents in the borough have a garden waste licence.