Why we have introduced a charge
Due to reductions in Government funding, we need to introduce a charge to cover the costs of our garden waste collection service.
Since 2006, the Council has been providing a garden waste collection service to 40,000 of the 43,000 homes in Fenland. This was originally funded by a one off Government Grant. Now, it costs us over £700,000 a year to provide this service.
Continued reductions in Government funding means we have less money to spend. This means we must make decisions about the services that we provide to customers. The garden waste collection is not statutory (does not have to be provided by law) and is not regularly used by every household, therefore we need to introduce a small charge of the service to continue. This means the customers that use the service will fund the costs.
We have set the annual charge at £40 to cover the cost of this service, based on 26 collections a year. No profit will be made from the service. The reason the charge has been set at £40 is because we expect that only around 40%-50% of households will want to take up the service - perhaps because they are living in properties without gardens or will make other arrangements to dispose of their garden waste. This could be through home composting or by taking waste to a Household Recycling centre.
Authorities across the country charge similar amounts a year for the kerbside collection of garden waste. Positively, these authorities have told us that they have not seen a noticeable increase in fly-tipping as a result of introducing a charge for the service.
The charge in future years will reflect the costs and may change depending on the number of people who sign up for the service.