East Renfrewshire Council consider garden waste collection charge to safeguard frontline services

East Renfrewshire Councillors are set to consider a proposal to introduce a charge for garden waste collection in order to protect essential services.

The proposal, which if approved would come into effect on 1 April 2021, will help avoid cuts to other important frontline Council services, such as keeping our household waste recycling centres open, street cleaning and special uplifts.

East Renfrewshire has led the way with waste collection and recycling in Scotland since 2016, and while Councils have a statutory duty to collect household waste, including food waste, this does not include garden waste. The Council chose to provide this free of charge to residents, however, with the Council facing an £11million budget shortfall, savings need to be identified.

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It is proposed that an opt-in permit system would be introduced whereby residents who wish to have their garden waste collected will pay £40 per year, for a weekly collection, excluding a fortnight at Christmas. This amounts to less than £1 a week. Residents not requiring their garden waste to be collected would still be able to use their brown bin for food waste. The permit will also include collection of Christmas trees.

If approved, East Renfrewshire would join more than a third of Scotland’s councils which already charge for collecting garden waste.

East Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Director, Andy Cahill, said: “The Council is facing a significant budget shortfall for the coming financial year and savings must be identified. We are proposing an opt-in system for a garden waste permit. The proposed charge amounts to less than £1-a-week for a service which will be offered for 50 weeks of the year. Our priority is to protect frontline services for our residents and if the proposal is approved by Councillors then the income generated from this scheme would help meet some of the budget shortfall.”

This proposal will be considered by Councillors at a meeting of the Cabinet on Thursday 26 November.

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