Huntingdonshire District Council's Cabinet Members agreed to introduce a fortnightly garden waste subscription service that will come into effect in April 2024 at a meeting on Thursday 24 August.
Cabinet Members approved the new subscription service at a meeting on Tuesday 18 July but the decision was then called in for a review. A '"call in" is a statutory process that enables a prescribed number of members of the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Panel to make a request that a decision that has been made, but not yet implemented, be reconsidered by the person or body making the decision.
An Overview and Scrutiny Joint Panel meeting took place on Thursday 10 August to discuss the call in before referring the decision back to Cabinet Members with a summary of the deliberations to determine a final recommendation.
Unlike household waste and recycling, there's no legal requirement to collect garden waste so councils can charge for collections. Rather than remove the service, the council will keep the service for those who need and value it.
The optional service equates to under £5 per month at £57.50 for one garden waste bin to be collected fortnightly for the whole year. The council is also exploring incentives such as early bird offers and residents will also be able to share bins with neighbours.
Cllr Martin Hassall, Executive Councillor for Corporate and Shared Services, said: "Not all properties in Huntingdonshire require a garden waste collection service as they do not have a garden. Introducing a subscription means that the service will only be paid for by those households that choose to use it. This is similar to bulky waste collections where only households requesting the service have to pay.
"The current garden waste collection costs us approximately £800,000 per year, and as the district expands, these costs will rise. Meeting the demand will require additional vehicles and staff. By introducing a chargeable garden waste service, we can ensure that the service remains sustainable.
"Around 65% of councils have introduced a charge for collecting garden waste and this is something that a lot of neighbouring boroughs do already.
"Currently 42% of the waste we collect in the grey bin is organic waste. Waste that should go into the green bin. We want to work with our local community to find better ways to reduce, recycle, reuse and collect all types of waste.
"We are committed to supporting residents to reduce waste by encouraging people to think more about what they are disposing of. Garden waste, for example, can be composted or used for mulch - these approaches are much better for the environment than our current collection methods. As we look to make the service accessible to those who want to use it, people will also be able to share bins under their own informal arrangements."
View more information about the garden waste collection service.