Issue - meetings

Garden Waste: Future Service Provision - (subject to the outcome of Scrutiny review following call-in)

Meeting: 15/09/2022 - Executive (Item 286)

286 Garden Waste: Future Service Provision pdf icon PDF 289 KB

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It is recommended that the Executive:

a)    Agreed to harmonise the garden waste collection service across North Northamptonshire;

b)    Recover some of the costs of providing the service only from those who use it by charging a subscription fee for a service operating 12 months of the year (option C as set out in the report).

c)    Agreed that, from 1st April 2023, for North Northamptonshire, the annual subscription charge will be set at £40/bin/year (for the first bin) and £16.50 for the ad hoc sack collection service. Additional bins will be charged on a full cost recovery basis.

d)    Agreed to change the current subscription charge of £55/bin/year in East Northamptonshire to £40/bin/year (for the first bin) for all residents in East Northamptonshire from 1st December 2022. Additional bins will be charged on a full cost recovery basis.

e)    Agreed to apply a rebate of £20/bin/year for all existing garden waste customers in East Northamptonshire who renew their subscription (and only on their next renewal) after 1st December 2022, for a period of 12 months only,

f)     Agreed to provide subsidised home composting bins, as set out in the report, to promote home composting as an environmentally sustainable alternative to kerbside collections of garden waste.

g)    Delegated authority to the Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets in consultation with the Executive Director of Place and Economy to take any further decisions and / or actions required to conclude this process and implement any approved service updates. This will include, but not be limited to:

i.              finalising the Terms and Conditions of the service;

ii.             approving the updates to the Council’s Waste and Recycling Policy in relation to any changes to the garden waste service.


Reasons for Recommendations:

·         The recommended option will harmonise the garden waste service across all North Northamptonshire which will ensure parity across North Northamptonshire

·         Option C makes a contribution to the overall financial stability of the Council and to its Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP). It reduces the need to use budgets allocated for other services to fund a garden waste service.

·         The recommended course of action will reduce the Council’s carbon footprint by reducing the number of Heavy Goods Vehicles used for service delivery, assuming participation is at 40%.

·         Current staffing issues, which have been experienced by many local authorities across the country, have reduced the reliability of the garden waste service for some residents, particularly in the Wellingborough area. Reducing the number of crews required to deliver the service reduces the number of staff members required and thus reduces the risk of disruption caused by staff vacancies and absences.

·         A subscription service provides residents who need to dispose of garden waste with the choice of whether they wish to use, and pay towards, an opt-in service or whether they wish to use another legitimate disposal route, such as home composting or visiting the Council’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs). The tax contribution from those who do  ...  view the full decision text for item 286


The Chair, Cllr Jason Smithers welcomed Cllr Martin Griffiths to the meeting to address the Executive. Cllr Griffiths spoke to reference the current performance of bin collections in the Wellingborough area and that the introduction of any charge for green waste collections given the current cost-of-living crisis was an error, especially as the vast majority of public consultation responses were against it. Cllr Griffiths concluded by noting that the introduction of a charge would set a dangerous precedent when tackling other levelling-up issues and requested that the issue be put to Full Council for decision.


Cllr John McGhee was then invited to address the meeting. Cllr McGhee stated that the service should be funded from general taxation and considered the imposition of a charge for the green waste service to be a stealth tax. He noted that harmonisation had to occur, but this did not require a charge to be levied across the board as residents had clearly stated that they did not wish to see the introduction of a charge in this regard.


The Chair then invited Cllr Jean Addison to speak on the item. Cllr Addison noted that the public consultation had been well supported, with the vast majority of respondents stating there should be no charge for the green waste service. Cllr Addison stated that a charge for all was not harmonisation, rather levelling-up in reverse and that the will of the people should be listened to.


Cllr Martyn Reuby, Chair of Corby Town Council was invited to address the meeting. Cllr Reuby felt that the proposal to level a charge for the service was regressive, unworkable, and impacted those who could not afford the additional cost, with Corby Town Council opposing the scheme in the strongest possible terms. Residents would not sign up to the scheme and there would be an issue of contaminated black bins. The Executive was requested to take onboard the outcome of the public consultation and not approve the scheme.


Mr Lee Forster then addressed the Executive and queried how the proposed scheme met with the Council’s ambition to have climate and environmental considerations as the golden thread running through its activities, stating that implementation of the charge would be an environmental disaster as residents chose other ways to dispose of their green waste by burning it or hiding it in general waste bins. Mr Forster noted that the Council needed to educate residents on the benefits of composting and provide them with the tools to do so, concluding that introducing a service charge was not the right thing to do in the current financial climate.


The Chair thanked the speakers for attending the meeting before inviting Cllr Graham Lawman, Executive Member for Highways Travel and Assets to introduce a report that asked Executive to consider the future of the garden waste service for North Northamptonshire and to make a decision as to how this would be funded based on a number of service models outlined in the report, together with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 286