An opt-in garden waste collection service costing £40 per year will launch in April, after approval was given at a meeting of Rugby Borough Council held on 7 February.
The scheme will replace the existing green bin service which will end on 31 March, helping the council close a projected £800,000 shortfall in its medium term financial plan brought about by government changes to the way councils are funded. The savings will be achieved by a combination of income from the service, reducing the number of rounds, and more efficient collection routes.
Nearly half of all local authorities already charge or plan to charge for garden waste collection, which is not a service that councils have to provide.
Households that opt in to the new scheme will receive a sticker to place on their bin. This will entitle them to a fortnightly collection of garden waste year-round, except for a short break at Christmas or in exceptional circumstances such as persistent bad weather. Residents will be able to sign up for the service online or by telephone from the beginning of March.
Residents who choose not to opt-in for the service will be able to take garden waste to recycling centres or compost it at home. As now, black bins containing garden waste will not be emptied, allowing the county council to continue disposing of black bin waste at the incinerator in Coventry.
About thirty five per cent of black bin waste is food waste and this will continue to be accepted in the black bin, though residents will be encouraged to save money by wasting less food.
Cllr Lisa Parker, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm, said: “While no-one would choose to make this change, we have to set a balanced budget and this service will help us make the savings that we need over the next few years.
“The new service allows those residents who want a garden waste collection service to continue to have one while removing the financial burden from general taxation.
“The change also supports a key objective of the Warwickshire Waste Partnership, which is to reduce the amount of waste collected, while providing valuable information for the partnership’s work stream on charging for garden waste collections.”
Details of the garden waste collection scheme will be sent to all residents in early March, and will be published online at www.rugby.gov.uk/gardenwaste as they become available.