Garden waste charges for North Somerset households
- Credit: Archant
An annual charge for garden waste collections will be introduced to homes across North Somerset from next month.
Since declaring a climate emergency last year, North Somerset Council has been developing a range of measures to tackle the challenge.
The council said the introduction of an annual charge for the garden waste service, which comes into place from April 1, will encourage home composting - the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to dispose of garden waste.
People can pay for a maximum of two bins, priced at £50 per bin, to be collected from their property for a one-year period from April 1 to March 31, 2022.
The frequency of collections will not change and for those who sign up, they should continue to use their existing garden waste bin or sacks.
The collection day will stay the same for now but may change in the future.
Cllr Bridget Petty, the council's executive member whose portfolio includes recycling and waste, said: "While this hasn't been an easy decision to arrive at, we have continued to provide a collection without an annual charge for longer than two-thirds of other councils in the country, including all our neighbouring authorities."
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"By introducing an annual charge we can continue to offer a good service for those who choose to pay.
"We will also be making a positive contribution to our carbon emissions target by encouraging more home composting."
The council wants to work with all households to encourage more home composting.
To support people, the council is selling discounted compost bins for £10 and offering free online courses and lots of information on its website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/composting
Cllr Petty added: "We're writing to all residents whose properties receive the service at the moment giving details of how they can sign up to continue to have their garden waste collected if they wish.
"During consultation on the garden waste service last year, residents told us an initial discount was important and we've taken notice of that so we're giving a 10 per cent early bird discount available on the first bin if you sign up to the new service by March 28.
"If you're eligible for the council tax support scheme, you also qualify for a subsidised garden waste collection service, the same proportion of discount will be applied when paying.
"If you have a smaller garden, one way of reducing the cost is to arrange to share the service with a neighbour.
"Being a councillor sometimes involves making difficult, unpopular decisions. Garden waste is not a statutory service and with council finances under a great deal of pressure and to protect essential services, we need to introduce this annual charge to cover the costs of the garden waste service and make it self-financing."