Fenland Council to charge £40 a year for brown bins after agreeing ‘free’ service may have to go to save £700,000 a year

Fenland District Council have proposed to begin charging for the collection of garden waste from Apr

Fenland District Council have proposed to begin charging for the collection of garden waste from April 2017. - Credit: Archant

Fenland Council is hoping to sign up between 12,000-20,000 households willing to pay £40 a year for a brown bin collection.

The council is consulting on the proposals that will come in next year.

Cabinet decided they would no longer pay the £700,000 cost of running “the free service”.

Officials are predicting a new service will become self-funding and figures agreed by Cabinet that the cost would be £34.50 year if 20,000 opt in rising to £46.77 if only 12,000 (i.e. 30 per cent) want to pay.

Nearly half of all local councils across the country have agreed or propose a similar scheme.

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The final decision will take place later but the saving is one of those identified in a recent review by all councillors of where money can be saved.

Bins opting in will get a collection ‘sticker’ and those agreeing early on may get an early bird discount.

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Unwanted bins will be collected and either recycled or prepared for re-use.

The council has agreed to spend £10,000 on delivering consultation papers to all 43,500 properties in Fenland.

Mark Mathews, head of environmental services, said the ‘three-bin system’ waste collection service provided by the council since 2006 included the free collection of garden waste.

“With reductions in Government funding creating ever increasing pressure to find further savings, considerations such as charging for services that have previously been offered for free becomes necessary.”

Those not wishing to pay for a brown bin will still be able to take garden waste to recycling centres in Wisbech, March and Whittlesey.

The council is also publicising a home composting bin that can be bought for £18.

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