Lancaster’s new garden waste bin charges ‘a joke’

Charges for garden waste collection come into force this year
Charges for garden waste collection come into force this year

Residents have been warned not to use their grey bin for green waste to avoid a controversial collection fee – or face “appropriate action”.

Lancaster City Council said it would not collect grey bins containing any grass cuttings, soil or dead plants and flowers.

With householders facing a double whammy of council tax rises and extra charges for waste collection in 2017, some have described the new system as “a joke” and have warned it could increase fly-tipping across the district.

So far, around half of those with a green wheelie bin have opted in to the new service, which costs £30 up until March 31, and £37.50 per year after that.

But many residents have described the charges as “a joke” as council tax is also due to increase from April 1.

Others warned of increased fly-tipping across the district.

Nic Mitch Mitchell said on Facebook: “I think it’s a joke remove services but still put the council tax up? I know there’s a deficit but that’s not going to fix the problem.”

Gareth Hennedy said: “If it fits in the bin then it shouldn’t be an issue. It’s all going back in the earth anyway.”

But Alec Feuillade said: “If you’re going to have to resort to fly tipping there’s a lovely little spot for it down salt ayre lane next to the leisure centre...”

The city council said “appropriate action will be taken” against anyone putting their grass cuttings, dead flowers or any other garden waste into their non-recyclable grey waste bin. So far, around half of those with a green garden waste bin have signed up to the scheme.

The city council has managed to raise £540,000, but it is set to lose £1.22m from Lancashire County Council as a contribution towards the recycling service, so this only partly offsets the loss.

The cost for the service is £30 until March 31, when the annual price increases to £37.50.

A city council spokeswoman confirmed that if garden waste is put in grey bins then the bin will not be emptied.

“In the first instance this will mean speaking to the householder and explaining why garden waste should not be put out with their refuse,” she added.

Coun Brendan Hughes, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “The number of people who have signed up so far just shows how much the garden waste collection service is valued.

“Anyone who doesn’t want to opt-in to the convenience of our service will still be able to dispose of their garden waste for free at one of the Household Waste and Recycling Centres.”

The city council said that if anyone doesn’t want to take up the collection service “then home composting is a great alternative”, or some people are also choosing to share a bin with a neighbour.

Anyone wishing to take up the service can register with a credit/debit card online HERE, after which they will receive an information pack in the post with a sticker to place on the side of the bin.