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Ryedale District Council proposes green bin charge
RESIDENTS across Ryedale may be charged for having their green bins collected, with council bosses warning the alternative could be axing their garden waste service and making other cuts.
Proposals to introduce a £27 fee for each green bin in 2014/15, and increase this to £36 the following year, will be discussed by a Ryedale District Council committee tomorrow.
The fee would be a voluntary payment, but officials said there could be a risk of redundancies among council staff if people did not take part in the scheme because they had to pay.
Collecting garden waste costs the council £285,730 a year and officials said almost a third of English councils now charge for it, but “negative publicity and customer perception” would have to be overcome.
The plans will first go before the authority’s policy and resources committee, with a final decision being made at a full council meeting at the end of October. The scheme is intended to start next June if approved.
In a report, head of environment Phil Long, pictured, said uncertainty over future funding meant the council would need to look at cutting or charging for services, and introducing fees for garden waste collections – which are suspended in December, January and February – meant other services could be protected.
He said the scheme would cost £117,000 to set up and £67,000 a year to run, but in 2015/16 – its first full year – £279,000 could be saved through the new system, Mr Long said a decision must be taken before the council chooses whether to replace six bin lorries, but there was a risk of recycling levels falling and “resident dissatisfaction”, although people with smaller gardens would be encouraged to share bins.
His report said: “In the event the council does not support the proposal, members may need to consider cessation of the service in total at some point in the near future and make cuts to other council services.
“For Ryedale, this provides an income generation opportunity to maintain a valued service, help balance the council’s revenue budget and protect frontline services.
Collection charging on an opt-in basis means only those residents who choose to use garden waste collection services pay for it, arguably a fairer system.”
In March, City of York Council scaled back plans to impose fees for all garden waste collections, although residents with more than one green bin will still be charged and collections will stop between November and March.
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