Residents in East Herts were invited to take part in a consultation to help shape the future of the service in December of last year.
Over recent years the Council has faced increasing financial pressures. With the coronavirus pandemic having put further pressure on the Councils budget, the council needed to explore the option of the introduction of a charged service for those residents who want it rather than the cessation of the service as a whole. Waste and recycling is the single largest expenditure for the council, with garden waste collection being a discretionary service, it has been necessary for the council to make this difficult decision in order to protect and continue to deliver other statutory services.
Graham McAndrew, executive member for environmental sustainability, said: "I'd like to take this chance to thank all residents who took part in the consultation last year. We believe this to be the best option available to us, to ensure that residents continue to get a high standard of service and for the council to reduce its deficit. Charging for garden waste collection is becoming the norm with over 60% of Councils now charging. Alongside this service change, the focus going forward for the service will be on food waste reduction. Approximately 70% of the food waste from UK households that enters the residual waste stream is edible. We want to work with our residents, community champions and social influencers to significantly reduce the amount of food that is wasted. Not only is this good for our resident’s purses, saving the average family of 4 approximately £60 a month by reducing their food waste* but it is also good for the environment. More information on our campaign will be released from the 1 March during National Food Waste Action Week."
The new opt-in chargeable garden collection service will cost £49 a year and will take effect from 1 April 2021 and the council will be offering an 'early bird' discount, making the fee £45 for those residents who sign up early, by direct debit, by 15 March.
We are encouraging those who wish to participate in the scheme to sign up online early to prevent any disruption to the continuation of their service and to ensure we have time to route collection vehicles. The service can be accessed by visiting www.eastherts.gov.uk/gardenwaste where a list of FAQs can also be found.
Every eligible household will receive a leaflet with details about the service and how to sign up from 1 February.
*Source: Love Food Hate Waste