Wealden District Council has confirmed that it will introduce a charge of £50 a year for garden waste collections when the new Joint Waste Contract for refuse and recycling collections start from 29th June 2019.
At today’s Cabinet meeting, next year’s proposed increase to Council Tax was also discussed. The Council intends to increase their portion of the bill by 2.7 per cent. This would see an average Band D household paying an extra £5 in 2019/2020. Council Leader Councillor Robert Standley warned of uncertainties in the budget:
In due course the Council’s budget plans will go out for public consultation via the Council’s website.
About the charge for garden waste collections, Councillor Roy Galley, Cabinet member for Waste Management, said:
We anticipated this decision last year in the expectation that the new contract would be more costly. Our commitment to garden waste recycling has helped Wealden achieve its strong recycling record, with recycling rates above 50%. Like our residents we are proud of this achievement. We hope we will be able to continue to achieve this in the future.
Garden waste collection is not a service councils are required to provide. It was introduced in Wealden 15 years ago to help increase our recycling. In the face of increasing costs, we can no longer expect council tax payments to subsidise fully this part of the service, particularly when not all residents use the service.
We have, reluctantly, decided to ask the residents who value the service to make a contribution to the cost, as residents in the other joint waste partnership authorities of Rother and Hastings already do. We will introduce a charge of £50 a year from 1st July 2019. This level of charge will place us well down the list of the authorities across the whole of Sussex that charge for garden waste services with all except Rother charging more.
I firmly believe that this still represents good value for money for our residents – a cost of around £1 a week.
More information about the operation of the scheme and how to sign up will be provided to residents in the New Year, along with information about home composting for those who choose to do so.
In the meantime you can read the Frequently Asked Questions on the Council’s website: www.wealden.gov.uk.