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Future of kerbside garden waste collections to be discussed by Executive

Bins, recycling and street cleansing

06 July 2022

Garden leaves being raked up

Kerbside garden waste collections across North Northamptonshire will be harmonised – subject to Executive approval - creating a consistent fortnightly service across the unitary area.

Next week, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive will consider a report that recommends an opt-in, year-round service with an annual subscription fee per bin of £40 – starting this Autumn; the exact dates to be confirmed.

A direct charge for the collection of garden waste – rather than through general taxation - means only those using the service have to pay and is a fairer way forward for many.

If approved, residents will still be able to make use of the convenient kerbside collection and those who wish to continue using the service will be able to subscribe on an annual basis to make sure their garden waste is removed for 77p per week. 

Those choosing to opt out of the collection can still dispose of their waste for free at one of the authority’s four household waste recycling centres or through home composting.

North Northants joins the 80% of waste collection authorities in England and Wales currently making a charge for the collection of garden waste.

However we run the service, there is a considerable cost, whether this is direct or indirect, therefore, one of the main questions is whether it is right that funding comes from general funds, i.e., everyone’s council tax – which means that for the quarter of households that have no garden they are paying - or only from users of the service.

The recent extensive consultation we ran showed that residents agree that we should harmonise the service and we believe that charging an appropriate, affordable rate to users only across the whole unitary area is the fairest way of running this service – creating the most cost-effective and sustainable solution.

This also gives us an opportunity to promote home composting, which is the most efficient and climate friendly option
Cllr Graham Lawman, the Council’s Executive member for Highways, Travel and Assets

Following local government reorganisation last year, the new unitary council had inherited different approaches to the fortnightly kerbside garden waste collections from the previous local authorities.

In Corby and Kettering, the service has been provided all year at no extra charge, whilst in Wellingborough it operated between March and November with no additional cost for users of the service. In East Northamptonshire, the year-round scheme had a £55 annual subscription charge, paid by users of the service.

We believe providing a consistent service paid for by those who use it is the fairest way of providing kerbside collections for green waste.

Furthermore, there are still options for those who choose to opt-out making it the best way of providing a unified North Northants service
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

The annual subscription charge for all North Northamptonshire residents who opt in to use the service will be set at £40 per year per bin. 

Consultation and Scrutiny

The council held a consultation on the proposal to harmonise kerbside garden waste collections and received more than 9,500 responses.

The issue also appeared before an Executive Advisory Panel on June 29.

Next steps

If Executive approves the report, work will start to ensure all arrangements will be in place ahead of the service launch.

The council would then provide more information about how the service would work and encourage residents to sign up to the scheme.

In the meantime, more information about the proposed service from some frequently asked questions prepared for the consultation process, is available on the council’s website.