08/04/2024 - Permalink

Views sought about proposed charges for garden waste collections

Related topics: Climate change / environment / Finance and budget

Householders in the Shropshire Council area are being asked for their views on proposals to introduce a charge for the collection of garden waste – and about proposals for the future operation of the council’s five Household Recycling Centres (HRCs).

A six-week consultation runs from Tuesday 9 April to Monday 20 May 2024.

Shropshire Council is proposing to introduce an annual subscription fee of £52 – the equivalent of £1 a week – to collect garden waste from properties in the Shropshire Council area.

The consultation asks people if they would be willing to pay more than £52 a year if the additional money was used to keep all five HRCs open, and for views on whether the opening times of some recycling centres could be reduced.

The consultation also asks for people’s thoughts about a new permit/booking system for people visiting a recycling centre, to help ensure that they are only used by people from Shropshire.

The proposals are being made as Shropshire Council must make £62m of savings in 2024/25 to keep a balanced budget.

Charging for garden waste collections, and closing two of the council’s five Household Recycling Centres, are among proposals approved by councillors as part of Shropshire Council’s budget cuts for 2024/25.

While garden waste collections in Shropshire are currently free, 80% of English councils already charge for this service, and many have been doing so for several years. The average annual fee across the country is £55 a year.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for waste management, said:

“All householders in the area use our waste services and I want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation.

“Like councils all over the country, Shropshire Council is facing unprecedented financial pressure, mainly due to growing demand for social care and rising costs. Social care now accounts for almost £4 in every £5 of the council’s budget.

“We must make £62m of savings in 2024/25 to keep a balanced budget and our plans include many very difficult decisions, and some that we have never wanted to make. We must look at other ways of creating income so that we can protect essential frontline services for those residents most in need.

“The collection of garden waste is not a service we must provide by law, but is one that we – and we’re sure most residents – would prefer to continue. It’s one that most other council already charge their residents for.

“By charging for garden waste collections, we could continue to provide this service and use the income raised to help support other key services.

“We’re also facing some difficult decisions about the future of our five Household Recycling Centres, and ask that people tell us their thoughts as part of this consultation and how we can reduce the costs of running these.”

To take part in the consultation and find out more go to www.shropshire.gov.uk/gardenwastebudget2024.

The survey will also be available at Shropshire Local in Ludlow and Shrewsbury, and at the following libraries: Bayston Hill, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, The Lantern (Shrewsbury), Ludlow, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Oswestry, Pontesbury, Shrewsbury and Wem – and at the Friday market in Whitchurch.