Date published: 06 March 2018
Residents are being urged to sign up now to make sure they don’t miss out on their new garden waste subscription service.
West Lindsey District Council is the last council in Lincolnshire to charge for a garden waste service, which will resume from March 26.
Thousands of households have already signed up but there is still time for residents to pay the new £35 sign up charge and receive their sticker – which must be displayed on the bin when collections resume.
One of the issues that has been gathering a lot of attention and that the council is now keen to address has been why can’t the green waste be sold for profit?
Rob Gilliot, a waste services manager at the council said: “All of the green waste produced in West Lindsey is sent for composting at one of the four local composting facilities – Sturgate, Saxilby, South Elkington and Riby. When the collection lorry is full, it will use the site that is closest to minimise the carbon footprint.”
12,000 tonnes of garden waste and sent it for composting this includes grass cuttings, hedge clippings leaves plants, sticks, pruning’s, flowers, and windfall fruit.
More than 650 tonnes of street sweepings was also sent to compost sites instead of sending them to landfill.
The sites are private facilities but each of the companies use similar composting methods and all have to balance the correct levels of materials to ensure good quality compost is produced.
So what happens to your waste once your green bin is picked up?
The garden waste is tipped by the collection vehicle on to a heap at one of our sites and turned.
The material is then inspected for any contaminants such as plastic bags. Once they have been removed, the material is put into a pile and shredded. The material is turned at least three times until it reaches its final product. This process takes approximately six to eight weeks before quality compost is produced.
Rob recently visited the site at Riby and explained there was a ‘huge amount of work’ that goes into producing a good quality end product.
He said: “The sites check the temperatures of the composting piles daily to ensure an optimum composting environment and they regularly exceed 70 degrees Celsius.
“This helps ensure that all weeds, seeds and pathogens are killed, but the sites currently can't guarantee this and the product is not of a sufficient quality that we would be confident of supplying for use by our residents in their own gardens. The compost is currently spread on farmland and used as a soil conditioner.”
West Lindsey District Council is the waste collection authority and Lincolnshire County Council are the disposal authority. The district council collects garden waste materials from residents and deliver them to sites that are provided by Lincolnshire County Council. The county council let contracts for the sites and they pay a ‘gate fee’ to each site in return for providing the facilities and carrying out the processing operations.
As previously reported, it costs the council £770,000 to run the vehicles and deliver the waste to the composting sites. This doesn’t include disposal (which is out of West Lindsey's control) but it includes the cost of staff, fuel, purchase and maintenance of vehicles, and a proportion of our overhead costs like our waste collection depot.
People can sign up online on West Lindsey District Council’s website www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/gardenwaste or by calling 01427 676676 between 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday using a credit or debit card.
Phone demand is high and the council is advising residents, it is quicker and easier to skip the queue and sign up online at their convenience.
If households don’t want to pay, or can’t afford the annual charge, composting at home is a great alternative that is low cost and also good for the environment. To order a cut-price composter, or for tips on how to make your own compost for free, visit www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/composting.
There is also the option to dispose of garden waste at household waste recycling centres, which is free of charge at Gainsborough, Market Rasen, Louth or Lincoln. Please visit: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/recycling for further information.