Why is the council considering charging for garden waste collections?
Central Government has cut funding to all local councils including West Lindsey District Council, resulting in tough choices having to be made including charging for collecting garden waste. Many of our neighbouring councils and more than half of the councils in the UK now charge for the kerbside collection of garden waste.
When would the charges start?
The new service is planned to start from April 2018.
How much is the new service proposed to cost?
The cost of the new service is proposed at £35 per year per green bin. Any additional bins at the same property will incur an additional annual cost of £30 per bin. You’ll have an opportunity to influence this during the consultation with options to increase the number of collections, or reduce them if our residents want to pay less for fewer collections.
How would I sign up and pay for the new charged garden waste collection service?
You will be able to sign up and pay online from the end of December 2017. Payment can be made by debit or credit card. Alternatively you will be able to pay over the phone and we are investigating the possibility to pay by cash or cheque at post offices or PayPoint locations.
When would I have to pay by?
The proposal is that you can sign up and pay any time from the end of 2017.
How would the proposed changes affect me?
The changes mean that if you would like to have your garden waste collected after March 2018 you will need to pay a fee to cover the collection cost. This is an optional service and you will only pay if you would like to use the service. If you do not wish to pay to have your garden waste collected from the kerbside, you can use the County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres for free or compost at home. Details of home composters are available at www.getcomposting.com or by phoning 0844 5714444, quoting LWP10L.
Would my collection day change?
There are unlikely to be any collection day changes in the first year. We may review this in the future as we look to make the service as efficient and cost effective as possible.
Would I be able to opt out?
The plan is that you will not need to contact us to opt-out. Free collections will stop from the end of March 2017 unless you contact us to sign up and pay. If you do not want to pay to have your garden waste collected then you can keep your bin but we will not empty it. If at a later date you choose to sign up for the chargeable garden waste service you can use your existing bin providing it is serviceable.
Would I be able to have more than one bin and would additional bins be charged at the same rate?
Yes, as is the case now, properties will be able to have more than one garden waste bin; providing there is suitable storage and a suitable collection point then there is no limit on the number of bins customers can have. The proposal is that there will be a discount for additional bins.
How would you know if I have paid for the service?
When you pay to receive a garden waste collection you will be sent a garden waste sticker to place on your bin. This will identify that you have paid for the year. The experience of other authorities is that stickers are best placed on the rear of the bin under the handle to allow the collection crew to see them when the bin is presented handles towards to the road. Crews will also have information inside their cabs to identify who has paid.
Would residents be able to share a bin?
Yes, you will be able to share your bin with a neighbour if you wish. The bin will be charged to one resident and will be collected from that property only.
What would happen if I sign up part way through the year? Would I have to pay £35 still?
The proposal is that you can sign up to receive the service at any point during the year. The annual charge runs from 1 April until 31 March each year. If you sign up part way through the year you will be charged for the full year.
I don't currently have a bin, would I still be able to sign up for the service?
Yes, the proposal is that you can sign up and pay for the service at any time. Once you have paid for the service the council will arrange for the delivery of a garden waste bin. The usual Council delivery charge will apply to all new bins.
Don't I already pay for a garden waste collection through my council tax?
Council tax contributes towards the cost of running Council services but changes to Government Funding means that we can no longer afford to offer this service free of charge.
Will home composters still be available?
Yes, we will continue to offer cost-price compost bins. This is a good alternative to paying for a collection or taking garden waste to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. You will also produce great compost to use at home. These are available at www.getcomposting.com or by phoning 0844 5714444, quoting LWP10L.
Would I still be able to take garden waste to my local Household Waste Recycling Centre?
Yes, you will still be able to continue to take your garden waste to any of Lincolnshire County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres free of charge.
What happens if I can't get to a Household Waste Recycling Centre?
You could investigate the possibility of sharing a bin with a neighbour or the council offers compost bins which are available as a subsidised rate.
This is a good alternative to taking garden waste to the household recycling centre. You will also create great compost to use at home. These are available at www.getcomposting.com or by phoning 0800 316 4454, quoting LWP10L.
Would there be help for residents without the means to pay or who are in receipt of benefits for a bin?
The service is designed to be fairer than the current system so that only those that require the service will fund it, rather than everyone pay for it through their Council Tax. No concessions are planned but an equality impact assessment will be added to as we receive your feedback and the consultation results are analysed. Councillors will make a final decision in December.
Why are you considering charging £35 per bin when other councils charge less?
The collection charge is less than the Lincolnshire average. It proposed at this level based on the experience of other authorities and is created to cover the costs of the service - no profit is made from the service. The charge in future years will reflect the costs and could go up or down according to the number of people who sign up to the service. Authorities across the country charge similar amounts per year for the kerbside collection of garden waste. Collecting waste in rural areas like West Lindsey is more expensive and we think that less than £2 per collection represents good value.
Why is the council considering charging for garden waste now after it has been a free service for nearly 10 years?
Central Government has changed the way funding is provided to all local Councils including West Lindsey District Council over recent years. This means the council has to make tough choices including charging the customers who use the garden waste service.
I won't put my bin out every fortnight, could I have a discount?
No. The collection crews will visit your property regardless of whether you put your bin out for collection. You could talk to your neighbours about the possibility of sharing the cost and a bin.
Would I be able to have £35 discounted off my council tax?
No. Council tax is collected and distributed to the County Council, Fire and Police Services and others. Of the £1709 paid in Council Tax by a Band D property, around £250 only goes to West Lindsey District Council. In the past, Council Tax has contributed to the cost of running this service, and all other services, but the council can no longer afford to offer this service free of charge.
Will charging for garden waste mean more fly tipping?
In line with the experience of other areas, we expect customers will either pay for the service, compost at home or take their garden waste to their nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre. The council will continually monitor the number and nature of fly tipping cases to assess whether charging for garden waste increases fly tipping, but we do not expect a significant increase and will continue to prosecute offenders.
How would I be charged in future years?
The plan is that you would be charged from 1 April each year. You will receive an annual reminder to renew your contract when we deliver calendars each year. You can opt out of the service at any time, but you will not be entitled to a refund.
What would happen if I pay for the service but my bin gets stolen?
If your bin is stolen then it will be replaced in line with existing policies.
Would I have to pay for the service if I don't want it?
No, this is an optional service - you will only pay if you would like to receive a fortnightly collection of garden waste.
Would there be a ban on garden waste in household waste bins?
Yes. As is the case now, garden waste cannot be placed in your household waste (black) bin. Additional waste placed next to your household waste bin will not be collected. If you choose not to receive the kerbside garden waste collection service then you could compost at home or can take your garden waste to any of the County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres at no charge. Household waste bins containing garden waste could be refused and result in enforcement action.
Would you take extra garden waste placed beside the bin?
No, the current service will be maintained and all garden waste must be contained within the bin with the bin lid closed. However, the proposal does now allow for customers to subscribe to additional bins should there be a need.
Who would own the bins?
The council will continue to own the bins.
Would I have to pay to replace my broken or lost garden waste bins?
Just as is the case now, we will replace or repair bins which have been damaged or lost by the council. Where the damage is deliberate or negligent then a charge for the replacement may be made.
If I move house would I be able to take my garden waste bin with me?
The proposal is that if you move within West Lindsey, then the service will follow you - You can continue to receive a charged garden waste collection from your new property if it is in West Lindsey and we will transfer your contract to your new property. We would like you to let us know if you are moving house so that we can alter our records.
When you move house all bins should be left at the property. This will ensure that the bin is available for the new occupier to also continue with the subscription if they wish. The proposal is that if you are moving outside of West Lindsey or would like to cancel your contract you can do so, but you would not be entitled to a refund.
Would I be able to keep my garden waste bin for storage etc., if I don't want to pay for the collection service?
Yes. If you do not want to pay to have your garden waste collected then you can keep your bin but we will not empty it from the beginning of April 2018. If at a later date you choose to sign up for the charged garden waste service, you can use your existing bin providing it is serviceable. The council will collect your bin if you don’t want to keep it. If the council has retrieved your bin and you sign up for the chargeable service the usual new bin delivery charge will apply in addition to the collection charge for the service.
How will you stop residents without bins putting their garden waste in my paid-for bin?
You should ensure that your property name or number is clearly marked on the garden waste sticker that you will be given once you have paid for the service. You should also ensure that your bin is placed in a location which means that it is difficult for others to put waste in your bin, unless you choose to share this with them. Retrieving your bin from the kerbside soon after it is emptied will also help to ensure that others do not use your bin.
If I do not want to keep my bin. Would I be able to opt back in if I want to?
The proposal is that you can sign up to receive the service at any point during the year. The annual charge will run from 1 April to 31 March each year. If you sign up part way through the year you will be charged the full amount. If the bin has been returned then a bin delivery charge will apply.
When would my bin be removed?
It is proposed that if you do not want to pay to have your garden waste collected then you can keep your bin but we will not empty it. If at a later date you choose to sign up for the chargeable garden waste service you can use your existing bin providing it is serviceable. The council will collect all unwanted bins in a phased manner.
Would I be able to give my bin away or sell it?
Although the bin will remain at your property, the council remains the owner and you will not be allowed to sell or give your bin away. The plan is that for customers who are certain that they do not want to use the garden waste service at any time, that they contact the council to arrange for the bin to be retrieved.
Would there be delivery charges if I decide I want a bin, having given it back?
If you have already returned your bin and you decide to sign up for the chargeable service the usual bin delivery charge for a bin will apply.
Have you considered the environmental impact of more people driving to the Household Waste Recycling Centres?
Yes. However we hope that many residents will recognise the benefits of the kerbside collection and choose to pay the £35 annual charge rather than use the Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Won't the service be much less efficient if you charge?
The new charged service will mean that only residents who pay for the service will be visited by the crews on their collection days. We will keep the collection rounds under regular review to keep them as efficient as possible.
Won't we be sending more waste to landfill because of the changes?
We will be encouraging residents to sign up for the chargeable service. Those residents who choose not to pay could compost their garden waste at home or take it to one of Lincolnshire County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres. With these options, we hope to avoid any increase in waste going to the Lincolnshire energy from waste plant or landfill.
We are being encouraged to recycle. Will chargeable garden waste collections mean that we don't meet recycling targets?
We will continue to encourage customers to recycle as much as possible and focussed education work will support the service. The council does not expect a significant reduction in the recycling rate for Lincolnshire overall. We hope that most residents will pay for the service, take their garden waste to their nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre or compost it at home.
Is it legal to charge for garden waste collections?
Yes. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and the Controlled Waste Regulations (England and Wales) 2012, councils can charge for the collection of garden waste. Charging for the collection of garden waste will bring West Lindsey District Council in line with many neighbouring councils who already have a charged service.
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