Cannock Chase Council’s Cabinet has agreed to progress with plans announced in the Council’s budget last February, by the previous administration, to introduce garden waste charging. It took the decision to introduce a new subscription service at its Cabinet meeting held last Thursday (14 September).
The decision to introduce a garden waste charge follows Council’s acceptance of the 2023/24 budget where the proposal was identified as part of a number of savings. Although the subscription for garden waste collection will not cover all the costs of the service, it is estimated that it will save council tax payers some £600,000 a year.
Garden waste collection is not a statutory service, but the Council agreed to continue to provide it to residents who wish to subscribe. Many residents live in flats or houses without gardens and therefore did not use the service and will be unaffected by the change.
The subscription-based garden waste service will cost £38.50 per household per year, with collections taking place fortnightly over 46 out of 52 weeks (23 garden waste collections during this period).
The first subscription period will start from 1 January 2024 and continue until 31 December 2024. Residents who have a garden but do not want to subscribe to the service will be able to take their garden waste to the Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC) in Cannock or Rugeley or can compost their garden waste at home for use in their garden.
Councillor Andrea Muckley, Portfolio Leader for Environment and Climate Change said: “Unfortunately, our budget situation dictates we must find savings and so a charge for the garden waste service needs to be made in future. This will mean that we can continue to provide the service to gardeners who wish to subscribe. With other councils across England experiencing financial difficulties, it is our responsibility to keep a balanced budget.
“For 18 years this Council collected garden waste with the full cost included in the council tax. Unfortunately, the cost pressures we now face mean we will have to join the 67 per cent of councils in Staffordshire (65 per cent nationally) who already charge to collect garden waste.
“We hope most residents who have gardens will continue to see the value of the service and choose to subscribe and pay, as they have in other parts of the county.
“The subscription will cost households as little as 74 pence per week, which we think is a reasonable cost and is less than many neighbouring councils charge. The charge is also below the national average. Charging will not cover all the cost of collecting garden waste but will help us to offset costs of maintaining this valued service.”
Council Officers have researched the local and national rates charged in garden waste collection schemes and have noted that the national average charge per year is about £52. Cannock Chase Council’s charge of £38.50 is reflective of the Staffordshire average.
More details about the new garden waste subscription scheme, including how to subscribe and pay, will be published in the coming weeks.
A Cannock Chase Council brown bin used to collect garden waste.