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Garden waste collection subscription service moves closer in the South Hams

21 September 2022

Kerbside Waste Recycling South Hams

The Executive of South Hams District Council has agreed that residents wanting to have garden waste collections should be charged for the service from spring 2023, with the current service potentially set to cease from 31 October.

The final decision will now be made at South Hams' Full Council meeting tomorrow (22 September). If Full Council agrees to cease the service, the Council would empty all brown bins on their last collection day in October.

With rising costs and a continued driver shortage across the nation, the Council is considering every option to ensure that the core waste and recycling collection service can remain as smooth as possible when it comes back in-house on 3 October.

The Council will inherit increased operating costs and have to contend with inflation in the price of fuel and wages, as well the need for additional resources. Introducing a charge for the garden waste collections - a discretionary service, not a statutory one - would ease the overall cost pressures on the Council.

As well as easing financial pressures, ceasing the current service from 31 October would also ease pressure on the core waste and recycling collections, helping to keep those as stable as possible in the early months of the transition.

The Council's Executive came to the decision on 21 September that in order to continue to provide the service, residents wanting to sign up for collections will need to pay an annual fee. Councillors also agreed that the current free service should cease on 31 October.

Previously the Council had not charged separately for the service, but the decision brings them in line with most other districts in Devon, who already charge separately for garden waste collections. Plymouth City Council recently took the decision to end their garden waste collections early this year to ease their own budget pressures.

Cllr Keith Baldry, South Hams Executive Member for the Environment, said: "We know that the potential removal of the unpaid garden waste collections will be disappointing news to many of our residents, particularly given the cost of living crisis that the country finds itself in. However, to enable us to keep delivering and improving the core waste and recycling services, it is clear that charging for garden waste collections has now become a necessity. 

"Due to inflation and rising costs, the reality is that we will have to start charging for the service."

Residents can take their garden waste to all three recycling centres in the South Hams. Full details, including opening hours, are available online here: www.devon.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/centre/

Alternatively, people can find out more on home composting possibilities here: www.recycledevon.org/in-the-garden/how-to-compost

Keep up to date on the latest here: www.southhams.gov.uk/recyclingwaste

ENDS

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