Bins could shrink

Monday November 12th 2018

Midlothian Council Brown bin charges

Written by Local Democracy Report, Marie Sharp

Household waste bins in Midlothian could be halved in size or reduced to monthly collections in a bid to crackdown on garden waste diversion.

The council is preparing to introduce a £35 annual fee for collecting garden waste from March next year.

However concerns have been raised that it will lead to people giving up the brown garden bins and simply putting garden waste in among their household waste.

Now council officials have revealed they are looking into the possibility of shrinking the size of household waste bins from 240 litres to 140 litres to prevent garden waste being diverted.

And they are also considering reducing the frequency of collections, which currently take place fortnightly.

A report which will go before council on Tuesday 13th November estimates the cost of just ten per cent of garden waste being diverted into household bins would be £44,600 as it reduces the amount of recyclable waste produced by the local authority.

The report added: “This is a best estimate based on the local authorities experience referred to in this report.

“Should the deviation of waste increase to twenty per cent this would reduce the income benefit by £89,200.

“The worst case scenario would be the fifty per cent deviation resulting in an additional disposal cost of £222,940.”

The officers based their findings on the experience of Angus Council who have been charging for garden waste collections for two years.

Angus Council reported no significant increase in garden waste going into the wrong bins but officers pointed out “the have smaller residual bins which reduces available capacity for green waste to be disposed off in this way”.

And they revealed it is being considered as an option to offset any attempts to get round the new charges.

The report said: “Moving to smaller (140L) residual waste bins or reducing the frequency of residual waste collections would reduce the opportunity for residents to dispose of garden waste alongside their general refuse.

“These options are being addressed as part of the wider Waste Strategy which is currently being prepared for council’s consideration.”

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