New garden waste charge approved

Tuesday November 13th 2018

Garden Waste

Midlothian Council is introducing a charge for kerbside garden waste collections. Residents wishing to retain their brown bin collections will be charged £35 per bin when the service re-starts in Spring 2019.

Plans for the implementation of the service were approved at today’s full Council meeting. Letters will be sent to all residents in the New Year giving details of how to sign up online.

Residents who opt-in will continue to receive fortnightly collections of their garden waste from mid-March to mid-November. Residents who do not want to pay for the service can recycle their garden waste for free at Midlothian’s two household waste centres.

The proposal is expected to generate income of more than £560k per year, money that can be spent on core council services.

Councillor John Hackett, the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Waste Services, said: “The paid for garden waste collection service is a convenient solution for residents who have a garden, but don’t have the time to go to one of the recycling centres themselves. Spread across the season, the charge is just £1.95 per collection.

“We fully understand why some residents might be unhappy about having to pay a small charge for a service that is currently provided free. However, we hope householders will appreciate the financial difficulties Midlothian Council is facing, and the value of the service, and sign up for garden waste collections.”

Both Councillor Hackett and Councillor Jim Muirhead, made the point that given savings have to be made it is better to cut garden waste collections rather than care package for numerous people.

Speaking at the meeting Councillor Dianne Alexander , SNP Spokesperson for Commercial Services, said:

“The proposals before Councillors today do not give best value for Midlothian tax payers, or assist us in any way towards reducing fly tipping and increasing recycling rates.”

“Other local authorities who have introduced similar charges have also taken other measures to mitigate against fly tipping and increase recycling in other ways.”

“Midlothian does not seem to have a plan other than to impose taxes on residents that will disproportionately affect disabled residents, pensioners and those on low incomes, that is a disgrace.”

“It is disappointing once again to see Labour and the Tories voting hand in hand to the detriment of Midlothian residents.”

The SNP councillors voted against the introduction of the charge.

Today’s decision was focused on the introduction of a charge for garden waste and how it will be implemented.

A new Waste Strategy is being developed which will include recommendations for bin sizes, separation of waste and collection frequency. The Strategy will also cover street cleansing, recycling centres.

Want to watch the discussion at the council meeting? Then click HERE and scroll down to section “Garden Waste Charging – Implementation and Impact Mitigation Measures – Report by Head of Commercial Operations.”

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