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York Council Consider Charges for Some Bin Collections


7:27am 12th February 2013

New charges could be brought in for garden waste collections and replacement bins in York.

The options are among those being considered by the city council as it tries to save 450-thousand pounds from waste collections.

Cabinet Members will be asked to approve plans to consult with residents on a number of proposed efficiency changes to waste and recycling services, at a Cabinet meeting today.

City of York Council say it is committed to remaining one of top performing waste and recycling authorities in the UK, by continuing to collect 99.98 per cent of all commercial and residential recycling and waste collections first time and achieving a 50 per cent target rate of recycling by 2020 (47 per cent is currently diverted from landfill).

They add that in order to ensure services can be maintained at this level, against recent changes to the European legislation national policies, which has placed a greater emphasis on waste management and has significant implications for budgets, policy and stakeholder expectations, a number of proposals will go before Cabinet next month.

City of York Council say that if approved, they propose to undertake a consultation on the options for changes to garden waste and amending the opening hours at Towthorpe Household Waste Recycling Centre, which proposes to contribute towards a two-year savings of £125,000.

Following this consultation another report will be taken before Cabinet outlining these findings and residents’ views before making a final decision, say the council.

The options for garden waste reflect analysis work carried out on residents’ recycling rates, with a total of 17,270.99 tonnes of garden waste diverted from landfill each year, only 18 per cent of that annual waste is collected between November and March, say City of York Council.

They add that if approved at Cabinet, residents will be consulted on the following options, (more than one option could be implemented): To -

  • introduce a charge for garden waste collections, either all year or just through the winter period (November to March each year)
  • introduce an annual charge for additional garden waste bins or swap garden bin(s) for home composters
  • introduce a food waste collection and combine this with existing garden waste collections
  • test the market to see if a lower garden waste disposal cost can be achieved.
  • assess the market and see if garden waste has any value as a commodity
  • suspend the winter garden waste collections between November and March each year
  • examine the potential for all, or part, of the service to be undertaken by social enterprise or community groups

Following proposed consultation, the council says it aims to make savings of approximately £580,000 from 2011/12 and 2012/13, contributing towards the council’s total savings made from 2007/08 to 2014/15 of £80 million. In addition to this they add, the savings will also contribute towards its Government settlement. City of York Council say the council received confirmation in December 2012 that the authority was required to make a further £9 million savings in 2013/14 and a further £12million savings in 2014/15.

Last February’s Budget Council (in 2012) approved a savings and efficiency programme of £250k in the annual waste services budget relating to the collection and disposal of garden waste, say City of York Council.

In order to achieve some of this savings targets, the council will, they say no longer replace or provide additional waste and recycling bins free of charge from April 2013, unless it is the council's responsibility (i.e. damage), contributing £50,000 savings in 2012/13.

It is also proposed, say City of York Council that non York residents will be required to pay a fee of £10 to use the waste and recycling sites and contribute to the cost of disposal of their waste. They add that planned changes to residential permit schemes will also see an introduction of charges for brick / rubble, bonded asbestos and plasterboard, to further reduce the illegal disposal of waste by some traders.

Cllr David Levene, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “We are committed to providing the best possible service to residents and businesses, and recognise that to achieve this we need to listen closely to their views as part of this consultation. However, we need to be honest with the public and given the challenging financial situation facing the council a review of all services is essential.”

City of York Council say a comprehensive consultation exercise will be carried out following approval by Cabinet.  They add that this will include telephone interviews of 500 York residents, a targeted on-line survey and face-to-face consultation will also be carried out at the Towthorpe HWRC with site users.

The results from this comprehensive consultation exercise will be reported back to Cabinet in spring 2013 with recommendations for members to consider, say City of York Council.

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