The Scarborough News
Council agrees £38 charge to recycle garden waste
Charges will be brought in from April for people who want to recycle their garden waste using a brown bin.
The plan was thrown out by Scarborough councillors last year but, on Tuesday, the authority’s cabinet agreed to implement the controversial method in a bid to balance its budget for next year.
Dubbed the “garden tax” when it was brought in by other councils, it will mean householders pay a yearly fee to have their brown bins collected by the council.
Under the plans, an annual charge of £38 per licensed bin or for 50 compostable sacks will be introduced. The price will then be frozen until 2018.
A £20 discount would be offered in the first year to people who have previously purchased a brown bin from the council.
It is reported that 26,000 households in the borough use the service to dispose of their grass cuttings and garden waste.
The recycling rate in the borough is now expected to drop on the back of the cabinet’s decision.
Cllr Bill Chatt said he expected a negative reaction.
He said: “I expect I will be the Guy upon a lot of people’s bonfires soon but sometimes as a council we have to grasp the nettle, and this is one of those occasions.”
When the charge was first proposed in 2014 it was thrown out by councillors, who felt the savings of £100,000 did not outweigh the impact it could have on the recycling rate.
There were also concerns that it could damage Scarborough’s Britain In Bloom bids if people were not encouraged to keep gardens tidy.
Those in favour of charges claim the current system means that those without gardens are subsidising those who do as green waste collections are not a statutory service the council is required to provide.