Fee reprieve for green bin users

Fylde's green bins

Fylde's green bins

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Fylde residents won’t have to pay extra for their green bins to be emptied from this summer.

The prospect was deferred at a special meeting of the Fylde Council’s Operational Management Committee, with members voting to consider all options for the service as part of the budget setting process for 2017-18, including subscription fees for the removal of green waste.

Fylde Council had been investigating options for the service including charging an annual £30 from as early as this August.

The council currently receives £763,000 from Lancashire County Council to sort recyclables from ‘rubbish’ waste but the County Council is stopping this payment in April 2018 as part of cost saving measures.

Coun David Eaves, chairman of Fylde Council’s Operational Management Committee, said: “The loss of the county council’s £763,000 will hit our finances hard.

“Thankfully, we can remove the option of charging for green waste collections from this summer but we must consider the option as part of the budget process.

“The removal of the payment must be addressed with a number of difficult options to consider, included as an option in the budget-setting process for 2017-18.

“The first option is to introduce a subscription service as other councils have already done. The second option is not to have a green bin service at all – there is no legal duty to remove garden waste and many householders already have their own arrangements such as using it for compost.

“A third option is to introduce a seasonal service between, for example, March and October when garden waste is at a maximum. This may realise some savings.

“We don’t want to change things at all but the loss of £763,000 is a big challenge. The committee decided the budget was robust enough not to introduce the charges this summer but all options will need to be considered as part of the budget process.”

Coun Tony Ford, who has predicted that charges for the collection of green waste could result in an increasing fly-tipping and even job losses if the number of rounds and vehicles is consequently reduced, told the Express afterwards: “I am really pleased that the decision was deferred as it provides more opportunity to look in detail at the implications because there appear to be a number of anomalies in the scheme as proposed. There are many options to explore and this will allow time to do that.

“The council is keen to reduce back-office costs but it appears to me that while the scheme as currently presented might reduce some operational costs it is likely to increase administrative costs significantly.

“Fylde Council should be recycling more and offering residents more for the tax they pay not less. I am a great supporter of the council’s recycling scheme. I would like to see residents encouraged to recycle more than they do. Far more of the waste generated across the borough could be reused or recycled but to put a ‘dampener’ on a successful green waste scheme is not the way forward in my view.”