Harborough district councillors have voted to start charging residents to have their green bins emptied.
The district council’s executive voted last night (Monday) to introduce the charge as part of a sweeping overhaul of its environmental service.
The council intends to put the service - which includes bin collections, recycling, street cleaning and grounds maintenance - out to tender next month with a new contract starting in April 2017.
Following a public consultation about rubbish collection over the summer, the district council has agreed to continue the current alternate fortnightly collection of the black bin and the blue-lidded recycling bin. There are no plans to reintroduce a separate food waste collection but the council has agreed two key changes from 2017.
The first is to stop the separate collection of paper in a separate paper caddy as this is no longer cost-effective.
The second is an ‘agreement in principle’ that green bin collections move to a subscription-based chargeable seasonal service from 2017. The council says a cut in funding means it will have to start charging to continue to provide the service. The arrangements and level of charge will be set next year.
Councillors said the loss of ‘recycling credits’ and a reduced market price on the sale of recycling materials, as well as reduced Government funding to local councils, had resulted in the need to review its environmental service contract to deliver an affordable service in the future.
Cllr Phil King, deputy leader of the council, said: “We are committed to getting the best value for money for our residents whilst providing a high quality service.
“Our decision to go out to market and seek a new contract will help achieve the best possible value for taxpayers and mean we continue to provide an excellent service in the future.”
Cllr Neil Bannister, the council’s portfolio holder for environment and regulation, added: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. The feedback we received has been invaluable in deciding the best approach going forward.”
See this Thursday’s Mail for full reaction.