Barnet Council’s Environment Committee has approved plans to introduce a charge for garden waste collections.
Starting on 6 April, households that opt into the service will pay an annual charge of £70 for their green garden waste bin to be collected. A spokesperson for Barnet Council said:
“We consulted residents on the garden waste collection service, which revealed how much they value it. We want to continue to provide the service, as Barnet has a significant number of properties with gardens and charging for garden waste collections will allow this.
“The £70 fee per year is in line with other neighbouring councils and will enable investment in other environmental services such as improved street cleaning and investment in upgrading roads and pavements.”
Charging for garden waste collections has the potential to deliver net savings to relieve financial pressures on Barnet’s Street Scene service and protect the overall quality of environmental services in the future. Money the council saves from introducing chargeable garden waste can be invested into front line Street Scene services, such as street cleansing, which is a priority service for the borough’s residents.
Three in five (59%) councils in the UK already charge their residents to use their garden waste service, including all of Barnet’s neighbouring boroughs. Over the next five years, the council must save over £70 million from its revenue budget. Environmental Services has a target of £15.1 million to contribute towards this savings figure. To achieve Medium Term Financial Strategy savings targets, the council considered introducing charges for the household garden waste collection service.
Cllr Dan Thomas, Leader of the Council, stated that:
“The decision to charge for garden waste collections is not one that has been taken lightly. I feel strongly that we must manage resources responsibly, and this decision not only saves money but will allow us to invest in keeping Barnet’s streets clean and in a good condition.”
Considering the outcomes from the consultation alongside the council’s need to deliver the savings, and the aim to continue to invest in priorities within the environment portfolio, it has been agreed that charges for the garden waste collection service will be introduced from 6 April 2020.
Communications will be issued to residents about the changes to the service in advance to maximise the amount of time available to them to sign up. Residents who sign up will receive a yellow sticker to display on their garden waste bin to allow collection crews to identify that they have subscribed to the service.
Information will be available on the Barnet website and social media pages. Residents should also look out for a leaflet through their door with information on how to sign up online.