Cheshire East Council announced on Wednesday 19th July, home owners & gardeners in Crewe and across Cheshire East are to face paying a £56 “Subscription” fee to have their garden waste bins collected from January 2024.
Details of the proposed subscription service was unveiled as the council desperately tries to plug a £20 million funding gap in its coffers.
CEC says it has “no choice” but to bring in the subscription service which is planned to go live in January 2024.
It will be an “opt-in” service for residents who continue using their garden bin to recycle green waste.
Authority bosses stated it is a “significant element in the council achieving a balanced budget in 2023-25 while also protecting essential frontline services”.
But some fear many will opt out of the charge and spark to much longer queues at waste recycling centres and increased fly-tipping.
The scheme will be considered by the council’s environment and communities committee later this month.
Cllr Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said:“The council continues to face significant financial pressures and there is an overall £20m funding gap to fill.
We therefore have no choice but to look to alternative sources of revenue generation.
The collection of garden waste is not a core service that councils are required to provide – and the costs associated with it have risen considerably – but it is our wish that we continue to make this service available to residents, while also ensuring we can make required savings of around £4m.
We can do this by introducing an annual subscription service – something which more than 65% of local authorities across England have already done including our neighbours in Cheshire West and Chester, with many of these schemes having been in place for several years.
We do of course recognise the pressures on people’s household finances, which is why residents will only pay for the service if they opt-in to the scheme and it remains free for residents to dispose of their garden waste at our household waste recycling centres.
We also continue to encourage residents to consider trying home composting – it is an excellent and environmentally-friendly way to limit food waste and has huge benefits to people’s gardens.”
The annual scheme is expected to open to subscriptions in October and go live in January.
Residents who opt-in will have their garden bins emptied as per their usual schedule and will be sent a specialist sticker to attach to their bin.
It will include a unique reference and is designed to fray and tear when removed to prevent them being reused by others.
Crewe First Councillor Brian Silvester, said:Crewe residents face annual £56 fee for garden waste collection.
This is simply unacceptable.
Residents are being charged twice for a service they are already paying for.
@CreweFirst will fight this latest rip-off from Labour run @CheshireEast.
Enough is Enough. #CheshireEast can’t be short of cash if they can afford to splash £11m+ on a multi storey car park in the centre of Crewe that nobody asked for, nobody wants and few will use.
A report on the green waste subscription, where councillors will be asked to decide on the implementation details of the scheme, will be discussed at the council’s environment and communities committee on 27 July 2023.
More information about the scheme and details of how it will work will be added to the council’s website – cheshireeast.gov.uk/gardenbin