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Fee for extra green bin collections in South Cambridgeshire approved

Wheelie bins
Wheelie bins

South Cambridgeshire residents will have to pay a small annual fee to have more than one green bin collected in future – which councillors have described as being fairer for all.

The District Council’s cabinet yesterday (Wednesday, November 7) backed a report which stated that 95 per cent of councils nationally that offer a garden waste collection service already charge to pick up additional green bins.

The collection of the first green bin will remain free. Currently, around 2,300 households in South Cambridgeshire have more than one green bin, out of around 66,000 households in total.

The charge for collecting additional green bins already operates in Cambridge City. South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils share a waste collection service – the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service.

This change will mean residents across both areas will receive the same service levels. Since the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service began waste collections in February 2017, work has been done to align many policies and back office functions to help ensure it operates as efficiently as possible.

From March 1 next year, South Cambridgeshire residents wanting to have an extra green bin picked up will be asked to pay £35 a year. This is the same charge as for Cambridge City residents. South Cambridgeshire residents wanting to sign up for the service will be able to do so from early next year.

If three quarters of residents that currently have more than one bin decide to pay the extra fee, the policy change will raise around £80,000 a year which will go towards frontline council services. The new charge is per bin and covers collections for the whole year.

Cllr Neil Gough, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s lead cabinet member for environmental services and licensing, said: “Only a relatively small proportion of households use this currently free service and it’s not fair that other residents are subsidising this through their council tax.

“This change will contribute towards making the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service more efficient for taxpayers, and this is always something we will be looking to do. Every other council in Cambridgeshire already operates this way, and the vast majority of councils nationally do so too.

“I’d encourage residents with larger amounts of garden waste to look into the benefits of composting it at home. By doing this, they will be contributing to reduced carbon emissions from our waste collection trucks.”

Residents signing up to the scheme early next year will pay £20 to cover the collection of additional green bins from March to October. From October, residents will pay £35 annually for a 12-month cycle of collections.

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