Scrapping kerbside garden waste collections has not gone down well in Berwickshire, particularly as it seemed to come out of the blue.
In order to save £800,000 Scottish Borders Council voted to stop the collections in March this year, mainly because they are having to introduce a new food collection service instead - a statutory obligation being imposed on them by the Scottish Government from 2016.
The issue of withdrawing garden waste collections from Duns, Chirnside, Coldstream and Eyemouth was brought up at last week’s Berwickshire Area Forum and councillors were told by a member of the public: “I don’t feel you justified losing the green bin collections. You need to tell us why the decision was made to take them away.”
The lack of consultation before the decision was made was also criticised and Councillor Michael Cook explained: “A consultation when you have nowhere to go is highly problematic.
“The reason is we are compelled to do this. There aren’t the resources to do all the things we do so we have to do the things we are forced to do.”
Councillor Cook accepted that there may well be an increase in green waste being put in general waste bins but re-iterated: “We are compelled to collect food waste from high density areas.
“I don’t think there is a single councillor who will say they are thrilled about making this decision.”
Mid Berwickshire Conservative councillor John Greenwell has been contacted by a number of people concerned about losing the service.
He said: “I personally voted not to withdraw the garden waste collection because I saw it as yet another cut in services that would have a huge impact on residents in the Borders.”