Borders residents are about to bid farewell to their green bins that have been standing redundant since the council cancelled garden waste kerbside collections.
Scottish Borders Council is about to start collecting unwanted bins across the region, a service that will operate for a 12-week period, starting on August 25.
Ross Sharp-Dent, SBC’s waste manager, said: “Members of the public can keep their garden waste bin if they have a use for it. If they do not want to keep their garden waste bin they can arrange for the council to collect it by calling 0300 100 1800.
“A booking system will be operating for the uplift of the bins. Customers who call in will be given a specific date when their bin will be collected.
“The free collection scheme will only be operating for a 12 week period, so we would advise members of the public to book a collection as soon as possible.
“Members of the public can still request a free home composter to use for their garden waste. Please call 0300 100 1800 to request one.”
Free collection of the bins will end in November and anyone calling after that for their bin to be removed will be charged.
The decision made by Scottish Borders Council in December last year to stop kerbside collections of garden waste in order to save £450,000 a year, did not go down well in many communities.
Waste regulations passed by the Scottish Government mean that the council now has to introduce food waste collections in Hawick, Jedburgh, Galashiels, Selkirk and Peebles and they couldn’t afford to do that and continue garden waste collections.
Collecting garden waste is not a statutory duty for the council and instead of putting garden waste into green bins the council now expects householders to take it to one of six community recycling centres at Duns, Eshiels, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick and Selkirk, or compost it.
For some, however, this has not been such a simple solution. For those who do not have access to a car they cannot get to the recycling centres which could be as much as 15-20 miles away. And less able residents have found it too difficult to cope with the composting process.
Complaints about the access to the Duns recycling centre’s garden waste skip being too difficult have been addressed and the council is looking at adding another skip there because of increased demand.