Fewer than 10% of the Borders’ 38,000 households have been issued with home composters as an alternative means of disposing of garden waste.
The bill for upgrading community recycling centres (CRCs) to cope with the demand generated by scrapping the service has topped £1.3 million and Scottish Borders Council will be forced to put a disclaimer on their webpage which will provide the contact details of several private collection firms.
These are just three of the less palatable facts which councillors will digest today (Thursday) when they consider a report on the cost and social implications of the controversial decision, taken in December, 2013, to axe the non-statutory collections in order to save £400,000 a year.
The report, by SBC’s waste manager Ross Sharp-Dent focuses on “improvement measures” ordered by the council in October after it issued an apology for the inconvenience and disturbance it had caused and understatedly admitted consultation with the public could have been better.
Among the so far uncosted (or at least in the report) developments over the past 12 months are the provision of extra skips at CRCs and the issuing of 3,500 compost bins.
The report reveals that plans to provide green waste support to the elderly and vulnerable through so-called resilient communities – set up principally to harness a local response to severe weather events – have been unsuccessful.
Mr Sharp-Dent confirmed that five private waste companies have set up operations in the Borders with an appropriate licence from SEPA and that a dedicated webpage is being developed on the SBC website to “assist the public in accessing garden waste services”.