Green wheelie bin collections to be scrapped

Collections of garden waste are set to stop on March 31, 2014.
Collections of garden waste are set to stop on March 31, 2014.
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Green wheelie bin collections are set to be scrapped early next year as the council complies with new laws and seeks to make budget cuts.

The proposal, expected to be approved today by Scottish Borders Council, means Berwickshire residents will be forced to compost their garden waste or drop it off at a recycling plant themselves after March 31.

Council leader David Parker says the impending introduction of a food waste collection service means the council can no longer afford to pick up garden waste.

“There is no other decision we can make regarding collections at this time,” he said.

The changes are being made as a consequence of new Scottish Government legislation, which comes into force in January, placing a statutory duty on local authorities to introduce separate kerbside collections for food waste.

That will require households across the Borders being provided with two special food waste bins, with collections due to start in Berwickshire by January 2016.

Councillor David Paterson, the environmental services portfolio holder, says his department needs to make savings.

“The loss of the garden waste service will prove unpopular with some, but the arrangement sees householders in many areas have the service and others have to go without it,” he explained.

“It is not compulsory to collect garden rubbish but new legislation on waste food collections starting has placed us in this position. This will enable us to make savings of £450,000 a year. It has been a really difficult decision.”

Among the other proposals being put forward today is a plan for a new £750,000 community recycling centre in Kelso.