Garden properties in Harrogate District face new fee this summer

Residents will now face a fee for having their garden waste collected by HBC.
Residents will now face a fee for having their garden waste collected by HBC.

Residents across the Harrogate District will soon face a £39 fee for having their garden waste collected following a decision last year.

From June 26, Harrogate Borough Council will start collecting garden waste from households who have subscribed to the new chargeable service, as free garden waste collections end on June 24.

In February last year HBC decided to introduce a charge of £39 per bin per annum, in order to provide the service to all those who want it.

Patrick Kilburn, Harrogate Borough Council’s Head of Parks and Environmental Services said: “The decision to introduce a charge for our garden waste collection service was not taken lightly.

"Whilst our current service is greatly valued by our customers, there is a large proportion of residents who are currently unable to receive it.

“To ensure that in the long term the service we offer is fair, we want to give all households across the district the opportunity to access this service.

“Whilst we would like to expand this discretionary service for free, this is simply not possible due to reductions in council funding. The only way we can do this is by making it optional, where residents who wish to use the service pay an annual subscription.

“Like many other local authorities nationally we have introduced what we feel is a reasonable charge for the garden waste service.

“The revenue generated from the subscription garden waste scheme will allow us to expand the service and help us to develop other recycling initiatives, which will have a positive impact on our environment.”

At the moment only 60 per cent of the district receives the discretionary service, with the cost recovered from the council tax of all district residents.

But a consultation in November 2015 found there was a strong demand to extend the kerbside wheeled bin collections to households which do not currently benefit.

Initially, the new opt-in subscription service will be offered to all households in the area where garden waste is collected at present.

The service will then be expanded to all properties in the district from 2018.

Bins will be collected fortnightly from March until the beginning of December, with a winter break in December, January and February when no collections take place.

The cost of the service will be £23.40 per bin in 2017, as it only covers collections from the end of June to the beginning of December.

In 2018 the subscription service will run from March to December and cost the full £39.

Those who have their garden waste under the current scheme will receive a letter shortly with details of the changes and how they can sign up to the new subscription service.

Click here to subscribe to the new chargeable service or contact the council’s customer services team on 01423 500 600.

HBC highlighted that garden waste can also be disposed of for free by taking it to one of the local household waste recycling centres or by home composting.