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Local authority: 7,000 say no to paying extra cash for garden waste service

Contributed by editor on Apr 10, 2008 - 06:05 PM

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Around 7,000 of the 17,000 residents who had their garden waste collected by the council have chosen not to sign up for the new charged service.

But an upbeat press release from the council which says more than 10,500 people have signed up for Shepway Council’s garden waste 'pay to collect' collections, claims it far exceeded the council’s expectations and has secured the future of the service.

This year just 10,032 of the 17,000 customers who used the service last year, have said they want to continue with the fortnightly collection, although 496 new customers have signed up.

Cllr Rory Love, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said he was delighted with the take-up.

“The fact that more than 10,500 people have signed up for the garden waste collection service demonstrates just how popular it is and how valuable people have found it,” said Cllr Love.

“Our customers have judged this service to be more cost effective and convenient than having to take their garden waste to the Recycling and Waste Centre at Shorncliffe. The take up rate is 12% greater than we had expected, and new applications to join the service are still coming in.”

He said the new funding arrangements, which include an annual charge for the service, have secured its future. The charge, which was introduced at £25, has plugged the gap left after a £500,000 Government grant had ceased.

“The service costs £330,000 a year to operate, and will shortly need further investment as the collection vehicles reach the end of their lives.”