Garden waste service to reach over 70,000 homes
Residents will receive a letter in the next few days inviting them to sign up for the service which can be paid for in a number of ways including direct debit as either a one off payment or 10 monthly payments of £2.
The service is currently available to 54,000 households in the city and is very popular with high levels of demand. The small charge will allow the service to be extended to approximately 21,000 additional households who were previously exempt from the scheme due to operational and logistical reasons.
Cllr Nigel Todd, Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: "The Council is facing significant reductions in its grant from government and we have had to face tough choices about how we most fairly deal with the cuts that has forced us to make."
"The Brown Bin service has always been targeted at those with larger gardens and it was not possible to provide the service to every household in the city when the service was free. I know many residents do value it, and I hope many will choose to pay for the service and keep using it for their garden waste."
The small annual charge will contribute to the council's budget saving target of £30m this year and follows indications from residents during budget consultations that they are willing to pay towards the cost of garden waste collections and preserve this service.
Despite the savings the council has to make in this years budget, weekly bin collections have been maintained for general waste.
The move to increase brown bin coverage will also encourage more residents to recycle their green waste, backed by a council campaign asking residents to "Clip it, Trim it and Cut it" by putting vegetation from their garden, house or allotment in the brown wheelie bins available through the garden waste collection service.
The chopped down tree boughs, shrubs, bushes and other forms of garden vegetation are taken to the council's Sandhills facility where they are recycled and turned into a high quality organic soil conditioner.
The organic process turns valueless garden waste into garden compost that meets the stringent PAS100 quality standard, which means it can be classed as a saleable product. The compost is available to buy from the Sandhills facility.
Residents are being asked if they wish to receive the brown bin service to register by 30th March 2012.
Further details can be found at www.newcastle.gov.uk/gardenwaste