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Luton Borough Council

09/12/2020 - Council to introduce opt-in garden waste charging service from next year

On 7 December, Luton council’s Executive approved the proposal to introduce an annual charge for the collection of kerbside garden waste.

The discretionary scheme, which will come to effect from March 2021, will mean an annual cost of £40 for those who choose to sign up.

In July 2020 the council was forced to set an emergency budget to bridge a £49 million deficit in its finances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the budget that was set, the Council’s Executive agreed to explore and seek people’s views on the introducing a chargeable garden waste collection service to generate an estimated £300k saving. The public consultation ran from September to October.

A subscription service, which two thirds of local authorities already have in place, will be opt-in only so residents would only sign up if they wish to use it. Collections will continue to remain fortnightly on a seasonal basis but be extended from February through to November from 2022 and the fee will be a contribution towards the cost of providing the service. Residents who don’t want to sign up can use other ways to get rid of their garden waste including home composting and the council will provide free home composting containers to 2000 households. They can also use one of the town’s two tidy tips.

Cllr Tom Shaw portfolio holder responsible for waste and recycling said, “The council has a statutory responsibility to make arrangements for the collection of garden waste, however there is no duty to provide it for free.  Introducing the scheme in Luton will bring us in line with many other local authorities that already charge.”

“Not all households use the service, for example those who live in flats, and by introducing a fee it is fairer as it will only be paid for by those who want to use it”.  

Details of when and how to sign up will be available later in the year. Residents would receive a permit for each subscribed bin which would need to be applied to the body of the bin.

Information on the free home composting bins, which will be made available through local community groups, will also be available this year.

© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ