West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2017-11-27
End date: 2018-01-10
Results: 2018-03-09

Budget Proposal 2018/19: Garden Waste Collection Service

This consultation is now closed.

This is one of three budget proposals for 2018/19. You can view the full list online.


Since 2008, we've collected garden waste free of charge, and in 2011 we added food waste to this service. The garden and food waste is taken to the waste facility at Padworth for composting and almost half of everything we recycle comes from this collection service.

Legislation requirements

Charging for garden waste collection is allowed under The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. Over half of councils already charge for this service. 

Charging for the collection of food waste, recycling and rubbish is not allowed.

What are we proposing?

To charge an annual subscription of around £50 per household for the collection of garden waste in 2018. This works out at less than £2 per collection.

Residents will be able to opt in to the subscription service. Subscribers will continue to use the green bin and will receive a bin sticker to show that the service has been paid for. The green bin can be put out with recycling every fortnight.

Subscribers will still be able to put food in the green bin for recycling.

Non-subscribers will stop receiving a garden waste collection, however, if desired, we can still collect food for recycling and will provide a kerbside food caddy on request. Caddies can be put out with recycling every fortnight.

The existing extra chargeable green waste collection service will stop. Residents will be able to request additional bins as part of this subscription service and additional charges will apply.    

There will be no service concessions.

We estimate this proposal will create an income of up to £900,000 per year. This additional income will assist in paying for the rubbish and recycling collection service.

What do we think the impact will be?

There could be a reduction in how much we recycle and an increase in the amount of waste that goes to landfill or Energy from Waste (EFW) facilities.

Non-subscribers may not be aware of alternative ways of recycling garden and food waste. We will advise non-subscribers how to continue recycling garden and food waste. Alternatives are:

Some people may consider fly-tipping their garden waste. This is illegal and any one found guilty of fly-tipping could be liable for prosecution. Anyone can report fly-tipping through our website or by contacting customer services.

The charge may see an increase in garden bonfires. There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.

Please refer to the pdf icon Equality Impact Assessment Stage One [270kb] for more details.

What else have we considered?

The service has consulted on reducing the Street Cleansing and Litter Picking Service. The service is also looking to make further reductions in the revenue budget through internal support services efficiencies, which will not impact on the services we provide.

Why we want your views

We would like to hear from you as to how this proposal could potentially impact on you and on the wider community. In particular, we would be interested in any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of this proposed change.

Please note: Twitter and Facebook posts will not be considered as a valid response. 

What you told us

We received 777 responses (incl. 37 incomplete responses) to the consultation. A background to the proposal and outline of the responses can be found in the Consultation Summary Report.

What we did

An Equality Impact Assessment Stage Two was completed following the consultation.

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal, was made at the Full Council meeting on 1 March 2018.