Council defends its decision for highest North West garden bin waste charge
By Belinda Ryan - Local Democracy Reporter
4th Aug 2023 | Local News
Cheshire East has defended plans to introduce the highest charge in the North West for garden waste collections.
The council plans to start charging £56 a year to empty garden waste bins from January through its subscription service.
This is more than other nearby councils such as Cheshire West & Chester which charges £40; Warrington, which charges £43 – although that drops to £39 if residents subscribe online; Halton at £35, Newcastle-under-Lyme at £38.50 and Stoke-on-Trent, which only charges for garden waste collection through the winter at £15. It is free during the summer.
Only Wirral comes close to the Cheshire East charge at £52.20 a year.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked if Cheshire East had been forced to charge a higher rate because the resulting reduction in green and food waste recycling may have ramifications for the council's composting contract with Biowise.
The council was also asked if the higher garden waste charge was to compensate for the inevitable increase in black bin rubbish – which costs more to dispose of.
Cllr Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East's environment and communities committee, said: "As with any subscription scheme, there will always be variations with the fee that is set.
"Deciding the subscription charge for garden waste collections in Cheshire East included looking at similarly bench-marked local authorities, and the fees ranged between £40 and £60 per bin.
"The £56 subscription fee that has been set for Cheshire East residents also reflects that we only have a small shutdown period over the Christmas and New Year period for garden bin collections, unlike many other local authorities where this shutdown can be as much as 12 weeks plus."
He added: "If residents choose not to opt-in into the garden waste subscription service, they can continue to dispose of their garden waste for free at our household waste recycling centres.
"Our waste strategy encourages residents to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste as much as they possibly can – this includes encouraging people to try home composting and to minimise food waste though the 'love food hate waste' programme.
"Home composting is an excellent and environmentally-friendly way of transforming garden waste and fruit and vegetable peelings into a valuable and nutrient rich food for people's gardens."
The council said more information about home composting and food waste reduction is available on its website here