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Councillors Approve Chargeable Garden Waste Collection Service

Borough of Poole councillors approved the introduction of an opt-in chargeable kerbside garden waste collection service at Full Council on 1 November.

Councillors, representing a no overall control council, voted 24 to 17 in favour, one abstention, of an amendment proposed by Cllr Mark Howell and seconded by Cllr Xena Dion.

The scheme, which will begin in 2012 will see a fortnightly collection service offered to all households in Poole running from March-November.

Only those households choosing to opt-in to the scheme would pay for the service. A charge of £31 a year was approved, although those residents who sign up by 31 March 2012 will receive a 30% discount for the first year of the scheme.

Residents with an Access to Learning and Leisure card will receive a 50% discount on the £31 charge.

The council will also establish a three year pilot scheme which will see a fund of up to £25,000 available to community groups and individuals across Poole who propose new and sustainable green initiatives. A further sum of money of up to £25,000 will be made available for 2012/13 to promote composting across all areas of the Borough as the most sustainable form of green waste dispersal.

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Borough of Poole, said: "The garden waste scheme has proved very popular in those areas where we've been able to introduce it. Unfortunately the council does not have money to extend the service beyond the 22,000 properties that currently receive it free of charge without introducing a charge.

"Cllr Howell and I worked hard to develop a proposal that would be financially deliverable, more actively environmentally responsible, and fair to all households and the scheme approved by members makes this service available to all residents who want a garden waste collection. The opt-in scheme means only residents choosing to have their garden waste collected by the council would pay for the service.

"Residents who do not need or want a kerbside garden waste collection have other options to dispose of their garden waste in a sustainable way. These include home composting, visiting the Household Waste Recycling Centre or using one of our mobile green waste bin sites, all of which will be promoted further through our new grant scheme."

Councillors voted against a recommendation to introduce a free three-weekly garden waste collection service to an additional 11,000 homes in Poole, 24 to 17 and one abstention. Cllr Tony Trent, Chair of Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and proposer of this recommendation, said: "I was disappointed that this amendment to the proposal of the opt-in chargeable green waste collection was not submitted in time to be scrutinised so that there could be detailed consideration and costings. It would appear that like the Overview & Scrutiny recommendation of the free three-weekly green waste collection, which was the greenest option, will also leave a financial shortfall in year one. I am also concerned that we have not stuck with the more reasonable policy on green waste in black bins."

More information about the opt-in kerbside garden waste service will be available at boroughofpoole.com/gardenwaste

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