Free garden waste scheme edges closer

Councillor Tim Brown, Portfolio holder for Environment, during a visit to Ashfield District Council's waste facility.

Councillor Tim Brown, Portfolio holder for Environment, during a visit to Ashfield District Council's waste facility.

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Proposals to provide Ashfield residents with a free garden waste collection service have moved two steps closer after councillors backed the scheme.

Members of Ashfield District Council’s cabinet gave their support to the idea at last week’s cabinet meeting before Nottinghamshire County Council’s finance and property committee pledged the financial backing the scheme needs on Monday.

The scheme would see residents’ current black or grey bins being used for garden waste with new, smaller bins being provided for non-recyclable rubbish.

It is hoped that it will boost recycling rates in Ashfield by at least 10 per cent.

Current recycling levels stand at 34 per cent but targets set nationally state that 50 per cent of waste should be recycled by 2020.

Councillor Tim Brown, Ashfield District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “I am delighted that my colleagues have given their wholehearted support to this proposal.

“Ten years ago, over a four-year period, Ashfield’s recycling rate rose from 1 per cent to 34 per cent representing a dramatic improvement.

“A key factor in that progress was the way in which residents of Ashfield embraced the changes and responded positively to the new way of collecting their waste.

“We are confident that they will similarly embrace this latest proposed change to the service.”

Green bins for recycling card, plastic and cans will be retained as will the blue boxes for glass. Overall residents will have a larger free of charge waste disposal capacity.

The county council approved the scheme as an ‘invest to save initiative’, with funding coming from the PFI waste contract reserve.

The proposals will now go to its Environment and Sustainability Committee next week.