Councils introduce garden waste collection charge in North and East Herts despite public outcry

North Herts Bins.

North Herts Bins. - Credit: Archant

You will soon have to pay a £40 charge to have your garden bins emptied following a vote by North Herts and East Herts district councils at a joint cabinet meeting on Monday.

Votes were cast in favour of chargeable garden waste collections in the two districts, even after a public survey showed that 85 per cent of residents were against the proposal.

The cabinet voted to implement the charge under new contracts – starting in May next year – despite the majority of the 8,000 respondents to the survey disagreeing, and many councillors from opposition parties highlighting reasons why they think it is a bad idea.

Hitchin Bearton ward councillor Judi Billing said after the meeting: “What a total waste of a consultation. NHDC had clearly made up its mind to charge for garden waste collection before they asked the public what they thought.

“So 85 per cent of respondents said it was a bad idea but still they decide – without a second’s reflection – to charge anyway.


You may also want to watch:


“It’s a scandalous disregard and disrespect for the people we are meant to serve.”

During the meeting, points were raised about the potential increase in fly-tipping, and the problems the charge could cause for low-income households.

Most Read

North Herts Liberal Democrats launched a petition for those opposed to the added charges, generating 1,081 signatures.

Chair of Royston Liberal Democrats Carol Stanier told the meeting: “All of these responses show great strength of feeling against the proposal.

“Householders had a service that they paid for with their council tax. You are now proposing to remove that service and charge them extra to have it back, with no mention of a corresponding reduction in council tax.”

The council also agreed on introducing a free weekly food waste collection, in the hope that it will encourage residents to recycle more.

Councillor Michael Weeks, NHDC’s executive member for waste, recycling and environment said: “We have listened carefully to the views of residents and we have not taken the decision lightly.

“However, the council needs to make savings of over £4 million by 2021/22 and introducing this charge will go some way to help achieve this.

“We are sure that residents will be pleased with the introduction of a weekly food waste collection service.”

The public consultation cost the council’s £5,031, the majority of which was spent on publicity leaflets.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter