Garden waste scheme agreed

Ealing Council’s cabinet has agreed proposals to change its garden waste collection service.

Lady mowing her lawn in the sun

The proposals agreed on Tuesday, 13 September, mean the council will return to a chargeable garden waste collection service for residents across the borough.To be introduced in April 2012, the fortnightly service will be available for a subscription, with a 25% discount for over 65s and those in receipt of means-tested benefits.

Under the new scheme, residents will be provided with either reusable hessian bags, a wheeled bin or 50 biodegrable sacks for a £40 annual subscription. The green waste collected from homes will then be composted.

For those who do not wish to sign up for the service Ealing Council is also making it easier for residents to compost at home. The council is currently offering a reduced price on its home compost bins with a starting price of £15. Garden waste can still be disposed of for free at the borough’s two re-use and recycle centres in Stirling Road, Acton and Greenford Road, Greenford. The centres are open Mon-Sun, 8am–5pm (between 1 April-30 September) and 8am–4pm (between 1 October-31 March).

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Environment and Customer Services, said: “The council must find £85million of savings over the next four years and every service has to contribute.  By combining the refuse and recycling contract with ground maintenance services we are going to deliver millions of pounds in savings but, sadly, much more is needed if we are to meet the funding gap.

“Considering all of the options available we decided that this had less of an impact than the alternatives and enables us to continue to deliver a weekly collection of household waste, recycling and food waste. This is not a choice between introducing a charge or doing nothing, the alternative would have been to force every household to have two wheelie bins and fortnightly collections of waste and recycling, we know this is something residents do not want and so have rejected it.

“We know not all residents want wheelie bins so will be providing other options such as the reusable bags currently used and biodegradable sacks.

“Residents who do not wish to subscribe can dispose of garden waste for free at our re-use and recycle centres. I would also encourage everyone who can, to recycle at home by composting.This is the most environmentally friendly option because it requires no movement of waste and the compost produced can be used in your garden to promote healthy plant growth.

“The other unpalatable alternatives to achieve this kind of saving would be to reduce street cleaning in residential streets to once every three weeks, to have no graffiti or fly-tip removal teams, switch off all our street lights or close all our leisure centres, quite frankly these are not acceptable to the residents of our borough  but we shall wait and see which of these alternatives the Conservatives and Lib Dems in Ealing would want to propose.”

A list of FAQs on the new service can be found online on the Council’s Garden Waste pages.

Further details on compost bins can be found on the internet or by telephoning 0845 130 60 90.