Posted: Fri 23rd Oct 2020

Anglesey Council committee backs introduction of £35 garden waste charge

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 23rd, 2020

A council scrutiny committee has paved the way for the introduction of an annual £35 charge to collect garden waste on Anglesey.

The island is the only north Wales council not currently charging for the fortnightly collections of garden waste, but now looks set to introduce the annual levy after securing the support of backbench councillors on Thursday.

Set to be introduced in April 2021, the move is expected to generate between £350,000 and £490,000 a year depending on expected take-up of between 30-40% of households.

The £35 a year annual charge would entitle households to 26 collections of a 240 litre green wheelie bin for grass and other garden cuttings, with options to pay online or over the phone.

Approved by the Partnership and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, the item will now be presented to Monday’s meeting of the council Executive to be rubber-stamped.

Addressing councillors, the portfolio holder for waste management stressed that residents would remain entitled to take their garden waste to the recycling centres at Penhesgyn or Gwalchmai if they did not wish to pay the annual collection charge.

Cllr Bob Parry added that the new charge was part of the new  £40m waste collection contract with Biffa, with the eight year deal coming into effect next April.

Biffa’s workforce have been collecting the Island’s waste and recycling since 2007, but the renewed deal will cost the authority an extra £800,000 a year as well as having to purchase a new fleet of vehicles and equipment which will also cost an additional £500,000 per annum.

It’s expected that the new service will create two jobs within the authority to set-up and maintain the payments system, but officers stressed that the charge would only pay towards and not cover the overall costs of the service.

Members were told that there had been no evidence elsewhere – with all other north Wales authorities already charging between £25 and £35 for the service – that it had led to a direct increase in fly-tipping or people dumping garden waste into their black bins since its introduction.

Finance officers confirmed that the sum would have to paid in one instalment as it would be problematic in spreading payments for such a low amount, but that the address of eligible households would be printed on each individual sticker and affixed to every green bin to counter any potential theft of bins and/or stickers.

But despite assurances that there was no market for garden waste to generate any income for the authority, Cllr Ken Hughes suggested that residents of the island “would not care” what charges other authorities were implementing.

While Cllr Hughes and Cllr Bob Llewellyn Jonesof the Annibynnwyr Môn group voted against the £35 charge, the proposal was passed by seven votes to two after securing the support of Labour and the ruling Plaid/Independent administration.

It’s expected that the council Executive will formally approve the proposal when it meets virtually on Monday, October 26.

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter

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