Published: 13/05/2018 07:00 - Updated: 11/05/2018 10:17

Highland Council expects high demand for money-spinning brown bin service

Written byStaff Reporter

Householders can still sign up for the £30 garden waste service though the first planned uplift in July might be missedDON’T let the grass grow under your feet, is the message for anyone needing a permit for Highland Council’s garden waste collection service.

They are available now for collections from July 2 to June 30 next year.

Gardeners are being urged to order a permit by June 3 to ensure the first collection.

They can be purchased at council service points, by phone on 01349 886603 and online at www.highland.gov.uk

gardenwaste

The opt-in service was introduced last year to help bridge the council’s funding gap.

About 33,000 permits were purchased last year.

Existing permits expire on June 30. The cost of a replacement is £35 for the year – a £5 increase compared to the previous period – and up to three permits can be ordered per household.

Customers can continue to order permits after June 3.

The local authority’s community services chairman Allan Henderson said: “A high level of demand last year demonstrated a commitment to recycling garden waste and continuing to reduce waste being sent to landfill.

“We anticipate demand will be high in the weeks immediately prior to the 2018/19 service commencing.”

Householders no longer wishing to receive a waste collection should return unwanted brown bins to recycling centres.

There was a huge backlash to the charge when it was introduced last year and, combined with council tax increases, many angry people refused to pay.

Despite this, it was reported in November that the charge earned £960,000, smashing through the £660,000 target set during budget talks in February 2017.

Councillors had based the expected income on a 33 per cent uptake, modelled on similar charges in Angus brought in during 2016.

Introduction of the new charge proved controversial but councillors desperate to find savings voiced confidence the public would come round to the idea given the stark choices faced.

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