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Highland Council brown bin garden waste permits go on sale at £45 each with much of Ross-shire included in service


By Hector MacKenzie

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Councillor Alasdair Christie: 'By continuing to use the service residents will be doing their bit for the environment as well as helping the Council to reduce costs from landfilling waste, which combined will make a valuable contribution to the Council’s journey to recovery.
Councillor Alasdair Christie: 'By continuing to use the service residents will be doing their bit for the environment as well as helping the Council to reduce costs from landfilling waste, which combined will make a valuable contribution to the Council’s journey to recovery.

HIGHLAND Council garden waste permits are now available to buy for the 2020/21 permit season – at a cost of £45 each.

All existing permit holders will receive a reminder to renew their permit over the next few weeks, and Highland Council says the income will help its Covid-19 recovery plan at a very uncertain time for its budgets.

The optional fortnightly household collection scheme is also now open to new customers living within the brown bin catchment areas.

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the garden waste service was suspended in March.

This meant that customers missed three or four collections depending on their collection day. To compensate customers for these missed collections, the council has extended the 2019/20 permit season by nine weeks, taking it to the end of August 2020.

The 2020/21 garden waste permit season will start on Tuesday, September 1 and will run until August 31, 2021.Customers are being encouraged to order their permits by the start of August to ensure delivery in time for the first collections of the new service year.

All new 2020/21 permits purchased will be valid for use upon receipt.The cost of a garden waste permit for the 2020/21 will be £45 per bin for the year and customers can purchase up to three permits per household.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of the communities and places committee said: “Last year approximately 28,000 garden waste permits were purchased in Highland and I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank householders for their support.An incredible 9000 tonnes of garden waste was collected from customers brown bins in 2019/20 which was then composted into a soil conditioner for agricultural use or land improvement.”

The garden waste service was disruped by Covid-19 but has restarted with permits now on sale for the 2020/21 season.
The garden waste service was disruped by Covid-19 but has restarted with permits now on sale for the 2020/21 season.

The charge for the collection of garden waste was originally agreed as part of the three-year budget settlement in February 2019. The Council budget is very uncertain for this current year due to the impact from the Covid-19 emergency.The income from the sale of garden waste permits is "critical" in helping to fund the cost of the service, protect jobs and reduce the need for cuts whilst continuing to provide a service that Highland households value at this pivotal time, it says.

Chairman of the council’s Recovery Board, Cllr Alasdair Christie said: “We recognise that this service is popular and valued by customers.By continuing to use the service residents will be doing their bit for the environment as well as helping the council to reduce costs from landfilling waste, which combined will make a valuable contribution to the council’s journey to recovery.”

Councillor Henderson added: “With many of us of now spending more time our gardens, we have seen an increase in demand from new customers wishing to use the garden waste collection service. New customers may now purchase permits and are advised to visit our websitewww.highland.gov.uk/gardenwaste to check they live in a brown bin collection area.

"The fortnightly collection service is easy and convenient to use and accepts a wide range of garden material including grass cuttings, leaves, hedge clippings, weeds, flower, plants and small branches.”

Demand for permits will be high in the weeks immediately prior to the 2020/21 service commencing; therefore, householders are encouraged to sign-up by August 2 to ensure they receive permits in time for the first collections, the council says.

Customers can continue to order garden waste permits after August 2, however, the council says it cannot guarantee that permits ordered following this date will arrive in time for the first collections of the new permit year.

Garden waste permits can be purchased on-line at www.highland.gov.uk/gardenwaste; or by calling the Highland Council’s Service Centre on 01349 886660.

The service is optional, and householders are also able to take their garden waste along to their local recycling centre free of charge.

For more information please visit www.highland.gov.uk/gardenwaste, e-mail recycle@highland.gov.uk or call 01349 886660.

Garden waste collection areas in Ross-shire include Tain, Fearn, Inver and the Seaboard villages, Kildary/Milton, Barbaraville, Invergordon, Alness, Evanton, Dingwall, Strathpeffer, Conon Bridge/Maryburgh, Muir of Ord, Culbokie, Munlochly, North Kessock, Avoch, Fortrose and Rosemarkie.


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