We asked residents to give us their views on the introduction of a charge for the garden waste collection service. We asked for views on:
A total of 6,517 responses were received. Just over three quarters of respondents disagreed that introducing a charge for only those who use the service was fair. Four fifths of respondents opposed the introduction of an annual subscription. Of those that responded, almost a third of respondents (28.5%) said they would prefer to see an increase in Council Tax rather than a charge introduced.
37.4% of respondents who said they currently use the service would continue to use it if a charge was introduced, and this is a relatively positive level of response compared with the take up rates seen in other London boroughs.
The majority of respondents who said they would consider using a chargeable service would be able to sign up online.
The Environment Committee agreed the introduction of charges at its meeting on 20 January 2020. The council launched the chargeable service from 9 May 2020, allowing residents to sign up online and by phone from mid-February, with a charge of £70 for the first bin, and £50 for each additional bin to be collected.
The first year of the garden waste service saw 40,028 stickers paid for. 38,477 households signed up during the first year of the service giving a take up rate of 56%.
The income generated through the introduction of charges has supported other council services, including an investment of £600,000 into the street cleansing service, which the council recognises is a high priority for residents.
You can read more about the Environment Committee meeting and the full consultation results here.