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Garden waste collections 2022-23

Bins, recycling and waste

09 November 2021

a lawnmower cutting grass

This article was revised on 17 November 2021.

There are proposals to bring together garden waste collections across West Northamptonshire from April 2022 so all residents have the same and equal service.

West Northamptonshire Council currently runs three different fortnightly collection schemes for garden waste, inherited from the old district and borough councils it replaced in April this year.

Since 2018 people living in the former Daventry area and since 2020 in the Northampton area have chosen whether or not they wish to have garden waste collections. If they do, they pay an extra, yearly fee to help fund the service.

Residents in the former South Northants area however currently receive the collections at no extra charge.

The council is proposing to harmonise the service across all areas by introducing chargeable garden waste collections to homes in the former South Northants Council area from 1 April next year. Harmonisation is a requirement set by Government in establishing the new West Northamptonshire Council.

Under the proposals, from April all residents across West Northants will have the option to choose whether or not to receive garden waste collections for 2022/23 by subscribing to the service for an annual charge of £42 for the year. The charge is in line with the current annual fee in Northampton and Daventry.

In the run-up to 1 April residents would also be offered discounts on home composters as an alternative to signing up to the garden waste service.

Not everyone needs or uses the garden waste service and making it self-funding enables to councils to provide the service for only those who want it. Councils are not required by law to collect garden waste free of charge. 65 % of all local authorities in England now charge for garden waste collections as a non-essential, opt-in service, not paid for by Council Tax. 

The Council has inherited three different garden waste services from the previous district and borough councils, the most notable difference it being a paid-for service in two areas but not in the other. It is important that the Council is fair and equal in the way it delivers services to all residents, regardless of where they live in West Northants.

Simply put, the new Council cannot afford to do this. Income generated from the existing chargeable garden waste services was already built into the base budgets of the former Daventry and Northampton councils, the finances of which have transferred over to the new Council. Removing ongoing income for this non statutory service would create a deficit that the new Council would have to fill somehow by finding savings in other areas.

An opt-in service has already been operating in Daventry and Northampton areas for some time so many residents are now used to choosing whether or not they wish to receive the service.

People who do not wish to use the garden waste service may also wish to consider home composting. The council will be offering a limited number of subsidised home composters to residents, as an alternative to paying the charge.  Further details of this scheme will be announced in the new year. 

They can also take their garden waste to your local household waste recycling centre.

Council Tax is a tax, varied by house value to reflect, in broad terms, the ability of people to pay. Whilst overall it helps fund local services, paying more does not create an entitlement to receive more services. There is, for example, no difference in the amount of books which can be borrowed in a library depending on the amount of Council Tax paid.

Once people have subscribed, our contractors will be notified electronically overnight that their address is now eligible for collections, subscribers will receive a registration pack with a sticker that must be placed on the front of their garden waste bin. Bins that have not subscribed or do not show a valid registration sticker will not be emptied.

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