Falkirk Council: Proposal to charge for garden waste uplift and changes at recycling centres

Falkirk residents are to be charged for having garden waste collected for the first time, under a proposed review of waste services.
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The £35 annual fee for brown bin collections, as well as the return of a previously scrapped £40 fee for special uplifts, are contained in a report that will be heard by Falkirk Council’s executive next Tuesday, December 6.

Other suggestions include Roughmute and Kinneil recycling centre opening at 10am, rather than 8 am, with closing time remaining at 6 pm, to reduce the reliance on casual staff and overtime.

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The report to councillors says the changes are necessary to comply with changes to legislation, including a biodegradable landfill ban that will come into effect in 2025.

Falkirk Council is proposing charging for brown bin upliftsFalkirk Council is proposing charging for brown bin uplifts
Falkirk Council is proposing charging for brown bin uplifts

Removing some services and charging for others will also help the council to save cash as it faces a massive budget gap of £69 million over the next four years. The review also includes plans to introduce a booking system to the recycling centres.

Councillors will also be asked to agree that larger green bins would only be granted to households with seven or more people in them, in a bid to encourage people to recycle more.

The report also suggests axing the council’s environment enforcement team, whose role is to investigate fly tipping and littering offences and to issue fixed penalty notices where there is enough evidence.

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The report rejects the idea that removing this service would increase fly-tipping and states that “there is no evidence to suggest that previously law-abiding residents would start fly-tipping following the removal of this team”.

Where necessary, they say, other council staff would be trained to step in to deal with fly tipping on public land.

Another suggested change is that the council will stop taking glass for collection. Instead, residents will be encouraged to use the Deposit Return Scheme, which is being introduced by the Scottish Government.

This will give consumers 20 pence for glass bottles, clear plastic (PET) drinks bottles and aluminium drinks cans they return via the scheme.

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That’s despite the fact this could mean a loss of revenue for the council of around £234,000, which is currently generated from the sale of glass, cans and plastics.

Malcolm Bennie, director of place services said: “There are some big changes coming to how waste is managed across Scotland, and we are keen to be ready to respond to these effectively and efficiently.

“The very challenging £69million budget gap the council faces over the next four years means it is also important to consider some changes to how we do things in waste services. Many of these changes being proposed would reduce our carbon emissions and contribute to the Council priority around Climate Change. The proposals also include ways we can support those residents on lower incomes and benefits to shield them as much as possible during the cost-of-living crisis.”