Free garden waste collections axed in Stafford

Free garden waste collections in Stafford will be axed in a bid to help tackle a funding black hole of £1.5 million.

Residents in Stafford will have to pay £36 a year to have their brown bin collected
Residents in Stafford will have to pay £36 a year to have their brown bin collected

A new yearly charge of £36 will be introduced from January 2021 along with a raft of other changes which will see recycling collection sites scrapped and a separate bag introduced for paper and cardboard waste from April next year.

Stafford Borough Council says the changes will save them £1.1 million and help them keep other vital services running.

The brown garden waste bin is currently collected fortnightly alongside the blue recycling bin, which could change to a different day.

Recycling collection sites will be stopped after council bosses said the 20 locations had become dumping grounds for fly-tipping.

A new blue bag will be introduced for cardboard and paper separate to the mixed-recycling blue bin to help stop glass and metal getting stuck in the paper and making recycling difficult.

It will mean the council can no longer accept plastic carrier bags, wrappers, waxed cartons, clingfilm and black plastic trays at the kerbside.

Councillor Jonathan Price, cabinet member for environment, said: "Garden waste collection is not something we have to provide by law, but we want to continue to offer this service and that will require us falling in line with most councils in the country and, unfortunately, charging for it.

"Put bluntly, these changes are necessary if we are to balance our budgets in years to come without axing services our residents and businesses rely on.”

The changes, backed by the authority's cabinet, form part of the authority's climate change emergency strategy, said to be better for the environment.

Stafford Borough Council declared a climate emergency in July and aims to become carbon neutral by 2040.

The decision will be scrutinised at a meeting on November 18.

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