HOUSEHOLDS are being reminded that new charges for garden waste collections come into effect on Saturday (1st April).
More than 9,500 households have signed up to the Council’s green bin collection service so far and those who applied before the deadline for continued service have now received their welcome packs.
Any customers who signed up after the 3rd March cut-off date will receive their packs within the next two weeks. Anyone who has not yet registered is still able to do so but will not have their green bins collected until they have received their packs.
Reading residents have had their garden waste collected from their doorstep free of charge since the green bin collection service started 10 years ago. But sustained government funding cuts have put the Council under unprecedented financial pressure.
Last September, the Council decided it could no longer afford to subsidise the service and would have to follow many neighbouring local authorities and start charging.
A £50 annual charge has been introduced for up to two green bins to be collected per property, or £15 per year for households with a green bag. Households receiving Council Tax Support qualify for a 25 per cent discount.
Residents who sign up to the new scheme are sent a coloured sticker to put on their bins, or tags for their bags, to notify the crews to collect from their property. Only bins and bags with the correct stickers or tags will be collected from 1st April.
The Council advised households, through individual letters and publicity, to sign up by 3rd March to ensure they received their packs in time for continuous collections.
Households who have not previously been part of the scheme can join up and buy a green bin for £36.10 or bag for £11.35 which is then their property.
Councillor Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Member for Neighbourhoods, said:
“I am pleased so many people have decided they wish to continue to enjoy the convenience of having their garden waste collected from the kerbside.
“Thousands of households have signed up now and with spring upon us I expect even more people will choose to take advantage of this valued service.”
Households can sign up and pay for the garden waste collection scheme by visiting www.reading.gov.uk/garden-waste or calling (0118) 937 2055.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Government funding for Council services in Reading has been cut from £57.5 million in 2011/12 to around £10 million in 2017/18. By 2019/20 that figure will be cut to less than £2 million. The Council has already agreed £70 million worth of savings since 2011. Latest estimates are that another £44 million needs to be saved by 2019/20.