Almost 10,000 people in Lincoln have signed up to the new £25 per year fee to get their green waste bins collected from July.
There are currently 33,000 green waste bins in the city collected on a two-week collection cycle throughout the year.
The number of sign ups has been steady since opening on May 21, with the number of bin orders peaking at 1,349 in one day.
The charge is so the council can save £1 million from its budget this year, with further cuts in government grants of over £3 million by 2016/17.
The council’s cost of delivering the current “free at point of use” green waste collection service for the financial year 2012/13 has been £442,500.
As the service is opt-in, residents wanting to keep their bin will need to register with the City of Lincoln Council via www.lincoln.gov.uk/green.
If you decide at a later date to sign up to the collections they will already have the bin ready to go.
However, if the bin is collected by the council and the person decides to opt in at a later date they will be charged £10 to have a new one delivered.
People are also being reminded that they have the option to share a green bin service with a friend or neighbour – meaning they can also share the cost.
To mark households that paid for collections, a first batch of bin stickers will be posted out in the third week of June, the council said.
Council Leader Ric Metcalfe said: “It is great to see the people of Lincoln supporting this excellent service.
“The money that comes in from this scheme will help to offset the costs of providing these collections.
“There is still plenty of time to sign up and at just 50 pence per week we feel this is good value compared to the alternatives.”
North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) and South Kesteven District Council have also agreed recently to begin charging £25 per year for garden waste collections.
In North Kesteven, 53% of residents have opted into the green bin scheme.
Green waste charge reactions
The Lincolnite asked its Facebook community whether they have signed up or not to the scheme. Here are some of the answers (read the full thread).
Hannah Lawler said she did sign up: “Didn’t want to pay it, but because I have lots of trees and grass I need the green bin. Paying all we do for council tax and not really getting much back I don’t see why they need another £25 a year for it. I’m sure pretty soon we will be paying extra to have the other bins emptied too. That’s when fly tipping will get worse!”
Vicky Galbraith also signed up: “In fact we’ve bought an additional bin and chose to pay for two to be emptied. With a large garden, it is a small price to pay for the convenience of having it emptied instead of taking waste to the tip. Plus, our garden has never been so tidy; no way are we paying for a service and not using it.”
Brendan Lawlor said he didn’t sign up: “We only have a small garden so for the sake of a few grass cuttings and some weeds we are going to purchase a compost bin. Better for the environment and my wallet in the long run.”
Charlie Byrne commented: “It would cost me more than £25 a year in fuel and time if I took it to the tip. I don’t agree with it, but feel its a necessary evil.”
Yet for Kate Beckers it would be cheaper to drive to the tip: “I haven’t signed up for it as it will be cheaper for me to visit the tip with my green waste every couple of months. I don’t garden in the winter months.”
Janice Waudby also did the maths: “Let’s be realistic, I object to paying it too but break it down: even if you only use it for six months of the year, it actually works out at less than £1 a week. I cannot run my car to the tip for that.”
Dean Shackleton added: “I will not be paying it unless the the council are going to be willing to pay me to pick up and clear all the branches and leaves that fall in our garden. Either that or remove them, then maybe I will consider it.”
Steve Woodcock concluded: “Although it’s another £25 out of the household budget, I can’t see a cheaper option. Also, as long as only the paid up bins are emptied, I guess I will be happy…ish.”