Issue - meetings

Garden waste service

Meeting: 15/02/2024 - Cabinet (Item 67)

67 Introduction of a garden waste permit scheme pdf icon PDF 324 KB

To consider the report of the head of corporate services and the head of housing and environment. 


Cabinet considered the report of the head of corporate services and the head of housing and environment.  The report set out a proposal to improve the way the council’s garden waste service was paid for by introducing a permit scheme. 


The Cabinet member for the environment presented the report and outlined the issues with the current payment process and explained the new permit approach. 


The Joint Scrutiny Committee had supported the proposed scheme but requested that Cabinet:

·       continued to offer direct debit payments as well as other payment methods, such as cash and telephone payments;

·       retained the minimum number of collections per year, for customer assurance;

·       ensured that a clear communications plan was put in place to show residents how to pay and to how to stay updated on the changes;

·       gave future consideration to an initial fee to join the service, and to introducing bin microchipping. 


Officers had considered the implications of the committee’s suggestions and had discussed them with the Cabinet member.  The Cabinet member believed that the council needed a better system to administer its garden waste service.  This included a more efficient payment system and the ability to retrieve bins where payments had not been made.  The proposal would achieve this.  The Cabinet member believed that the council should adopt the new permit scheme and monitor its implementation.  Regarding direct debit payments, if Cabinet wished to retain a direct debit payment option, the project would need to be paused and reviewed.  Moving to an online annual payment would not limit customers’ ability to pay through other means.  Customers could contact the council’s Customer Contact Centre, which would continue to support payments over the telephone or face-to-face at Abbey House.  The Cabinet member reported that there would be a minimum of 20 collections per year, and hopefully more, and a clear communications plan would be put in place before the scheme was introduced in April 2025.  Regarding Scrutiny Committee’s suggestion of introducing an initial joining fee, this would be considered in the forthcoming waste and street cleansing strategy. 


Cabinet welcomed the proposal, as it would move the council away from a heavily manual process relying on direct debits payments to a more automated and customer-friendly permit-based approach.  Implementation of the scheme should be monitored carefully.  This approach had been successful across many districts.  However, Cabinet considered that Scrutiny Committee’s suggestions to retain the option for direct debit payments and to introducing bin microchipping were rejected at this stage. 




(a)       approve the implementation of a garden waste permit payment model commencing 1 April 2025, subject to the approval of growth bids as part of the council’s 2024/25 budget;


(b)    authorise the head of corporate services and the head of housing and environment, in consultation with the relevant Cabinet members, to:

(i)     agree any revisions to the terms and conditions of the council’s garden waste provision, and

(ii)    award a joint contract for provision of garden waste permits as required.