Incentives for Uttlesford residents on kerbside green waste collections

AN incentive has been offered by Uttlesford District Council in a bid to get residents to sign up for kerbside green waste collections.

The council’s cabinet this week agreed to bring in the fortnightly subscription-based collection service in April.

About 1,600 households have signed up to the scheme and, with that figure hitting a plateau, the council is offering residents who sign up by February 29 a free bin – saving them a �20 one-off fee – alongside the �40 annual subscription.

Cabinet member for environment, Susan Barker, said: “We have had around 1,600 households which have expressed an interest and we think that is a good start.

“By offering this incentive we’re hoping to get up to around 2,500 homes, which is the level experienced in other councils.”

Cllr Barker said that the incentive was also aimed at ensuring the council was prepared for the changes by April, and said ordering bins and planning routes would take some effort.

As part of the strategy the council is also offering a 50 per cent discount on its weekend green skip service. Parish councils will pay �25.25 per hour as opposed to �50 per hour, for the first year.

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Twenty-four councils have asked about the service – 21 currently use it – although two of the largest users, Dunmow and Thaxted, have yet to express an interest while Stansted is the only council to have opted out.

Cllr Barker said: “High Roding, Hatfield Broad Oak and Debden, for example, have all bought into the service because they see that it will be of value to their residents. It is a great pity that Stansted has decided to opt out.

“We believe that this discount will help the parishes for the first year of this new scheme.”

News of the incentives was broadly welcomed by opposition leaders, Ind Mark Lemon and Lib Dem Peter Wilcock, although the latter did highlight that the scheme does not help the “poorer people in society”.

However, Cllr Lemon said: “I think we have got it right – it is a good scheme. The incentive is a great help, particularly to the smaller parishes.”

Implementing the green waste kerbside collection, and part-funding the skip service, will save Uttlesford in the region of �15,000 a year and Cllr Barker expects the strategy to be “revenue-neutral by the second year”.

These two parts of the scheme form part of Uttlesford’s larger MunicipalWaste Management Strategy which will also see the service moved to a four-day collection week, smaller brown food caddies, split-body dustcarts and glass collections – with total projected savings of around �300,000.

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