Free Collection by Edinburgh Council of Garden Waste to end in October 2018

The Council are introducing an annual £25 fee (per bin) to collect brown garden waste bins. Coincident with this – the new service will be fortnightly throughout the year, instead of once every three weeks.

The current free garden waste service will continue until 5 October 2018 BUT if you want to continue receiving garden waste collections after that date, action is required before 22 July to register and pay to receive this service after October 2018.

The council state that their reasons for introducing a charge for garden waste collections are :

  • Garden waste collection is not a statutory service, and with reducing budgets and increasing costs, the council can no longer afford to provide the service for free.
  • Over 40% of Councils in the UK charge for a garden waste collection and some have stopped the service altogether.
  • The £25 per year charge was agreed by the Council at a meeting in February and it is estimated it will save £1.3 million each year and allow provision of a more frequent service.

You do not need to sign up for this service, however, if you choose not to sign up you will stop receiving garden waste collections when the free service stops. Further communication from the council is planned later in the summer.

More details can be found on the council website including exemptions to the charge for those who qualify.

The website also has more details on the new policy, how the scheme is intended to work and legitimate options for those who do not sign up for the new scheme.

Whilst we understand the cost pressures that the council is under, we are concerned that this proposal may have several unintended and unwelcome consequences – by  either leading to increased fly-tipping of garden waste or inappropriate use of the communal landfill bins (especially in the city centre).

NTBCC  would  also note that until recently, the service was a fortnightly collection for the majority of the year but this was changed to three-weekly collections year-round; hence reverting to fortnightly collections being sold as an improved service is slightly disingenuous.

We will monitor the impact of this once the changes are implemented.