Highland Council to charge £30 for garden waste collection

A Scots council is to become the first local authority north of the Border to charge for collecting garden waste.

Bin collections in the majority of councils have gone from weekly to fortnightly and sometimes once every three weeks. Picture: Greg Macvean

Highland Council will introduce a £30 annual fee from 
1 July this year for collecting brown bins.

A boycott is looming and one furious resident has ordered the council to remove its brown bin or pay a £2 daily fee to rent space on his property.

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The introduction of the charge will spark fears elsewhere in Scotland that other councils will follow suit. The charging move also follows increasingly long intervals between bin collections.

Highland Council currently charges £1,421.44 for an E-rated property and this will go up by £152.45 in the coming financial year.

The council confirmed the charge on their official social media channels last week writing: “Please note that as from 1 July 2017, householders will have to pay a charge of £30 per year if they wish to continue to receive this service.”

Hundreds of angered residents have hit out at the decision on social media with many foreseeing an increase in fly tipping.

John Ellis from Strathpeffer wrote: “Dear Highland Council, as of the 1st of July I’ll no longer require your brown bin collection service.

“Following my termination of this contract I would expect your broon plastic receptacle removed from my garden as soon as possible.

“Failure to do so will result in a £2 per day rental charge for use of 0.5 metres of storage space in my garden. Invoice will be sent on the 2nd day 
of each month payable within 28 days until the aforementioned broon eyesore is shifted.”

David Morris wrote: “This is outrageous. On the face of it £30 may not seem a huge amount but it would represent 2 per cent on a council tax bill of £1,500.

“The Highland Council recently announced that they were raising rates by the maximum 3 per cent so your bill will actually be rising by 5 per cent if you want them to take away your garden waste.”

In November last year, Highland Council revealed they would be stopping pick-ups on brown bins for a period of three months – encouraging homeowners to dispose of their garden waste themselves.

In recent years, bin collections in the vast majority 
of areas have gone from weekly to fortnightly and once every three weeks is not uncommon.