To bin... or not to bin?

Green waste changes are happening across Lancashire
Green waste changes are happening across Lancashire

That is the question across the county as residents grapple with the green charges postcode lottery.

Very soon, where you live in Lancashire will dictate whether you will have to pay to have your garden waste taken away by your local council.

Wyre Coun David Henderson

Wyre Coun David Henderson

Wyre, Preston and Lancaster councils are set to introduce a £30 annual charges for collecting compostable waste in 2016/17.

But elsewhere in the county, from Chorley to South Ribble and Hyndburn, the district council collections will continue as usual, with residents able to put out their garden waste for collection and recycling for free.

The charges are being introduced against a background of widespread cuts to funding for local and county government.

A Wyre Council spokesman said: “Lancashire County Council’s funding towards the recycling service was reduced in 2013 and although it doesn’t come to a complete end until 2018, we need to take action now to mitigate the impact of losing almost £1m a year.”

Meanwhile in Fylde the council says charging is still an option. Chief Executive Allan Oldfield said councillors will hold a special meeting on March 31 to consider whether to recommend introducing a charging scheme. This will then be considered by the full Council on April 11. If councillors give the go-ahead a £30 annual charge could be introduced in the summer.

Coun David Henderson, cabinet member with responsibility for recycling at Wyre Council, said: “Garden waste collections have been provided across Wyre without charge since 1999, however, it is now necessary that we join other local authorities up and down the country in charging to keep the service running.

“Despite requests to reconsider or scale down the withdrawal of funding to lessen the impact on the districts in the county, the decision has been made and we now have to mitigate that impact.”

The Wyre charges will be introduced on May 1.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “In the early days of recycling when district councils were introducing doorstep collections and we were trying to encourage more recycling we agreed to help them by sharing the cost of bringing in the new collections.

“The agreement, under which the county council still pays around £10m a year, was originally made for 10 years and was extended in 2014 for a further four years until 2018.

“As recycling collections are now well-established, the cost-sharing agreement will come to an end in 2018.”

Those who choose not to subscribe to the charged-for service will have to deal with their garden waste in other ways, with councils urging them to consider composting.