Hunts council to consider charge for second green bin

HUNTINGDONSHIRE households with second green bins could be charged to have their additional green waste taken away for composting.

It is one of the cost-saving and income-generating measures being considered by the district council’s cabinet at its meeting in September.

Some councils already charge between �30 and �60 a year to empty second green bins, HDC’s operations manager Eric Kendall told The Hunts Post.

“There’s a lot of inequality across the district, with some people not having green bins and others having more than one.

“Other local authorities are charging for the primary bin, but that’s not an issue for us,” he said.

But he acknowledged that those without green bins were likely to be paying less Council Tax than people with gardens, and that there was a risk of such a move impacting on HDC’s enviable record of recycling household waste – Huntingdonshire has been consistently among the top five recycling districts in Eastern England for several years.

Of the 72,150 homes in Huntingdonshire, more than 10 per cent (7,600) have second green bins, so collecting the contents of the second bin is not without cost.

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Each of the council’s 22 refuse freighters costs �120,000 a year to crew and operate, and the council is collecting and composting a growing quantity of green waste from an expanding district.

“It’s not the most environmentally-friendly thing to be collecting green waste,” Mr Kendall said. “Home composting is the best option because it’s not being transported. But, if people started transporting green waste to recycling centres, that would not be very good for the environment either.

“We are also looking at restructuring the rounds.”

If HDC were to decide to charge, two-bin households would have the option of returning one to the council, and “there are issues about exemptions that will have to be considered, too,” he added. “And we shall have to look at how we would collect the charge.”

There are no plans to charge for second blue bins for dry recyclables.