Banbury area residents soon to see new food waste collection service and a chargeable garden waste service

Charges will be brought in for households wanting Cherwell District Council to continue collecting their garden waste.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:31 pm

Members of Cherwell District Council’s executive approved proposals for the introduction of a chargeable garden waste service.

They also approved plans for a food waste collection scheme without an extra charge.

Cherwell District Council’s executive discussed and endorsed proposals on Monday at a meeting to give all residents a new 23-litre outdoor food waste caddy, and to bring in an opt-in, chargeable garden waste service from February 2022.

Members of Cherwell District Council's executive have approved proposals for the introduction of a new food waste collection service and a chargeable garden waste service. (File Banbury Guardian image)

The food waste collections will begin in the late autumn and by early January, food waste from all 70,000 homes in the district will be collected once a week instead of fortnightly.

The brown bin was initially for the collection of garden waste but since 2010 the brown bin has contained a mixture of food waste and garden waste. This is treated at an in vessel composting plant near Ardley, no electricity is produced in this process but the output is a soil improver for surrounding fields.

A report on the proposed changes to the bin collections presented to the executive meeting stated that the ‘largest proportion’ of waste in households’ residual/non-recycling green bins was food waste.

It is hoped that the new collections will see food waste from both the brown bins and green bins placed in the new bins, reducing the overall amount of residual waste that has to be disposed of.

All residual waste is sent to the Energy from Waste facility at Ardley.

The report states: “Moving to weekly collection of food waste will require nine additional vehicles, extra staff and will increase operating costs by around £850k/year.”

However, the food waste can be treated to produce gas and then electricity, meaning the disposal cost is much lower than the costs of using the Energy from Waste plant.

The principle of separating food and garden waste collections was consulted on as part of the budget setting process for the 2021 to 2022 financial year and was approved by councillors in February.

Since then, work has been going on to develop the detail of how the new services will work, including the introduction of a charge for its brown bin garden waste service.

Residents will still be able to subscribe to the current garden waste collection service, which will incur a charge from early next year. The garden waste service will be charged at £40 per year, but for householders who sign up for the new garden waste service before February 1, 2022, the charge will be £36 per year.

People who pay for the service will be given a licence sticker to place on their bins to show the bin men it can be emptied by them. Households will be expected to use their existing brown bin for the new revised garden waste service. If households do not want to use the new service, they can ask for their brown bin to be removed but only after June 2022. Customers can retain their brown bin even if they do not wish to use the new service, however the bin will not be emptied unless a garden waste licence is attached.

Cherwell’s brown bin service has operated in the same way since 2010, and garden waste has been a paid-for service in all other Oxfordshire council areas for some time.