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Green subscription recycling schemes collect 50,000 tonnes

Biffa has claimed its Green Waste Clubs can remove the cost of green waste collection from council budgets and boost recycling rates.

The initiative is a subscription-based and provides customers with a wheeled bin which is collected fortnightly.

The clubs are self-financing operations that remove the cost of green waste collection from council budgets, said Biffa. So far they have attracted around 35,000 members.

Councils are not legally obliged to collect garden or green waste separately and free of charge, said Biffa development director Pete Dickson.

He said reductions in public sector budgets mean many councils need to make decisions about restricting or abolishing local services.

He added: “Rather than ending green waste collections outright, councils can adopt our Green Waste Club service as a way of cutting costs while maintaining a local service that many residents value.”

Biffa client authorities run four of the waste clubs at:

  • Arun District Council
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Melton Borough Council
  • Portsmouth City Council

A fifth club is run as a stand-alone operation in the East Northamptonshire Council area.

Collection tonnages are recorded for inclusion in councils’ statutory reporting, and can contribute valuable percentage points to a council’s overall recycling rate, said Biffa.

The service provides dedicated wheeled bins in which members collect lawn and hedge clippings, leaves, prunings and small branches.

Residents can decide whether they subscribe directly to the Green Waste Club and have their garden waste collected at the kerbside with subscription fees.

Dickson said: “We believe this is a fairer and more equitable arrangement as some residents don’t have gardens and therefore shouldn’t have to contribute through council tax for a service that benefits others.”

Kevin Basford, head of contracts and environment at Arun District Council, said: “It remains a popular and high quality service, and makes a very important contribution to our recycling rate and residual waste minimisation plans.”

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