Council rejects garden waste decision review

Garden waste collections are being stopped in the Scottish Borders.
Garden waste collections are being stopped in the Scottish Borders.

A bid from the Conservative group at the council to have the decision to scrap garden waste collections reviewed by experts has been rejected.

Councillors voted 21-10 against group leader Michelle Ballantyne’s call for Zero Waste Scotland to carry out an eight-week review of the waste management strategy which was agreed in December.

Mrs Ballantyne said a review would reassure the public that SBC was “doing the right thing”. She added that the council would have the Conservatives’ “whole-hearted support” if Zero Waste Scotland backed the strategy.

However, council leader David Parker said: “Why would we want to do a review for eight weeks when we have already done that work?

“We asked Zero Waste Scotland to prepare a business case for us on delivery of food waste collections, and also asked for their opinion on delivery of food waste and garden waste collections.”

Mr Parker said that showed it would cost more than £2million to roll out food waste collections to 22,000 homes and cut the garden waste uplifts to that level. To maintain garden waste collections for 34,000 homes and extend future food waste collections to them would cost more than £2.5million. He added: “I have no doubt that the decision is the right one.”

Councillor Jim Fullarton claimed Zero Waste Scotland was “very concerned” that recycling rates will fall with the loss of garden waste collections.

A Zero Waste Scotland spokesperson told The Southern: “Councils are best placed to make decisions on what is best for their local area, working closely with local residents. We can help by advising about best practice and what types of collections might work best.”