Tories urge alternatives to axing garden waste uplifts

Conservative councillors will only support the controversial scrapping of kerbside garden waste collections if there are no alternatives.

Friday, 10th January 2014, 11:03 am
Garden waste collections are being stopped in the Scottish Borders.

That was the blunt message this week from the Tory group leader on Scottish Borders Council, Michelle Ballantyne.

Last month, the council agreed to include the proposals as part of its budget plan, due to be debated in February.

It wants to save £800,000 by scrapping the service, which is not mandatory and is provided only to urban households.

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Currently, five Scottish local authorities have no kerbside garden waste collection service; eight have a joint food and garden collection and 19 (including SBC) have separate kerbside collections.

For its part, SBC says it will be offering free home composters and that garden waste can also be taken to community recycling centres.

Mrs Ballantyne said the move is the result of the Scottish Government forcing a statutory food waste collection on local authorities in 2016.

“And the SNP/Liberal administration [at SBC] will fund this by cancelling the non-statutory collection of garden waste,” she said.

She accused the council ruling administration of wanting the service removed quickly and without further discussion.

“Nevertheless, we are looking at what is happening elsewhere and will only support this action as part of the budget proposals in February if we are satisfied there really is no other way forward,” she said.