PEOPLE will be allowed to ‘share’ recycling bins with their neighbours once a new collection fee is introduced by one local authority.
Midlothian Council is preparing to become the second local authority in Scotland to charge for garden waste collections from March next year.
But with only 50 per cent of residents expected to take up the new £35 annual fee, the local authority is proposing a range of measures to cope with the expected backlash.
They include allowing people to do deals with neighbours to share a brown bin, cutting the number of visits they can make to recycling centres with vans or trailers each year in half and hiring a full time delivery driver whose sole job will be replacing and repairing damaged bins.
In a report on the changes to the service, officials said “Residents can share a bin with a neighbour/s, but one person must pay for the service and the bin will be collected from one address.
“Any sharing agreement is a private matter and does not involve the council.”
The local authority said that based on the experience of Angus Council, the only one in Scotland with an established chargeable garden waste service, they expect only half of the 38,000 households who currently have a brown bin to keep it once the fee is introduced.
It also expects around 10 per cent of the 6,280 tonnes of garden waste collected over the last financial year to be dumped in its grey bins, which are collected free of charge and are for non-recyclable items.
Concerns over an increase In local “man with a van” services charging people to collect their garden waste and taking it to the dump for free, the local authority proposes to reduce the number of visits households are allowed with a van or trailer from 12 times a year to just six.
They also plan to make all vans and trailers book in advance rather than just some over a certain size to “remove the risk that van users start to use smaller trailers”.
They also intend to employ a delivery driver to deal with bins which are damaged because people overload them or need replaced quickly.
They said: “As a chargeable service customers will expect rapid delivery of a replacement bin.
“To ensure the timely delivery it is proposed to recruit a dedicated delivery driver with responsibility for bin delivery and bin repair.
“Their role will not be devoted to brown bins only, but will deliver, repair and replace all waste and recycling containers.”
A report to Midlothian Council reveals it is anticipated the new charges will generate an income of £550,000 in its first year after costs.