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You have until midnight tonight to sign up for the new garden waste service which begins in October.  If you don’t sign up then you will have to take your own to a recycling centre or make alternative arrangements.

In its its budget introduced only in February 2018 the administration included a charge of £25 per annum for collection of garden waste on a fortnightly basis.

The aim is to save £1.3 million each year in the council’s revenue budget which the council no longer think they can provide for free. The council says that over 40% of UK councils already charge for is service and in any event £25 is less than many others charge.

Lesley Macinnes Transport and Environment Convener

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “Thousands of people have already signed up to receive the new service, but I would urge anyone who wants to continue having their brown bin collected but hasn’t yet registered to do so by Sunday to avoid a gap in collections.

“The quickest and easiest way to do this is online, which is why 94% of the people who have already registered have done so via our website. We know not everyone has access to the internet though, and there are options for registration over the phone and face-to-face too.

“By introducing this charge we will be able to increase collections from once every three weeks to once every two weeks, while also saving the Council around £1.3m every year, enabling us to continue to deliver a whole range of essential services to residents.”

People who receive Council Tax Reduction (formerly called Council Tax Benefit) will continue to receive the brown bin collections for free, but they will still need to register for the service.

Bin permit stickers and new calendars will be sent to residents shortly before the new service starts on 8 October.

Nick Cook Conservative Councillor for Morningside 

Cllr Nick Cook leads the charge on forcing the council to make a u-turn on charging to collect garden waste which will begin in the autumn.

He has started a petition which 2,000 residents have signed  at today’s date. He told us that he is not proposing to sign up on a personal basis for his own garde and will take his refuse to the recycling centre himself.

Cllr Cook told us : “Some residents – as keen gardeners or owners of larger gardens – will feel they have little choice but to promptly sign up to the SNP and Labour’s unfair Garden Tax.

“For my part, I haven’t signed up and my efforts at present are focused on advancing the mounting case for this levy to be scrapped. It wasn’t in a single local government manifesto and rollout has already proven a shambles, hit by delays, lack of sign ups and fraud fears. The Council should scrap this environmentally damaging tax and refund those who had to fork out.”

The council collects garden waste every three weeks at the moment although it actually is not statutorily obliged to. It is obliged to collect other waste but not your leaves and hedge clippings.

It wasn’t so long ago that people used to dump their own garden waste in a compost heap in their own garden, and then reused it as a kind of fertiliser.

Perhaps some gardeners could go back to doing that?

The 2017 SNP manifesto is here

The 2017 Scottish Labour manifesto is here

The 2017 Scottish Greens manifesto is here

The 2017 Lib Dems manifesto is here