Garden waste collections suspended for winter

Household garden waste collection suspended in the Braintree District in winter

Kerbside collections of household garden waste will be suspended in the Braintree District over the winter months in what is traditionally the quietest time for the garden waste service.

It will mean the total amount of garden waste collections each year will fall to 20 per year to save council taxpayers £35,000 per year.

Last year residents helped the Council make this decision having favoured the three month suspension rather than charging for the service or withdrawing it completely.

The move comes as a result of local authorities receiving less Government funding for services. In 2020 Braintree District Council will no longer receive a grant from the Government and will have to be self-sufficient. Council Tax alone doesn’t raise enough to cover the services the Council provides.

Residents are being encouraged to compost instead – with access to a discounted compost bin - or take any green waste to the appropriate recycling centre. The garden waste collection will be suspended on Monday, December 5, with the service resuming on Monday, February 27.

Cllr Wendy Schmitt, Cabinet Member Environmental and Place, said: “The garden waste collected from green wheeled bins during the winter months is not cost effective for the amount that is collected. We have a responsibility to deliver value for money services and this has never been more important than now as the amount of Government Grant funding we get for our day to day spending is being withdrawn. We are in a better position than most through sound financial planning and making savings and investments early, but we still need to make efficiency savings.”

As part of Braintree District Council’s Balancing the Budget 2016-2020 public consultation undertaken between December 2015 and January 2016 via residents’ magazine Contact and it was also reported in the local media. Residents were asked about potential budget savings resulting in changes to services. One of the proposals focused on the suspension of the garden waste service in the months of December, January and February. Residents were asked if they agreed with the Council’s proposal, ‘to suspend the kerbside garden waste collection service between the months of December and February inclusive’, in the interest of making savings and cost efficiency. 67% of respondents stated ‘Yes I Agree’. See the consultation response report balancing the budget

In previous years, garden waste collections have been suspended for a 2-week period over Christmas and the New Year to allow crews to focus on collecting the additional refuse, recycling and food waste generated at this time of year, as well as minimising the requirement for agency staff and hire vehicles.

 What can residents do during December, January and February?

  1. Compost at home. For a special discounted compost bin offer of £8.98 visit or call 0844 571 4444 quote reference ECC13L
  2. Take it to an Essex County Council’s Recycling Centre for Household Waste (RCHW)