Shropshire Star

Plans for green waste charge confirmed – and future of Shropshire recycling centres revealed

Shropshire Council plans to charge residents £56 a year for the collection of their green waste – but none of the authority's recycling centres will close.

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The authority has confirmed it plans to go ahead with introducing the charge, saying it could raise as much as £4m to help towards its pressing funding crisis.

It has emerged that 18,000 people responded to a consultation on the Shropshire Council plans, with the council adamant that the new charge will not lead to an increase in fly-tipping.

Along with confirming plans for the charge the council has also lifted the threat of closure from its five household recycling centres in Bridgnorth, Craven Arms, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Whitchurch.

But, despite the reprieve there will be changes planned for the centres.

The council has revealed they will now close for one day a week, although it has not confirmed which day that will be.

It is anticipated it could be Wednesday or Thursdays.

The centres will also move to operating on a booking system, requiring people to book a slot to enable them to drop off recycling.

Residents are facing a £56 charge for green waste collections in the Shropshire Council area.

Shropshire Council leader, Councillor Lezley Picton, said that the authority had also decided against introducing a block on residents outside the Shropshire Council area using the centres.

Earlier this year Telford & Wrekin Council's former leader, Shaun Davies MP, had threatened to start charging Shropshire Council residents for using Telford tips, if the neighbouring authority decided to close any of its centres.

Shropshire Council said that the latest moves are all part of measures to save £62.5m from its budget in this financial year.

The proposals are set to be approved by the council's cabinet at its meeting on July 17.

If the changes are agreed the new garden waste subscription service would be introduced from October 1, 2024, with the annual subscription covering the period October 1, 2024, to September 30, 2025.

A payment window would be open from August 2024 to March 2025.

The council said that garden waste collections would stop from October 1 for anyone that has not subscribed.

Another issue is that from the same date food waste collections would be suspended as councils cannot charge for this service.

But, all councils in England must introduce a weekly food waste collections to all properties in 2026 and Shropshire says it would introduce a new food waste collection service by this date.

Subscribers to the green waste service will no longer be able to put food waste in their garden bin.

Councillor Ian Nellins said that all five recycling centres will remain open

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for waste management, said: "I want to thank everyone who took part in our consultation. We had an incredible response and have listened carefully to what people said. It was particularly clear that people want to see all five of our recycling centres remain open.

"An annual green waste subscription charge of £56 is in line with our neighbouring councils – and will help us to make the required savings. I’m also delighted that all five of our recycling centres will remain open six days a week, something I know will be welcomed by people across the county.

“As we’ve said before, Shropshire Council is facing unprecedented financial pressure. We must make £62m of savings in 2024/25 to keep a balanced budget and our plans include difficult decisions. We must look at other ways of creating income so that we can protect essential frontline services for those residents most in need.

“Though the collection of garden waste is not a service that the council must by law provide, it is one that we want to continue to provide. And as not all residents need or want the service we would instead provide this as an opt-in chargeable service to those who need or want it.

“Some 80 per cent of English councils already charge for garden waste collections, and many have been doing so for several years.

“The only change to the households that subscribe is that they will have to remove their food waste from their garden waste bin and the service will continue as normal.”

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