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Council unveil plans to move to once monthly collections on green bins over winter

Green bins will be collected less over the winter months as Wrexham Council look to make further budget cuts.

Despite the anecdotal council golden rule of ‘never mess with people’s bin collections”, it appears Wrexham Council are set to do just that with once a month collections for garden waste to be brought in between December and February.

Next week a report outlining the plans will go to a ‘special meeting’ of the executive board, which if approved will see the reduced green bin collections implemented from this December. We can’t recall a report before the Executive Board like this failing to get approval.

Changes to the garden waste collection were first alluded to when a ‘Winter Garden Waste – Collection Service Review’ item appeared on the council’s forward work programme.

Little detail was provided at the time – just simply that the lead member “seeks executive approval to change the current arrangements for garden waste collection service during the winter months’.

Currently the green bins (as famously pictured above) are collected fortnightly.

However in the report due before councillors at next week’s meeting it is explained that there is a “seasonal variation in yield” and that garden waste drops by around 80 per cent in kerbside collections in the three months listed above.

The report notes: “The Environment Service currently provides thirteen residual waste collection rounds which collect, on a weekly alternate basis, residual (black) and garden (green) waste from households on a daily basis. Given the significant drop in kerbside collection yields by around 75-80%, officers have been examining options to introduce service efficiencies”

“It is proposed to reduce green bin collection to once per month during December, January and February, starting this year. Garden waste collections will continue to be provided from the kerbside during these months, but at the reduced frequency reflecting the significant drop in waste tonnage collected. Any released capacity will help build in resilience and save on supplementary agency staff costs for the Council’s winter maintenance service”

The report adds: “Many councils in Wales already provide a seasonal collection service with a number ceasing collections entirely during the winter.

“During the previous Difficult Decision budget consultation, a repeated theme by respondents was the principle of collecting garden waste during the winter months; with some respondents suggesting that the service be ceased.

“December, January and February are traditionally the months during which the council’s winter maintenance service hits a peak, and creating capacity during these months will help build resilience for the winter maintenance service.”

Earlier this week, Leader of Wrexham Council, Cllr Mark Pritchard suggested that changes that changes to black bin collections could also be on the cards in the upcoming ‘Difficult Decisions’ consultation process, due to the ‘wicked’ settlement from Welsh Government to Wrexham Council.

Cllr Pritchard said: “We weren’t going to do this as quickly, we were going to look to do it in the future, but because of the provisional settlement we’ve had to fast track some changes quicker and this is one.

“The lead member says he thinks we can make savings in that department. We’re going to roll it out from November.”

Wrexham.com enquired if the new changes will see a sensible post-Christmas collection time in December, and we were assured that would be the case.

It is the second change to be made in relation to garden waste bins in the past 12 months, with Wrexham Council introducing a £30 annual charge for residents who own more than one green bin. This change was introduced as part of the council’s last round of ‘Difficult Decisions’.

The report detailing the proposed changes to garden waste bin collections will take place at a ‘special’ executive board on Tuesday 23rd October at 10am.

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