Leighton Buzzard drop-in event is a chance to discuss three-weekly collection idea with council

A potential �40 charge for garden waste  is likely be abandoned
A potential �40 charge for garden waste is likely be abandoned

There’s a chance to question council officials tomorrow (Tuesday) about possible changes to bin collections in Central Bedfordshire, including the option of moving to a three-weekly collection and charging £40 annually for garden waste.

Central Beds Council’s consultation runs until April 20 and tomorrow a drop-in event is taking place between 10am and 12noon at Leighton Buzzard Library.

The council has been at pains to point out that at this stage they are merely seeking residents’ opinions on potential new arrangements and that this is a “genuine” consultation.

Currently only 17 out of 369 district and unitary authorities responsible for waste collection have moved to a three-weekly operation for general rubbish. Rather more councils (30%) now charge for garden waste collections.

Some of the options being mooted could see new services introduced, such as food waste and glass, while others suggest changes to the current arrangements for recycling, domestic waste (black bins) and garden waste.

It says bin collections are one of the most expensive services the council provides: the council currently spends £14million a year on collecting and disposing of waste from over 118,000 households. That amounts to around 7% of the council’s budget, or 9% of residents’ council tax.

Because the current bin contracts are about to come to an end, the council is seeking ways to reduce the cost of the service; increase efficiencies; and increase recycling levels.

The options consulted on could save the council over £2million every year, which is money it can invest in other vital services, such as those for vulnerable adults and children.

You can have your say online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/bin-changes or you can pick up a paper copy from your local library or tidy tip.

The council’s Executive will consider all of the public feedback at its meeting on 10 May 2018. Any changes would be implemented in autumn 2019.