Bin collection changes proposed for Basildon

Basildon Council is set to decide whether to separate garden and food waste collections and make one fortnightly.

At the moment, Basildon residents have their garden and food waste collected together weekly, but the proposals would see food waste remain as weekly collections but garden waste would become fortnightly. A vote is expected later this week.

Basildon Borough Council is considering the plans , which according to a council report are estimated to cost an extra £560,000 a year plus one-off costs of £395,000 for containers and £112,000 in vehicle return penalties, compared to the current system.

The Leisure and Environment Committee will consider the results of a public consultation which took place last month and recommend a preferred model  Thursday (September 23) for later approval by the full council.

Food and garden waste will have to be collected separately in line with the government’s Environment Bill, expected to be enacted early next year. 

According to the report, a cross-party working group discussed proposals for two new services to replace the current model in November 2020.

These included a weekly food waste service collected via electric vehicles, with provision for a 23 litre outdoor caddy, 5 litre indoor kitchen caddy and 50 free caddy liners a year per household.

A fortnightly, free garden waste collection service via the green wheelie bins already used by residents operating from March-November was also discussed.

Separate collections were trialled at the end of last year and the impact was considered by the borough council.

Seven 12-tonne electric vehicles costing a total of £406,000 have already been ordered and will arrive in 2022.

A public consultation also took place between July 12-August 22 this year.

62 per cent of the 7,174 residents who completed the survey strongly supported the collection of food waste weekly in electric vehicles.

72 per cent strongly supported continuing garden waste collections from their current containers.

However, opinions were mixed over garden waste collections stopping over the winter, with 20.9 per cent of residents strongly against, 23.1 per cent against, 24.4 per cent in support and 22 per cent choosing neither support or against.

63 per cent of the residents were strongly against a weekly, charged garden waste collection, at an estimated cost of £50-£60 per year.

The committee will consider these results this week, before agreeing on a preferred model and recommending it for approval to the Policy Executive Committee and then full council.

Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter