South Queensferry Residents are being reminded to sign up and pay for the new fortnightly garden waste service before registration closes at midnight this Sunday (July 22).
Those who wish to continue to receive brown bin collections from October 8 can register online. Anyone who does not have access to the internet can also pay over the phone or face-to-face in locality offices, where registration closes at 3.30pm on Friday, July 20.
Following July 22, there will be a period when people will not be able to register while planning for new collection routes is carried out. Registration will re-open at intervals throughout the year though households will have to pay the full amount for the year ending October 2019. From July 23, residents will be able to sign up for email reminders to notify them when the next sign-up window is open.
Letters were sent to all affected households in June, including information on how to sign up for the garden waste collections and what the changes will mean for them. The service, which will run for 12 months from October 8, will continue to be delivered for free over the summer, until October 5.
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, transport and environment convener, said: “Thousands of people have already signed up to receive the new service, but I would urge anyone who wants to continue having their brown bin collected but hasn’t yet registered to do so by Sunday to avoid a gap in collections.
“The quickest and easiest way to do this is online, which is why 94 per cent of the people who have already registered have done so via our website. We know not everyone has access to the internet though, and there are options for registration over the phone and face-to-face too.
“By introducing this charge we will be able to increase collections from once every three weeks to once every two weeks, while also saving the Council around £1.3m every year, enabling us to continue to deliver a whole range of essential services to residents.”
In February councillors agreed to begin charging £25 annually for the non-statutory service, increasing collections from once every three weeks to once every two weeks. The change will save the council around £1.3m a year, in line with the growing number of local authorities now charging for garden waste collections.
People who receive Council Tax Reduction (formerly called Council Tax Benefit) will continue to receive the brown bin collections for free, but they will still need to register for the service.
Bin permit stickers and new calendars will be sent to residents shortly before the new service starts on October 8.
Anyone who chooses not to receive the new garden waste collection service is encouraged to continue to recycle as much as possible by using a compost bin or one of the city’s household waste recycling centres. Unwanted brown bins can also be taken to recycling centres or people can arrange for the Council to collect them in October. Further advice on composting is available online.
Further information can be found on the Council website, including a series of FAQs, which will be updated in the lead-up to the introduction of the new service with any additional questions from the public.