Changes will be made to Wolverhampton's garden waste collection service over the winter months.

Members of Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet (Resources) Panel have agreed to reduce the frequency of collection of garden waste from fortnightly to monthly between November and March.

The proposals, approved on Tuesday (23 July, 2013), are designed to enable the city council to maintain a collection of garden waste all year round while reducing the cost of the service at the same time.

The amount of garden waste collected over the winter drops dramatically compared to the summer months. Presently, the city council collects garden waste every fortnight all year round, but many other local authorities either collect it either monthly during the winter - or not at all.

Councillor John Reynolds, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for City Services, said: "The city council, like other local authorities, is facing huge financial challenges which mean we need to identify a further £87 million of savings between now and 2019.

"As a result, we're looking at all the services we provide and seeing where we may be able to make savings while minimising the impact on frontline services.

"The garden waste collection service is a popular service and very well used, primarily during the summer months. Naturally, the amount of garden waste collected drops dramatically over the winter months - in fact less than a fifth of the annual amount is collected at this time - and there is less demand for the service at this time of year.

"Therefore we have agreed to reduce the frequency of collections over the winter months. Other options included suspending the collection entirely at this time but we agreed that reducing the collection over winter was a suitable compromise between realising the savings we need to make and continuing to provide the best possible service to our customers."

Research found that around half of Wolverhampton's comparator councils, such as Dudley, suspend the collection of garden waste entirely during the winter months, while some even levy a charge for the service. Many reduce the frequency of collections over winter while a few others continue on a fortnightly basis all year round.

The move to a monthly collection over winter will save around £150,000 a year, a small but important contribution to the city council's overall budget challenge.

The changes will be introduced in November, and households will be given more information in due course.

Councillor Reynolds added: "Evidence suggests that a monthly collection will be more than sufficient for the vast majority of households, but we'll also be encouraging more families to compost their waste, which is the most environmentally friendly way of dealing with garden waste."

There will be no change to the weekly collection of non-recyclable and food waste (brown bin and caddy) and the fortnightly collection of household recycling (black bin), which will continue as normal.

  • released: Thursday 25 July, 2013