Cheltenham Borough Council left with thousands of garden recycling bins after residents fail to subscribe to scheme
PLANS to encourage thousands of Cheltenham residents to recycle their garden waste have proved overly ambitious, council leaders have admitted.
The borough council had hoped people in the town would subscribe to using its brown rubbish bins.
Just over 12,000 people in the town hold a subscription to have their garden waste collected. But the authority had originally anticipated selling 20,000 bins by 2013.
As a result, the council has 9,600 brown garden waste bins in storage – valued at a total of £150,000.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Council staff have insisted the number of people taking up the service is rising steadily with approximately 2,000 new bin subscriptions in 2012.
But the council has insisted that the number will eventually be taken up – and will save the authority money.
Slow uptake on the scheme has been attributed to the fact people are used to putting their garden waste into their normal household bin, even though this is not allowed.
The council has also pointed to people using the Swindon Road Recycling Centre or Wingmoor Farm to dispose of waste rather than subscribing to the brown bin service.
And the sheer size of the bins has been cited as off-putting for some homeowners who do not have space to store them, while many people in the town do not have gardens large enough to fill the bins with cuttings.
Councillor Roger Whyborn, cabinet member for sustainability who is in charge of waste, believed more people could still take up the service.
He added: "In hindsight, it may have been ambitious to expect the anticipated level of take up.
"Due to the fact that bins become broken or damaged, the council will always need a supply for replacement.
"With wheeled bin production prices increasing year on year and the fact that the council has the necessary storage space to house the containers, having this large stock will undoubtedly end up saving the council money in the future.
"It's more expensive to buy smaller quantities of bins, so the council would have secured the best possible price by ordering in bulk."
It is hoped that some of the bins can be sold to other authorities such as Tewkesbury Borough Council which bought 1,000 bins from Cheltenham in 2012 and is purchasing another 1,000.
Mr Whyborn added: "It is anticipated that this arrangement could be repeated with other local authorities."