Later this year Torbay residents could have garden waste collections under plans being considered by us and SWISCo.

A paper is going to the Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 12 July about plans for a new opt-in, paid for green garden waste collection service for households.

Collected garden waste would be turned into compost – this will all be done locally, it takes four months to convert from garden waste to high-grade compost, which will have no additional additives or chemical process and will be completely organic.

It’s part of wider plans to increase recycling in Torbay from the current 37% rate to the target rate of 50%, though the introduction of garden waste collections alone is anticipated to increase recycling rate by up to 6%. In addition the Council and SWISCo have just started to roll out the new ‘Right Stuff, Right Box’ campaign aimed at simplifying household recycling, with the introduction of a new colour coded system and an extra bag for paper recycling.

Based on feedback from other local authorities in Devon who have introduced similar schemes, it is estimated up to 25,000 households could opt in. There would be an initial cost of £1.6m to kick the scheme off and the service would cost around £1.2m per year to run (To enable the new service to be launched, SWISCo will be investing in more staff and new vehicles).

Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council said: “We have listened to local residents and we know there is definitely interest in a garden waste collection scheme for households. We are committed to doing all we can to tackle climate change and make Torbay carbon neutral by 2030 and increasing our recycling rates and reducing our carbon footprint are an essential, part of this. Introducing a new garden waste collection and simplifying our household recycling system will all help.”

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said: “We know that hundreds of tonnes of garden waste is disposed of with residual/household waste every year – by introducing an opt in garden waste service we could have a big impact on reducing that, and also by using the garden waste collected as compost it’s a win-win situation.”

The only green waste recycling option (other than in garden composting) currently available to residents is the Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Paignton or seasonal remote collection points in Torquay and Brixham.

Feedback from community engagement by the Recycling Support Co-ordinators, shows that there is an appetite for this service within Torbay. It is intended that the green waste collection would be on the same day as residual waste collections but alternate weeks to the black bin

For residents who do not wish to use the service, the HWRC will continue to offer green waste recycling and there would be a transition period for one summer where limited seasonal remote green waste collection points will be offered pending review of the take-up.

A decision will be made on the proposed new service at the July 12 Cabinet Meeting.

The proposed charges are £50 per year or £40 for those on Council Tax Support Scheme.

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