South Holland District Council’s pilot garden waste collection scheme starts in 11 days and hundreds have already signed up.
The trial covers parts of Spalding, Holbeach, Crowland, Long Sutton, Sutton Bridge and Donington.
Five weeks after registration opened, over 400 households have signed up, which is in line with council target figures.
But with Easter coming and weather more suited to gardening just around the corner, the council is urging residents to book one of the 2,500 places, which are given on a first-come-first-served basis.
And, even if your home is not on the pilot list for the April 4 start, you are asked to join the online waiting list as postcodes with the most expressions of interest will be those chosen next when the trial is expanded, possibly within a few months.
The scheme will see a total of 250 daily kerbside collections on a two-week rota.
This will be split between Spalding households one week and Holbeach, Crowland, Long Sutton, Sutton Bridge and Donington the next week.
There is an initial charge of £49 for 24 collections a year and a one-off charge of £15 to cover extras including delivery and lease of the bins.
Residents wishing to participate on an ad hoc basis or those living in a property which isn’t suitable for a wheelie bin can purchase paper sacks.
To register for garden waste collection, visit the website www.sholland.gov.uk/gardenwaste and complete a four-step process to secure your collection.
If you don’t have internet access you can call or pop in to the council’s customer service centre at its offices in Priory Road, Spalding.
Once people have successfully signed up to the scheme a brown wheeled bin will be delivered to them.
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for waste management, said: “We are committed to helping residents recycle and believe that this scheme represents excellent value for money.
“I would urge anyone interested in signing up to do so now to avoid disappointment.”
The garden waste collection scheme was brought in after the council canvassed public opinion 18 months ago.
A postcard survey was delivered to every household in the district and there users of the household waste receycling centre in Spalding were also questioned.
From the postal survey, two-thirds of residents (65 per cent) said they were interested in a garden waste scheme and over half (53 per cent) said they were very interested.
Interest was higher among females when compared to males (60 per cent and 70 per cent respectively).
Those aged between 16 and 24 were least interested in a scheme (46 per cent) while 25 to 44 year olds and 45 to 64 year olds were most interested (71 per cent and 69 per cent respectively).
Among residents interested in the scheme, the service being easy to use was the most important factor (92 per cent).
A scheme that collected a range of materials was the second most important factor (82 per cent).
Frequency of service was an important aspect of the scheme for over two-thirds (69 per cent), while price was important to 65 per cent.
The amount of space required to store garden waste was mentioned as important by 59 per cent of those interested in the scheme.
Almost all residents interested in a garden waste scheme would expect the waste to be collected from outside their house (92 per cent).
Only five per cent were interested in a public collection point and a further two per cent said either of these options would be acceptable.
In addition to the mail out survey, residents attending the household waste recycling centre over a period of nine days (including two weekends) were also asked if they would use a kerbside garden waste collection.
From the 276 responses, 62 per cent (172) were in favour of the introduction of a garden waste collection and 38 per cent (104) did not want one.
Postcodes of those that were in favour of a garden waste collection included many who had made long and costly trips to the HWRC.
PE129 (Long Sutton), where the time driven for the return journey was 48 minutes, distance 28 miles and estimated fuel cost £5.50;
PE9 (Gedney Drove End), 56 minutes, 31 miles, £7.18;
PE128 (Holbeach St Marks, 44 minutes, 28 miles, £6.32.
For further information on the scheme and recycling advice visit www.sholland.gov.uk
SCHEME WILL ALSO HELP COUNCIL HIT TARGETS
South Holland was branded rubbish at recycling earlier in the year – but the new garden waste collection scheme should improve our rating.
In January, the district came almost bottom of a 40-strong league table in the East Midlands.
This local authority area was also ranked the worst of seven district councils in Lincolnshire for the percentage of waste recycled, reused or composted – with just 30.8 per cent (9,301 tonnes) of the overall 30,169 tonnes collected saved from the tip.
But council cabinet member Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, whose portfolio responsibilities include management of waste collection, says there’s “a hidden story” in the table as the vast majority of councils that have the higher figures achieve those by recycling garden waste.
He said: “Garden waste is by its very nature heavy and that’s one of the reasons in the early days why many councils chose to recycle garden waste.
“If you take out garden waste, you will actually see that our 30 per cent is actually quite good.”
Coun Gambba-Jones said some councils who initially collected garden waste free of charge are having to revisit that decision, as budgets come under “significant pressure”, and start charging.
He said: “Some taxpayers are saying ‘I am not going to pay for it’ and their recycling figures will reduce accordingly.”