MORE than 7,400 people have agreed to pay the new green waste charges as the first round of collections for the new optional service are completed this week.
As the gardening and grass cutting season gets underway, residents have started filling up their green wheelie bins.
Former railway worker Phil Harman, 63, of the town centre, said: “I’m really pleased with my green wheelie bin and have had the first collection, which all went smoothly.
“The bin is ideal for taking around the garden and putting in all the trimmings and of course the grass cuttings just go straight in too. “It’s also nice not to have to bother with plastic bags, which were a bit of a nuisance and an expense, so overall I’m very happy with the new service.”
A small number of residents are continuing to use bags and are placing them in their green wheelie bin for collection and Swindon Council have warned against this as plastic contaminates the composting process. The new service costs £40 for an annual subscription, which includes a fortnightly collection throughout the year except two weeks at Christmas and a wheelie bin or supply of bags for properties the council considers unsuitable for a bin.
Households also have the option of buddying up with their neighbours to share a bin and split the cost.
Residents at Hanover Court, a housing estate for the over 55s in Covingham run by Hanover Housing Association, are doing just that.
Estate manager Jane Dimond said: “Some of our residents have green fingers and do a wonderful job of making the gardens look beautiful. “Having the option of a communal green bin is perfect because residents don’t need one individually and it means the cost is spread.”
To subscribe to the green waste service online visit www.swindon.gov.uk/greenwaste, or alternatively call 01793 445501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, composting at home is an option and the council has teamed up with SEQOL Enterprise Works, which provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities, to offer heavily discounted compost bins for sale with prices starting at £15.99. To buy a bin, or for more information, call 01793 464646 or go online at www.seqol.org/enterprise-works.
Households which choose not to sign up for new service can also take their green waste to the Household Waste Recycling Centre, in Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, where it goes on to be composted. The extended summer opening hours until 8pm are now in operation. Residents can check on queues through a webcam on the website www.swindon.gov.uk/wastewebcam.