How successful so far is the green bin charging policy?

Reading Borough Council

When the green bin charging policy was agreed, Reading Borough Council (RBC) said that they made 16,228 green bin collections. Only about a third (35%) of these were signed up and paid for by the end of February.

RBC say that there were 5,600 subscribers by 28 February and reminded residents that the deadline for an uninterrupted service was 3 March 2017. From 1 April 2017 only green bins with a sticker will be collected from Reading properties.

It is possible to sign up for the scheme at any time by registering online or by phone (0118 937 2055). As well as the £50 per annum collection charge, a one-off charge of £36.10 is made for a bin. Green bags are also available which are cheaper; the annual collection charge is £15 and the charge for a bag is £11.35. The annual charge pays for a maximum of two bins or bags from a property.

RBC hoped to turn the £300 thousand cost of the service per annum into a surplus of £511 thousand if everyone paid, or £107 thousand if only 50% signed up for the new scheme. Budgeted net income from the policy, as set out in the most recent council papers, was £310 thousand which represents a 75% take up of the charging arrangements, or approximately 12,000 collections. This is more than double the number of those who had signed up by the end of February.

Reading Borough Council say:

Unprecedented financial pressure means that the council can no longer afford to subsidise a free service. Other councils have charged for garden waste collections for some years, we now need to do the same.

If subscription income for green waste collection falls below expectations, then additional savings may have to be made elsewhere.


  1. Households encourage to act this week to continue garden waste collections
  2. Green waste collection scheme
  3. RBC policy committee 26 September 2016 – papers and webcast
  4. RBC meeting 21 February 2017 – budget 2017-20