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Don't be a garden waste cheat

A Facebook correspondent has suggested that residents cheat Boston Borough Council's garden waste system by registering only one property for multiple bins and then share the collection service for those bins with multiple properties, saving half the £30 annual cost for the emptying of each additional bin.

He recommends that on collection day, in order to deceive, the bins are placed outside the registered address.

This would be a clear case of obtaining services by deception - a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1978.

 Neighbours will be allowed to share a single bin where one bin is sufficient between two properties. The council thinks this fair. But one resident will not be allowed to register for more than one bin and then share the second, or subsequent bins, with a neighbour. This has been made clear in the terms and conditions which those signing up to the service have to agree to abide by.

Boston Borough Council will be checking who has paid for bins prior to collecting garden waste and will use in-cab technology to double check as they arrive to empty bins.

The correspondent suggests that if asked by the council, residents lie, by claiming that they have bought their neighbour's bin because they did not want to join the scheme.

One of the saddest aspects of this is the suggestion that the paltry saving made by this deception (less than 3p a day) would be "better in your pocket than in Boston Borough Council's". The FACTS are that the Local Government Act 2003 Section 93 (1) provides the local authority with the power to charge for discretionary services.  Any charges that are made must be only for the purposes of recovering the cost of such provision.

So those defrauding the service would be defrauding those doing the right thing and paying for the service.

The council believes the £30 annual charge for emptying the first bin, £15 for extra bins, is a fair and reasonable charge for a valued and trusted service that it is not mandatorily obliged to provide. Only the user pays and those with no need of the service, most importantly those without a garden, are not subsidising the service. It also pulls the council into line with most other authorities where such a service is available. The bonus has been those in Boston borough who have taken advantage of the service for free since 2012. The world has changed since then and the borough council is faced, because of central Government funding cuts,  with saving £2.3 million over the next five years, on top of the £2.4 million it has saved since 2009.

Those who do not want to pay for the service have the option of taking their garden waste to the Slippery Gowt tip where they can still dispose of it for free, or compost at home.

One Facebook correspondent has announced that he will put his grass cuttings into a black bag, drive them up the road and dump them. As well as being grossly anti-social this would be littering at best, attracting a £75 fine, or fly tipping at worst, for which there is no minimum penalty, but a maximum of a £50,000 fine and 12 months in jail.

Garden waste collections begin again on March 1 - free until April 1 when the new charging system comes into play.

You can register and pay for your garden waste to be emptied from your brown wheelie bins from Tuesday, February 23, at www.boston.gov.uk/gardenwaste This will be the quickest and easiest method. You can find more information, frequently asked questions and a copy of the terms and conditions at this web address.