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Garden waste B-Day, Tuesday, February 23

B-DAY will be Tuesday, February 23. As thoughts turn once again to the garden, February 23 will be BIN-DAY - the earliest opportunity for you to sign up for another growing season of collections from your kerbside of your brown bin.

You need do nothing until February 23, so for now, put the date on your calendar. From that date you will be able to quickly and simply register and pay online  for garden waste collections from March to December.

There will be more news over the coming weeks about the simple sign-up process. The online address to use from February 23 will be www.boston.gov.uk/gardenwaste You can already use this web address to learn more about the service. For anyone who cannot use the online service there will be dedicated dates when facility will be made to register and pay by coming into the council offices at Municipal Buildings in West Street. There will also be opportunities to register and pay by phone. But online will be the quickest and easiest method. But please do nothing before February 23.

All households will be receiving information advising them of the new scheme with instructions about how to sign up for it and pay.

There will be a charge of £30 for a single bin kerbside garden waste collection and £15 for each additional bin if you have more than one.

Those who register and pay will receive a unique sticker for each of their brown bins to indicate which ones require emptying. Each sticker will be pre-printed with your home address.

If you do not already have a brown bin for your garden waste and will want to join the service from March, wait until February 23 to get your bin ordered and sign up and pay to join the scheme. Each bin costs £25, including delivery to your home address.

The council has set the charge as low as possible but has to recover the cost of the service so that those who do not require it - they may not even have a garden - do not subsidise others through their council tax. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer discounts as other residents would then have to pay more to ensure that the service is sustainable in the longer term. Unlike collecting household waste, removing garden waste is not a statutory service, so it would be unreasonable to expect all council tax payers to subsidise it.

Residents have "free" options available - they can home compost or dispose of their green waste at Slippery Gowt tip

Cllr Michael Brookes, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for finance, said the garden waste collection service has diverted thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill to be composted. He said he was sorry that a charge now had to be introduced, but this was because of austerity measures and a forecast budget shortfall next year of £543,000. The service costs £275,000 a year.

Public consultation showed an overwhelming desire to retain the service with 87.5 per cent of those who responded saying they were prepared to pay for it.

Residents have been urged not to be tempted to put garden waste into their green bin (household waste taken to the Energy from Waste plant near Lincoln, no longer sent to landfill) or their blue bin for recycled materials. This would contaminate the load and the bins will not be emptied.

To see replies to frequently asked questions about the service go to www.boston.gov.uk/gardenwaste