The first collection rounds of the new optional, paid-for green waste service have now been completed and more than 7,400 households have signed up so far.
As the gardening and grass cutting season gets underway, residents have started filling up their green wheelie bins.
Les Crowfoot, a lorry driver from Lawn, said: “I’ve had my first collection and having a bin is certainly proving easier. I just wheel it around the garden for clippings and also empty grass cuttings straight into it without having to bother with bags, which were a bit of a pain.”
A small number of residents are continuing to use bags and are placing them in their green wheelie bin for collection. Residents are please asked not to do this as their green waste goes on to be composted and plastic contaminates this recycling process. A big advantage of having a bin is avoiding the expense and inconvenience of bags.
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 sharing a green bin.
Estate manager Jane Dimond said: “Some of our residents have very 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 between everyone.”
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, please call: (01793) 464646 or go online at www.seqol.org/enterprise-works
Households which choose not to sign up for the 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 daily are now in operation.
As the weather improves the site gets busier, particularly at weekends and during bank holidays, and residents are reminded of the webcam on the website www.swindon.gov.uk/wastewebcam which means they can check on queues before setting off and plan their journey accordingly.
Cllr Richard Hurley, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Housing and StreetSmart, said: “I’m pleased the new service is now up and running and it’s very encouraging that subscription numbers keep rising.
"The system is working well, although there’s a teething issue with plastic bags of green waste in a small number of cases being put in green wheelie bins for collection. It would be appreciated if residents can avoid doing this, as it contaminates the composting process. I would like to take this opportunity to thank residents for their co-operation.”
Pictured: Former railway worker Phil Harman, from central Swindon, with his grandchildren Max, 6 and Zoe, 3.