GREEN-FINGERED residents in Southport are asking Sefton Council to start collecting garden waste throughout the year.
The local authority currently collects waste via people’s Green Wheelie Bins from March through to November each year and this year’s final collections are due to take place over the next couple of weeks. That leaves no green waste collections for residents throughout December, January and February.
But Sefton Council responded that they believe it would be ‘futile and a waste of valuable staff resources to continue this service in winter when demand is so low’ and say that their ‘efforts will now turn to helping keep our borough moving and safe as temperatures drop and the need for gritting and winter carriageway treatment increases.’
The Champion were contacted by Birkdale resident Lee Durkin, who is keen to see the green bin collections continue for the whole year. He says many people prep their gardens over the Christmas period ready for the summer.
During the three months over Winter when Sefton Council’s green waste service is not available, people with access to cars can transport their waste to Southport Waste Recycling Centre at Foul Lane in Kew.
Unfortunately Veolia, which runs the recycling centre, is currently advising people to only turn up for ‘essential visits’ only due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Residents are able to fill their green wheelie bins with grass clippings, tree and shrub clippings, weeds, dead flowers and leaves.
Lee Durkin said: “A number of green fingered residents have contacted me requesting a year-long green bin collection service.
“Currently the green bin collection ends during November and doesn’t resume again until March.
“Many residents tend to their gardens throughout this time which includes pruning and preparing flower beds. By offering a year-long service people will be able to enjoy the mental well-being of gardening for the whole year.”
Southport MP Damien Moore said: “Southport is a very green town. In a town that hosts the famous Southport Flower Show, people are very proud of their gardens, and tend to them all year round. I have been contacted by a number of residents who are keen to see the green waste collection become available through all 12 months of the year rather than just nine.”
Councillor John Fairclough, Sefton Council's cabinet member for locality services, said: "We are acutely aware of how beneficial and important our Garden Waste collection service is for our green fingered residents during spring and summer months.
“Earlier this year our dedicated cleansing teams helped to move an incredible 687 tonnes of garden waste in a single day, the equivalent of 53 double decker buses. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we remained one of very few local authorities to continue the collection of green waste during the first lockdown, understanding the increased demand while many residents turned to their garden as a means of keeping themselves occupied.
“This service continues to be delivered every year on a three-weekly rotation free of charge to residents despite continued government cuts
“However while those government cuts continue, most grass cutting does not during winter. It would be both futile and a waste of valuable staff resources to continue this service in winter when demand is so low.
“Our efforts now turn to helping keep our borough moving and safe as temperatures drop and the need for gritting and winter carriageway treatment increases.”