Changes coming to garden and bulky waste collections undertaken by ODS on behalf of the City Council

Published: Thursday, 25th February 2021

From 1 April, Oxford City Council is bringing in changes to the cost of both its garden waste and bulky waste collection services.

Bulky waste collections

Currently the bulky waste collection is free for the city’s residents, but the Council will now be introducing a charge for the service. The change, which was subject to public consultation as part of the Council’s 2021/22 Budget setting, has been brought about because of the need to cover the cost of the service in the light of the significant shortfalls in revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of Government support, and also to ensure it can continue to be provided.

“Despite their promises last year, the Government has failed to deliver on its pledges of “doing whatever it takes” to support councils like Oxford, which has lost millions of pounds of revenue this year as a result of COVID. In our new budget for 2021/22, we have therefore had to make some difficult financial decisions about the cost of services.

“We are reluctantly introducing charges for the bulky waste collections. While many other councils have charged for this service for many years, Oxford City Council has long fought to maintain this as a free service. We can no longer afford to do this, so from 1 April we are bringing in a reasonable charge that will enable the service to continue.”

Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services 

Residents can continue to use the bulky waste service to arrange for the removal of furniture (for example sofas, armchairs, beds, mattresses), household electrical items (for example fridges and freezers, TVs, computers and screens) and other ‘white goods’ (like washing machines or ovens). For any bookings made before 1 April the service will still be free. For details phone 01865 249811 or visit the bulky waste collection page.

From 1 April the new charges apply. These are £20 for a bulky waste collection that does not include large electrical or white goods. Large electrical and white good collections will be charged at £30 per item. Households in receipt of housing benefit, council tax support and universal credit (housing element) will pay a lower rate of charges which the Council has set at 50 per cent of these fees.

Alternatives exist for those not wanting to pay for bulky waste collections:

  • Redbridge Waste Recycling Centre, and other recycling centres run by Oxfordshire County Council remain open during lockdown for essential visits.  Household items delivered by car are free however if delivering by van please check the County Council’s web site for details
  • Oxford Freecycle helps those who would prefer to pass on unwanted items to others for reuse
  • Emmaus Oxford will collect reusable furniture, electrical appliances and other household items 
  • Orinoco accept tools and scrap items to use for art projects
  • Daily Info will advertise goods locally online

Garden waste collections

Existing charges for the garden waste collection service are set to increase for 2021/22. The garden service puts pressure on the Council’s resources and therefore the small increase in price will help maintain this service. This will see the annual cost of the service increase by £3 to £57 per bin. The cost of 10 waste bags rises from £35.50 to £38.50 and 20 bags rising from £51 to £57.

We offer a concession for those in receipt of housing benefit, council tax support and universal credit (housing element) at the price of £45 per bin per year or for 20 sacks. 

Streamlining payments

The City Council is in process of streamlining its payment systems and those for the garden waste service will it now only be payable by Direct Debit. This change aims to reduce the cost of administering the service as handling cash and cheques is increasingly expensive as fewer people use them. Those not wishing to pay for the service may want to consider home composting or using one of the County Council’s household waste recycling centres. Residents can use any of the County centres, including Redbridge. Garden waste is free to recycle at household waste recycling centres.

“Our garden waste service has proved popular and I want to encourage residents to continue to use it. It makes a significant contribution to recycling in the city. No one want to see these charges increase, or to apply them more widely, but the pandemic has had a significant effect on the Council’s finances.  We need to raise the charges to ensure we can keep providing this service.

“Any surplus above the costs of providing these services will be returned to the Council by ODS as part of their annual dividend. This dividend helps fund the wide range of services which the Council provides to Oxford and its citizens.” 

Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services 

For details visit the garden waste service page.