THURROCK Council has confirmed it is rolling out a fortnightly waste collection service from April.

Speaking at a full council meeting on Wednesday, council leader, Andrew Jefferies (pictured inset), also gave details of a new paid for garden waste collection and a food waste collection.

Mr Jefferies said: “It is the intention of the council as part of delivering its waste and recycling strategy to make changes to how it delivers its waste collection services from April 8. These changes are in line with delivering the council’s strategy and corporate objectives.

“The changes ensure the council can continue to deliver its waste and recycling collections services while addressing current legislation to enable us to reduce our carbon footprint. The first change will see the council turn to alternate weekly collections for our non-recycling collection service.”

Mr Jefferies added: “We, like other authorities, are introducing a chargeable garden waste subscription service and will be one of the last to do so in Essex. The cost of the subscription will be £80 a year with an additional bin subscription at the same address charged at £50 per bin.”

The changes are part of budget cuts announced in November and are set to save the council more than £2.5 million.

In preparation for these changes Mr Jefferies said the waste teams are reviewing processes and procedures and making round-scheduling changes. The council said it had taken on board residents’ comments, captured during a consultation to “help improve the customer experience and optimise performance”.

Service information booklets containing details of the changes, how to subscribe to the new garden waste service and information on what can and can’t be recycled will be delivered to all households in March.

Mr Jefferies said: “In September we will be launching a weekly kerbside food waste collection service. Distribution of the food caddies will begin in the third quarter of this year. The service is scheduled to start on Monday, September 2.

“These changes will allow the council to free up its resources going forward to build on the improvements made to date whilst educating residents on how to reduce their waste to ensuring continuous improvements which in the long run will be for the benefit of the residents we all serve and the general environment of Thurrock.”