Peterborough saves £800,000 by going digital

Peterborough Council has implemented digital processes to start charging constituents for garden waste collection, freeing up almost £800,000.

The local authority was paying for garden waste collections with people's council tax, but found that only 30 per cent of residents actually made use of the service

Recognising that the £800,000 per year it was costing them to collect and manage the garden waste could be better used elsewhere, the council started to charge for garden waste collection by regular Direct Debit, with the help of GoCardless.

Peterborough Council is among a third of councils that have been forced to start charging for garden waste collections following government spending cutbacks.

Using GoCardless costs just one per cent of each payment, capped at £2, compared to between 1.9 per cent and 2.4 per cent with an additional fixed fee for credit card payments.

James Collingridge, Enterprise Peterborough Partnership manager at the council, explains: “This is exactly the kind of thing that can cause a big headache when setting up. We knew residents might have concerns about the charge and so we had to get it right.

“With GoCardless it was really quick to setup and integrate with our existing systems, and has worked smoothly since. The lower processing costs mean we can be more efficient with our budget and with automatic payments renewal, residents don’t need to worry about making the payments on time.”

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