Garden waste will be debated at Thursday’s full council meeting and opposition councillors have been challenged to come up with green bin cut alternatives.
Andrew Farquhar’s petition was heard at council headquarters yesterday (Thursday) and will now be referred back to full the council.
Hawick’s environmental services portfolio holder Davie Paterson stayed away from St Boswells yesterday and refused to comment on the latest development.
Addressing the petitions committee after dragging his green bin into the council chambers, Mr Farquhar said: “These are not just names on sheets of paper.
“At every door there came a story about how people had been affected since this service was withdrawn. Many people who were obliged to now put their garden waste in with general waste could not come to terms with this after years of diligently recycling to reduce landfill.
“Many spoke at length about the difficulties and delays encountered when they transported their garden waste to recycling centres. Others openly confessed that they had resorted to clandestine methods of disposing of their garden waste.”
The service was scrapped in a bid to save £450,000 and the committee was told the financial implications of reintroducing it across the Borders would cost in excess of £3million.
Clovenfords councillor Stuart Bell said he had huge concerns over equality and told Mr Farquhar: “If you are only wanting to have the bins reinstated instead of rolled out across the Borders then I have a huge problem with equality.
“You have come here with a petition containing 8,000 signatures. I can assure you I will be able to get 5,000 signatures from people wanting to know why they can’t have a similar service.”
And council leader David Parker challenged opposition councillors to come up with alternative “costing proposals”.
Mr Parker added: “There was no alternative costing proposal.
“Everyone should have another opportunity for further fullsome debate on this issue.
“And the opposition should be given the chance to come up with alternative costing proposals.”