A PEEBLES firm is hoping to pocket the benefits of the council’s controversial decision to bin the green waste collections across the Borders.

Cavalry Couriers have this week announced plans to offer a fortnightly service across Peeblesshire for £10 a month.

And one community councillor has suggested that local residents should withhold the extra cash from their Council Tax to pay for the service.

As previously reported in the Peeblesshire News, cash-strapped chiefs at Scottish Borders Council decided to drop its free kerbside service in a bid to save £475,000 a year, from March 31.

Speaking at Monday night’s meeting of West Linton Community Council, community councillor John Mackie said: “We now have a privateer in the village who’s offering to collect garden bins for £10 per month. Maybe we should deduct that from the council tax when we come to pay.

“The vibes I’m getting from people is that they don’t think the council has prioritised its spending properly.

“I believe it’s up to people to take on the council if they wish.” The new service will serve households in Peebles, Cardrona, Innerleithen, Walkerburn, West Linton and Eddleston.

Andrew MacNab, co-owner of Cavalry Couriers, revealed he only decided to step in, along with business partner Robert Sloan, after the withdrawal of the free council service left his grandmother was “left in a bit of pickle”.

He explained they plan to collect household garden waste and take it to Eshiels Recycling Centre.

Andrew said: “We are going to replace the collection service that SBC is cutting, and do our bit for the environment at the same time.

“It all started when I was at my gran’s house and I saw the leaflet from the council informing the residents about the cut. My gran was in a bit of a pickle, she didn’t know what she was going to do with her garden waste.

“Robert and I decided to take on a new venture - the initial response has been good, we’ve had about 100 people say they would use our service.” Andrew and Robert are both originally from West Linton but now live in Peebles, and have been running Cavalry Couriers from Calvalry Park Business Centre in Peebles, for two and a half years.

They are currently applying to the local authority for a licence to enable them to lift waste, and if successful, they say they will invest in new equipment to enable them to carry out the collections.

If all goes to plan the new initiative would mean rural areas, such as Eddleston, who were not previously eligible for a green bin uplift by the council, will now benefit from the service.

Andrew added: “We want to make sure we have everything in place before we begin and that it is all above board. If we get an efficient response, we hope to start in April.” Tweeddale West Councillor Catriona Bhatia welcomed the new business venture this week.

She said: “I think it’s a great initiative by a local company and hopefully local people will support it.

“When it was decided to stop the service a lot of people said they would be willing to pay for it, but the council can’t operate a commercial service.

“So it is something that the local private sector can take on and there may be other firms that will step forward.

“And it’s great that places that previously didn’t get a green bin service will be able to have one. It makes the service more universal.”