Winchester City Council is set to replace its garden waste bag collection, which is currently funded under council tax, with a new system that will cost residents up to £59 a year.
The move is likely to cause anger as it is an extra charge to householders, who will have to choose between wheelie bins costing either £39 for a 140L one or £59 for a 240L one or receive no green waste collection at all.
The decision to charge for the green waste collection is in part due to Government cuts which mean costs previously met by Hampshire County Council have been passed on to Winchester City Council.
A report about the plan to the ironically named Cabinet Member for Service Quality and Transformation Councillor Martin Tod says: “More than half of the local authorities in England have replaced free household collections with a charged service. None appear to have reported any dramatic decline in collection rates although small reductions have occurred.”
The council is planning to spend £400,000 and hopes enough residents will pay the extra charge to recoup the money.
The council is expecting the move to be unpopular. The report says: “Free kerbside collection of garden waste has been offered by the council for over a decade. Many householders clearly regard it is an integral part of the household waste collection service and there will be some adverse comment on the move to a charged service. “
It also expects more fly-tipping of green waste, but not in huge amounts. “Fly-tipping of small quantities of household green waste is not a major problem and is not expected to increase significantly,” the report states.
Neighbours will be able to share one bin but other details of the scheme seem ill-conceived. For example, if people move into the area part-way through the year, they will still have to pay for the whole year. Similarly, if they move out of the area, no refunds will be given.
The report states: “The bin itself to remain the property of the council,” although bins will be “replaced at no charge to the householder if it is lost or damaged in normal use.”
A decision will be made next month and, if approved, the new scheme will begin on February 1st 2021.