A CONTROVERSIAL garden waste charge will be introduced in Stratford district in spring.
The £40 charge for the formerly free service aims to offset government funding cuts and cut carbon emissions, after concerns the climate emergency declared last year, would add to financial pressures on the authority.
The council says the collection costs over £1.1million a year and the charge – which is already in place in Rugby and North Warwickshire – would generate some £2.2million a year.
The move, which has been delayed by the pandemic, received strong opposition from Liberal Democrats and district residents. Many were concerned it would lead to irresponsible disposal of waste by those who opted out of the fee.
District councillor Ian Shenton explained: “The subscription service is being introduced as we can no longer afford to collect garden waste free of charge.
“Unlike household waste and recycling councils are not required by law to collect garden waste free-of-charge and not everyone uses the service. Making it self-funding will enable the service to continue for only those who want it.
“We were looking to introduce this in June this year, but made a decision to defer bringing this in due to the pandemic. But with the need to replace lost income and the financial impact of the pandemic, we can’t delay this any longer and need to bring in revenue to protect vital services.
“We think the new subscription service offers a good deal for gardeners and is the fairest option because only those using the service would be asked to pay.”
Householders who opt in will be issued with a non-transferable permit to attach to their green bin. Those opting out can either home compost or take their garden waste to a recycling centre.
An early bird offer of £35 per green bin is in place for residents who sign up between January 11 and February 28.
For more information please visit Garden Waste Service section on the Stratford District Council website.