Lots of anger over 'foolish' new charge for Northampton garden waste collections
Widespread criticism of £42-a-year scheme when waste contractor gets £2m per annum plus interest
The prospect of having to pay for garden waste to be collected in Northampton has been met with outrage and condemnation.
Hundreds of people on the Chronicle & Echo's Facebook page slammed Northampton Borough Council's decision to charge residents for the service from April 6.
Leader of the opposition Danielle Stone described the scheme as foolish as the council pays waste contractor Veolia roughly £2 million a year, which goes up by three per cent a year in interest.
"I think they should be able to do the garden waste collection as it is now," she said.
"We paid for it in council tax and through the borough council's contract but Veolia is getting enough money out of us to provide a really good service and green waste collections should be a part of that.
"It's difficult because the people who can't afford it are the very people who can't get to the recycling centre so yet again it's the poorest who will suffer."
Subscriptions for optional garden waste collections, which will cost an annual fee of £42 per bin or 100 sack labels, opened on Tuesday (February 3) following a consultation.
Council leader Jonathan Nunn said the change, announced in December, was necessary to sustain the non-statutory service as funding has dwindled.
Around half of all local authorities in the UK now charge for garden waste collections, including Daventry and East Northamptonshire councils, which bill residents £36 and £55 respectively.
The service remains 'free' for people in South Northamptonshire, Corby and Wellingborough districts.
According to research by the BBC from last year, the lowest annual fee in the UK was £18 in Monmouthshire and the highest was £96 in Harlow, with an average of £31.
Hundreds of angry comments were posted under the Chron's social media about the change, with many saying they would not pay and it would increase fly-tipping.
Steph Arnold wrote: "Best get the gardening done before April! It's bad though when we have only just received the brown bins, very handy, shame though as we pay enough council tax for our rubbish collections.
"At least garden waste is mostly bio-degradable? Plenty around my area already do bonfires and nothing is said!
"But yeah people will just dump it anywhere just like they do with all their sofas/mattresses!"
Judith Doran commented: "More garden bonfires, more fly-tipping which will cost the council more money to clean up."
Jennie Cox added: "What do we pay our council tax for they make out that it was free till now... no, we pay our taxes for that!
"I haven’t, for instance, used an ambulance, fire engine or police in the last 15 years since I moved here!
"I think this is a disgrace and will cause more fly-tipping which is awful for private landowners/farmers as they are expected to get rid of the stuff themselves!"
Paul James posted: "Let's punish individual homes and families again due to incompetent councils who've cost the county millions over the years with their wastefulness."#