No more free garden waste collections from TODAY for Northampton's Council Tax payers
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Borough Council chiefs decided to bring in a £42-a-year subscription service for brown bins and garden rubbish sacks following a public consultation.
Guildhall officials insisted the service would kick-off on time even though recycling centres are closed during the coronavirus crisis.
From today, only subscribers will get their brown bins emptied fortnightly, while those using sacks will receive the equivalent of two black sacks collected once a week across 50 weeks of the year.
Those with bigger gardens can buy pay extra for more than one bin or for extra black sack labels.
Borough Council opposition leader Danielle Stone described the scheme as “foolish” while residents poured scorn on the plan predicting: “More garden bonfires, more fly-tipping which will cost the council more money to clean up."
Around half of all UK local authorities charge for garden waste collections, including Daventry and East Northamptonshire which bill residents £36 and £55 respectively.
The service remains 'free' in South Northamptonshire, Corby and Wellingborough districts.
Research by the BBC last year revealed the lowest annual fee in the UK was £18 in Monmouthshire and the highest £96 in Harlow. The average is £31.
Council leader Jonathan Nunn said the change, announced in December, was needed to keep the non-statutory service going in the face of falling government funding.
Cllr Nunn said: “Sometimes councils have to make really difficult decisions.
“With government funding reducing year on year, we’ve found it increasingly challenging to continue delivering a free service, alongside the other statutory services that we offer.
“Councils are not required by law to provide a garden waste collection service and not everyone uses the service. So by charging an annual fee, we can keep the collections going for those who still wish to have them.
“This charge brings us in line with around 50% of councils nationally which now operate a chargeable garden waste service.”
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