A CHARGE of around £1 per week for green bin collections is being considered by Rugby Borough Council when the service is reintroduced next spring after a three-month break.
The idea was explored by the council’s cross-party Waste Management Services group, inspired by neighbouring councils who have introduced similar charges.
Last month the council announced the collection service for organic waste would be suspended from December to March to allow bin collections to be reorganised, and to make sure every home had a black bin collection over the Christmas period.
The council – which is obliged to provide free rubbish and recycling services but not collect garden waste – is now consulting residents on how often they would use a paid service, and how much they would be prepared to pay.
Group chair and council environment spokeswoman Coun Lisa Parker said: “With the government grant that makes up a large part of the council’s income being phased out over the next few years, we must either reduce our services to match the reduced funding available or fund our existing services from other income.
“Many residents find the garden waste collection service very convenient, so by introducing a charge of perhaps around £1 per week we will be able to provide a cost effective, efficient service for households that want it while minimising the overall net cost of the service.”
But Liberal Democrat councillors criticised the ruling Conservative group for not supporting their motion to review the three-month suspension, adding they were not part of the working group proposing the charges.
Coun Jerry Roodhouse said: “This decision was made in private and the Conservatives did not think to consult other councillors or local residents.
“Furthermore, Rugby council has signed a memorandum of understanding with Warwickshire County Council on waste services which has clearly been ignored by the leader and his team.”
Coun Tim Douglas added: “The decision to stop garden and food waste over Christmas is unacceptable and has not been properly thought through.
“I know residents use and need this service, and an outright cut without offering alternatives such as home composters or monthly collections proves that under the Tories you’ll pay more taxes for fewer services.”
The last green bin collection will take place in the week beginning December 5, with households due to receive a leaflet about the changes over the next few weeks.
Residents can have their say by visiting www.rugby.gov.uk/greenwaste or returning the form enclosed with the leaflet. Respondents who complete all parts of the survey will be entered into a draw for £50 of town centre vouchers.