Suffolk County Council wants to see countywide brown bin charging for garden waste

Brown wheelie bins
Brown wheelie bins
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Suffolk County Council wants to provide a countywide garden waste service which would be paid for by households through an annual subscription for their brown bins.

At the moment district and borough councils provide a different levels of service.

The move would mean homes in St Edmundsbury would pay for their brown bins like those in Babergh and Mid Suffolk where residents pay for their brown bin if they want one.

If local authorities continue to provide free collections for garden waste then the amount of subsidy to the district would drop. This currently stands at £54.76 per tonne.

The move, which has to be discussed further and accepted by district councils, would save between £1.4m and £2.4m each year. Householders would have to pay around £40 for their brown bins.

The current arrangement for the treatment of organic waste, which in some cases includes food, comes to an end next April.

A report to Suffolk’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday states that councils in Suffolk spend £6m a year collecting and treating organic waste.

While it accepts that district councils have the right to determine whether or not they charge for the service the report also stresses the importance of encouraging home composting.

St Edmundsbury Green borough councillor Julia Wakelam said: ““It’s a ridiculous idea - it will just encourage people to put their food waste in the black bin.

“It’s a really retrograde step and classic of the county council because they never think anything through.

“Suffolk is proud of being the greenest county and this will make sure it’s a black bin county.

On the charge she said: “This is just another way of hitting poorer families.”

Mark Ereira-Guyer, leader of the Green and Independent group on the county council, said that he did not think people would be prepared to pay for a service they are currently receiving for free. “I wouldn’t support the introduction of this charge for something which works really well and effectively and it would create some sort of admin nightmare. The local population aren’t going to thank the county council for that.”