From Monday, residents will start to receive letters advising them their current brown bin service is coming to an end on April 2.
The letters, which have been sent to 76,000 households across Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury, advise residents about how they can sign up to a new, optional garden waste collection service for £40 a year.
The charge comes after a change in funding for the service left the councils having to find an extra £500,000 a year.
In a joint statement, Cllr David Bowman, Forest Heath’s cabinet member for operations, and Cllr Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury cabinet member for operations, said: “Our councils had a difficult choice. We could have spread that extra cost across every taxpayer but we believe it is simply fairer to say that if people don’t want the new service then they don’t have to pay.”
The new service will be for garden waste only so will not include kitchen waste, such as tea bags and coffee grounds, or cardboard and shredded paper. Non-meat organic kitchen waste can be composted at home for use in the garden.
Cllrs Bowman and Stevens added: “From April we will be publicising some great compost bin offers for those who want to try that environmentally-friendly, and very cost-effective, alternative.
“Residents may choose to pay £40 for the convenience of knowing that their garden waste will be collected every two weeks and composted, saving them time and effort. Others may not have a garden, or decide they want to make their own compost, or take it themselves to a Household Waste Recycling Centre.
“We are not reinventing the wheel – many councils up and down the country already run a user-pays garden waste collection service and we are using their experience to help design one for West Suffolk.”
The new garden waste collection service will begin on April 4. To sign up or to find out more about it visit www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/gardenwaste or call 01638 719119 or 01284 776119.
Twitter users can get more updates and information by using the hashtag #WSgardenwaste