York residents could soon be charged for garden waste collections.
It’s one of the ideas put forward as City of York Council faces an £11.4m overspend.
A report to the executive meeting of the council next week says that while the green bin collection “is valued by residents who produce green waste, it is not essential.
“Green waste collection in York is not universal, many homes do not receive the service. There is an opportunity, taken by many councils, to introduce a charge for the service.”
Councillors are recommended to “explore the potential” of bringing in a green waste charging scheme like the one introduced by North Yorkshire Council.
North Yorkshire residents are charged £43.50 a year for the fortnightly collection.
The report adds: “Should York introduce such a charge, revenues of between £720k and £1.5m per annum could be raised depending on the level of take up of the service.”
That’s based on a take-up of between 25% and 55%.
The opposition Liberal Democrats have urged the Labour-run council not to introduce a charge for garden waste.
They said when Labour were last in power in York, between 2011 to 2015, they tried to introduce charging for all garden waste collections.
But this plan was ditched when the party lost the 2015 election.
Lib Dem environment spokesperson Cllr Paula Widdowson said: “At a time when many households are struggling to make ends meet, it beggars belief that Labour is planning this new tax bombshell.
“This is in effect a ‘stealth tax’ imposed by Labour which begs the question, if it’s a green bin tax this week, what next?
“It is even more shocking given the fact that in their local election manifesto just a few months ago, they said nothing about introducing a green bin tax.”
The charge could see more green waste being burned, fly-tipped or put in the black bins. And it would lead to more trips by car to household waste sites, all of which is environmentally damaging.
The Lib Dems have set up a petition “so that residents opposed to the green bin tax can make their voices heard”.
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