New annual fee for users of popular green waste service

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PEOPLE who use the district council’s green waste service are likely to be charged a £25 annual fee from April.

South Kesteven District Council announced its intention to introduce a new annual charge for collecting green waste this week, subject to approval from councillors in March.

The service is currently used by close to 30,000 households across the district. If everyone currently using the service agrees to continue doing so, the council will pocket £750,000.

District councillor for healthy environment John Smith said: “It is important to remember that this is an optional service for our residents so if this goes ahead and people decide they don’t want to pay they can choose not to use the service.”

The council says the money raised from charging people will contribute towards, but not cover, the overall cost of offering the service.

The collections are currently reduced from every fortnight to every month for five months of the year - between November and March. However, the council plans to restore the bi-weekly collections for November and March, meaning monthly collections will be from December until February instead.

Coun Smith said introducing the charge will help prevent council tax rises in April.

He added: “We are keen to promote recycling and are considering adding fortnightly collections back in for November and March.

“By making a small charge of just £25 a year for those who want to use the service we are hoping to be able to keep council tax at the current levels for the 2012/13 financial year.”

From April, new green waste customers will have to pay a £35 start-up fee. However, this fee includes your annual payment of £25.

l Is the decision to charge an annual fee for green waste collections fair or will you stop using the service because of it? E-mail: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk