Babergh District Council charging above national average fee for brown bin collections, data reveals
Every council in Suffolk bar one charge more than the national average for brown bin collections, it has been revealed.
Across the UK, 58 per cent of councils charge for disposing of domestic garden waste, with prices ranging from £22 to £96 a year, with many charging extra for bin delivery.
In Suffolk, every council apart from Ipswich Borough charges an annual fee for the service – and those that do charge more than the UK average of £31 a year.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils are the most expensive as an annual fee, charging £50 a year for the service as well as a £5 initial bin delivery cost.
East Suffolk charges £43 a year but residents first have to fork out £32.50 for their bin.
West Suffolk Council charges £43 a year, but there is no initial cost for the brown bin.
Ipswich Borough does not charge an annual fee for the service, or for the delivery of the brown bin.
Collection of garden waste is not a statutory service, and it is up to each local authority to decide.
Anthony O’Sullivan, managing director of the Gardeners’ Club, said: “UK gardeners are increasingly punished with a quiet green-garden tax, which seems to go against every positive environmental initiative that the UK is trying to promote.”
Peter Stevens, cabinet member for operations at West Suffolk Council said: “Our garden waste collection service is designed to cover its cost, so residents who do not use it do not pay for it.
“The subscription was reviewed this spring, having been held at £40 a year for the past three years without an impact on the number of subscribers.
“Collecting from a predominantly rural area takes more resource than an urban area, but we monitor costs continuously as part of managing an efficient service, and would only increase the charge where unavoidable.”
A spokesman for Babergh District Council said: “Unlike urban local authorities across the country, Babergh and Mid Suffolk cover large rural areas and we work hard to offer a great service and the best value for our residents.
“We don’t currently have plans to review our garden waste collection, but are taking part in the Government’s Defra waste and recycling consultation.”