FED-UP residents in Alcester and Studley have hit out at another hike in the cost of disposing of their green waste.
Last year Stratford District Council abandoned its policy of free collections of garden waste and instead instituted a £40 annual fee, cut to £35 as an ‘early bird’ incentive to encourage householders to sign up.
The aim, said the authority, was to raise £700,000 to cover the cost of running the service.
However it proved so popular that the council raised around £1million more.
Now this year it’s upped the price of the annual cost to £42 per green waste bin – with no early discount.
Alcester resident Neil Coombes demanded to know where all the money had gone.
“In the first year they made a hell of a lot of money on it – what have they done with it all? I think it’s just plain greedy.
“I heard it’s to recover losses after their recycling plant burnt down last year – but that should have been covered by the insurance.
“And now it’s gone up by another £2 – there’s just no justification for it.”
Alcester District Councillor Susan Juned, leader of the Liberal Democrats at Stratford, said some 79 per cent of households in the district had joined the paid-for scheme in 2021.
“We were told then that it was just to cover costs but I think they’ve made a tidy profit from this,” she said.
“They now say putting the cost up to £42 is to cover inflation and rising fuel prices, but they know that residents too are facing rising costs and inflation.
“I also asked why there was no early bird incentive this year and simply did not get a reply.”
She also took aim at the government which she said brought out a strategy in 2018, to be introduced in 2024, of free collections of waste, with local authorities being compensated for the cost.
“And of course, they never did it,” she said.
“Now because of their finances nearly every local authority charges for green waste collection because they felt they had no choice.
“What we need is some joined up thinking on waste collection and disposal and we’re not getting it.”
A spokesperson for Stratford District Council said: “The increase simply represents inflation and rising fuel costs.
“The early bird offer was implemented in 2021 as it was a new chargeable scheme at that time, designed to raise awareness about the scheme and to encourage people to sign up for its initial start in April 2021.”