People in Lichfield and Burntwood could soon have to pay extra to have their garden waste collected.
Lichfield District Council is due to debate proposals to introduce charges from January 2018.
The move would see residents asked to pay a minimum of £36 a year to have their brown bins collected – meaning around £1.40 each time their waste is collected.
Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet member for waste management at Lichfield District Council, explains: “Charging for our garden waste service is not a decision councillors will take lightly.
“However, vast reductions in government funding and other factors that mean Lichfield District Council is facing a £626,000 funding gap in 2018/19 and a further £2million funding gap in 2019/20 and more in future years, mean we have no choice but to consider making difficult decisions across the board.
“When coupled with a possible reduction in the recycling credits we receive from Staffordshire County Council that help to underpin our recycling service, we must seriously consider these proposals.
“Providing a garden waste service is not something we have to do, and one alternative we have looked at is stopping the service completely, which has been done by some councils across the country. Such a move would see residents having to take their own garden waste to the tip, employing private waste services, at a likely higher cost than our proposed annual charge, or composting at home.
We know that we have lots of passionate gardeners across Lichfield District and we want to be able to continue to offer them a garden waste collection service, which is why we are now considering maintaining the service on a chargeable basis, rather than withdrawing it.”
The proposals – which would also affect homes in Tamworth – will be discussed at a scrutiny committee meeting on March 8.
If both Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council both approve the move, free collections would end on January 1 next year, with residents only having their bins dealt with if they have paid up for the fortnightly collection in advance.
Cllr Eadie added: “If the proposals are approved, and residents don’t want to or can’t afford the annual charge, composting at home is a great alternative that is low cost and also great for the environment and your garden.
“We are currently offering subsidised composting bins through a partnership with Recycle for Staffordshire & Stoke. Find out more at www.getcomposting.com.”