Revealed: The most expensive places in Suffolk to dispose of garden waste
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Every council in Suffolk bar one charge more than the national average for brown bin collections, it has been revealed.
Across the UK, 58% of councils charge for disposing of domestic garden waste, with prices ranging from £22 to £96 a year, with many charging extra for delivery of the bin.
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 and West Suffolk Councils both charge £43 a year.
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Ipswich Borough do not charge an annual fee for the service, or for the delivery of the brown bin.
Collection of garden waste is not currently a statutory service, and it is up to each local authority to decide.
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Anthony O'Sullivan, managing director of Gardeners Club, said: "UK gardeners are increasingly being punished with a quiet green-garden tax which seems to go against every other positive environmental initiative that the UK is trying to promote."
Cllr 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 and Mid Suffolk District Councils, 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 money 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."
A spokesman for East Suffolk Councils said: "Of those councils which operate a paid-for garden waste collection service in the county, no-one charges less than East Suffolk and, given that it is impossible to deliver the scheme for free, we believe this approach is fairer than adding the cost to council tax bills.
"Separate garden waste collections are not compulsory and many households do not require a green bin. An overall increase in council tax to cover garden waste collections would see households paying for a service they do not use.
"The scheme was introduced because of increasing financial pressures on our predecessor councils, Waveney and Suffolk Coastal, and the threat to services which are needed by our most vulnerable communities.
"The original charges were determined partly by the cost of collection, which is higher than some parts of the country due to our mainly rural location and relative distances that vehicles must cover.
"We believe our garden waste service offers good value for money, is comparable to other councils of similar size and demographic and, crucially, it allows the Council to invest critical funds in to vital services for our communities."