ANGRY council chiefs have hit out at ‘misleading’ and ‘inaccurate’ research which claims Vale residents pay nine per cent more than the national average to have their green waste collected.
Residents in Wychavon can currently choose to pay £45 a year to have their brown bin emptied once a fortnight- which is nine per cent more than the average charge in Britain at £41.23, a report by retailer Mantis has found.
The report says the voluntary charge could lead to an increase in fly-tipping.
David Goose, Managing Director at Mantis, said: “We hope that garden waste collection charges are encouraging more people to take up home composting, which is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of organic waste.
“However, there have been concerns that fees will increase fly-tipping, make recycling sites too busy, or divert more recyclable waste to landfill.”
However, council chiefs have criticised the research and claimed there is no evidence to prove that the garden waste charge has led to more people fly-tipping.
Coun Emma Stokes, board member for Environment and Street Scene on Wychavon District Council, said: “To refer to this as a ‘tax’ is simply wrong as the service is optional and residents do not have to pay it, unlike a tax where they have no choice.
“The reason it was decided to charge was because it simply was not affordable to provide garden waste collections for free through the Council Tax and those people who did not, or could not, receive the service would end up subsidising it for those who did, which we believe is unfair.
“We encourage home composting but we recognise it’s not for everybody. Our fortnightly all year round garden waste collections are extremely popular with more than 14,000 customers receiving the service and all for less than £1 a week. We collected 5,280 tonnes of garden waste in 2015/16 which was composted and turned into new products to support our local farmers, gardeners and other businesses.
“There is absolutely no evidence charging for this service leads to fly-tipping as reports of fly-tipping incidents in the district have fallen over the last ten years.
“It is the use of rogue traders which is fuelling fly-tipping which is why we ask the public to check they are using a properly licensed company or individual when disposing of their waste.
“We have no problem with this company promoting its product, but they should not do so by making inaccurate and misleading claims,” she added.