HOUSEHOLDERS in Sheffield are being offered a green bin for garden waste - at a cost of £60.
The bins will be emptied twice a week between May and November as part of a new scheme to be operated by Veolia Environmental Services on behalf of the council.
The authority says it can no longer afford a free service.
Initially, it offered free green bins to some parts of the city. Then it started to charge, both for the bins and for sacks that were also introduced to collect green waste. Now only bins will be used.
Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, said: “We realise that the disposal of garden waste is important to many residents in the city, so we have worked with Veolia to offer a recycling service at a cost of just over £1 a week.
“Unfortunately, due to the cuts the council is facing, we can no longer provide a free service, as we have to consider the services available very carefully against many difficult budgetary decisions. I hope that people who need this service will sign up as soon as possible to take advantage of the full series of collections on offer this year.”
Householders need to subscribe to the service by next Wednesday to receive all collections.
However, they will still have the opportunity to subscribe part way through the collection season, the costs being reduced according to the number of collections remaining.
Once payment has been made, no refunds will be made, although if a resident moves house within the Sheffield boundary they will be able to take the service with them.
Residents who already have a green bin will have the option of keeping their bin and paying for a fortnightly collection service over the peak gardening season.
Green waste will be taken to a treatment unit operated by SJB Recycling on the Sheffield/Rotherham border at Blackburn Meadows.