ALMOST 15,000 householders across the North Yorkshire district of Craven are being warned about a proposed subscription charge for garden waste collection.
Craven Council currently collects the waste free of charge and around 55 per cent of households - 14,750 properties - use the service.
The council is proposing to introduce an annual charge of £24 from April in a bid to save about £148,000 a year.
Councillors have backed the proposed charge but it has to be ratified by full council in December.
Councillor Carl Lis, lead member for the environment, said: “The garden waste service is currently operating at or above capacity and the Council faced the decision of either reducing the service or investing additional resource to maintain the current level of service.
“Given that this is a discretionary service that a large proportion of the district are not accessing we have decided to introduce a small annual charge for those who wish to subscribe. This means that only those residents who use the service will pay for it.”
Council leader Chris Knowles-Fitton said: “The garden waste service currently costs the Council approximately £148,000 per annum and introducing a subscription charge will enable the current level of service to continue and make a significant contribution to the efficiencies required.
“There is little scope elsewhere within the Council to make sizeable savings without impacting directly on necessary front line services. We have difficult choices to make so why should some residents subsidise a service which becomes progressively more costly which they don’t actually use?”
He said the council would be launching a marketing campaign to promote home composting. Subsidised composting bins will be available to buy.
The last collections of garden waste this year in Craven will be in the first two weeks of December, said a council spokesman.