Should councils charge for brown bin collections? Forest Heath wants to

Forest Heath Council office in Mildenhall

Forest Heath Council office in Mildenhall - Credit: Archant

Taxpayers in a West Suffolk district could be paying up to £50 a year to get rid of their organic waste after councillors recommended charging for brown bin collection.

Forest Heath District Council's cabinet has put the proposal before the next meeting of its full council on October 14 as it hopes to save £1m a year.

A report presented to cabinet members on Tuesday suggested the cost of collecting brown bin waste across West Suffolk is set to double.

Councillors were told the authority needs to either charge for brown bins or find up to £500,000 extra a year across Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury.

Cllr David Bowman, Forest Heath Cabinet member responsible for waste management, said: 'Nobody wants to pay extra for a service but we are faced with hugely increased costs that are not in our control and that money has to come from somewhere.

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'We could take it out of other services or, as cabinet is recommending, give people the choice about whether they want to have a brown bin.

'The organic waste service was never free. It currently costs Suffolk's taxpayers £6.6 million – we simply cannot afford for our share to cost more, which is why we are recommending making an annual charge of between £35 and £50.

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'We will encourage home composting where people have suitable gardens, or people would be able to take their garden waste to recycling centres if they don't want a bin.'

The Suffolk Waste Partnership, which includes eight councils, is looking to procure a single, more cost-effective, contract to dispose of organic waste.

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