OUTRAGED Uttoxeter inhabitants have signed a petition launched against the possible introduction of charges for the collection of green waste.
The new tax on the emptying of brown bins, if introduced, is likely to cost residents £40 annually and ‘may have an adverse impact on recycling’.
The suggestion has come out as part of a review on green waste policy.
Councillor Richard Grosvenor, who leads the opposition group on East Staffordshire Borough Council, has launched the online petition to call on the leading group to scrap the plans for what he calls a ‘stealth tax’.
But the leader of the authority, Councillor Julian Mott, said it was merely something the council was looking into as it explored ways to save cash.
The petition suggests that the scheme, similar to one introduced in Derby recently, would cost residents £40.
Councillor Mott said: “We know that we’re going to lose another £500,000 of Government funding next year, and we have to work within our budget.
“At the moment, we have not made any decisions about anything, but we will look at all options and find the best way.
“These concerns are varied, but at this stage all we are doing is investigating. They will be borne in mind when we are making any decisions.”
Councillor Grosvenor said: “This is a stealth tax equivalent to an 8.6 per cent increase in council tax to a service they already pay for.
“This charge should not be introduced as it will increase fly-tipping, reduce recycling rates and impact all residents of East Staffordshire negatively.”
Craig Rogers said via Facebook: “Hang on, don’t they already make money out of brown bins?
“All the waste is decomposable which don’t they make compost out of and sell it back?
“I’m all for recycling, but if there’s a charge for brown bins – of which I have two - then I’ll just put what is good waste into the landfill bin.”
Kerry Kingston said via Facebook: “We pay council tax for them to empty our bins already.”
An anonymous Twitter account, going by the name of ‘Uttoxeter Mona’, said: “Bin tax will mean a larger percentage increase for homes in band A and B council tax as opposed to homes in E and F.
“So there will be a larger percentage increase for poorer homes.”
Greg Hall, of Abbots Bromley, said: “This charge will result in fly tipping with many residents refusing to pay extra for a service.”
Juliet and John Ashmore said: “Council tax is by far our largest household bill – we pay Band B - and enough is enough for hard working families.
“It will discourage people from recycling their waste and keeping their gardens looking tidy. What happened to the excellent policy of freezing council tax?”