A SIGNIFICANT increase in the annual fees for household garden waste collections have been defended by the leader of BCP Council.

Residents recently learned that anyone wanting to make use of the local authority service will see charges rise by 30 per cent year-on-year from around £46 to £60.

The garden waste bin collection operated by BCP Council is an opt-in chargeable service, which can be accessed by homes across the three towns.

Speaking during a recent BCP Council Facebook live video broadcast, Cllr Drew Mellor, leader of the local authority, said: “We are looking to make sure our fees and charges, our services that we charge for are going up by the rate of inflation.

"If we didn’t do that, then it would be for the wider taxpayer to subsidise them and we don’t think that is right.

“We think if somebody wants to take a service, one it needs to be charged at the right price, which we are looking at, and also that because inflation has gone up we need to make sure our prices are going up so we can protect the people who aren’t using those services, protect the most vulnerable.

“There is a specific point in here. Because of the Covid pandemic we missed two bin services in August 2021 so a discount of about £5 was taken off the standard price in 2022, so the price was about £51 not £46, so effectively it is close to an inflation rise.

“I use the service. I have done for a number of years. I think it is fantastic. It is not statutory service. It is not something we are given any money from government to provide or asked to provide, so if people want to take it, please do.

“For me, £60 for somebody coming and clearing all that garden waste I think is is great value. Ultimately, people will decide.”

Garden waste bins can be used to dispose of grass cuttings, hedge and shrub clippings, plants and weeds, leaves, twigs, branches and bark, cut flowers and houseplants.

Registrations are currently open and remain so until December 16. The 2023 collection service starts on February 13.