PLANNED changes to kerbside garden waste collections in Monmouthshire could see residents given wheelie bins instead of reusable bags, with charges almost doubling.

Monmouthshire council is proposing to roll out 240-litre wheeled bins to replace 80-litre garden waste bags currently used.

An annual charge of £35 is proposed which the council says would cover the costs of the service, even if sales dropped by 15 per cent.


The collection of garden waste would also change from weekly to fortnightly under the plans.

Around 11,600 residents currently pay £18 for a nine month seasonal service, which the council says is “highly regarded”.

But a council report says collection costs are estimated at £660,000, with the current charges only generating £330,000 of income.

“At a time when the council is facing unprecedented budget pressures, the organisation needs to ensure that services are being delivered most efficiently and effectively, therefore a review of the garden waste service has taken place and an opportunity identified to reduce service delivery cost and greatly reduce or even remove the £330,000 subsidy completely,” it says.

A report says the £35 annual charge would bring the council in line with neighbouring authorities, whose prices range from £30 to £44.

A public consultation carried out last month showed 54 per cent of residents would prefer a fortnightly wheeled bin service.

But the council’s strong communities select committee has raised concerns over the proposed price increase.

Cllr Dimitri Batrouni, the council’s Labour group leader, has put forward a motion calling on the cabinet to abandon the plans to increase charges by 94 per cent.

“They should not just ramp up charges when people are struggling,” he said.

“I am not sure they will hit their revenue targets because they will see a massive drop-off in people taking up the service.”

A report coming before the council’s cabinet next Wednesday recommends approving the changes though.

It says that if reusable bags were kept, charges would need to go up to nearly £43 to cover the costs of the service.

“All of the modelled options for 2021 are a significant increase in cost to the customer but moving to a wheelie bin service would offer our customers the best value for money,” it says.

The changes would also reduce the number of collection vehicles, helping to cut carbon emissions, the report says.