A PROPOSAL to increase the price of green garden waste collections by £10 a year has moved a step closer.
The changes were approved by Malvern Hills district councillors on the overview and scrutiny committee last Tuesday (October 15) and will now be discussed by executive members at the end of the month.
If implemented they would see the annual subscription cost for the first brown bin rise from £60 to £70 from February 1 next year, with an additional £55 charge for a second bin collected from the same address.
The council also plans to scrap the ‘sliding scale’ system which calculates how much customers would be charged for joining the service throughout the year.
Instead, new users would be charged £60 for subscribing between three and six months into the year and £40 for joining after more than six months.
Those who chose not to resubscribe would also be made to pay £50 for not returning the bin.
The service was introduced in 2009 running for nine months of the year then extended to an all year round service in 2010.
Currently it is used by around 3,500 people with up to ten new customers subscribing every week.
The income has always managed to outweigh the cost however the rise in cost has been blamed on growing pressures such as increasing staff, vehicle costs and especially rising fuel prices.
The proposed changes have also been designed to stop people exploiting the service by joining part way through the year just to avoid paying the full price.
Coun Bronwen Behan, portfolio holder for environmental control, said: “We have reached the pivotal point where customer take-up is increasing and there comes a tipping point where we have to start thinking about cost pressures on keeping the service and taking on another vehicle.”
Coun Anthony Warburton added: “We started this service some years ago and the price hasn’t changed. I would have thought a price increase like this would be marginal.”