Council raises £1.7 million through controversial green bin scheme

A £40 annual resident charge for green bins has raised money to address council’s financial issues.

<p>Liverpool City Council has raised over £1.7 million through green bin charges. Photo: Liverpool City Council </p>

Liverpool City Council has raised over £1.7 million through green bin charges. Photo: Liverpool City Council

Liverpool Council has hit its financial target for the controversial green bin charge four months after the scheme was launched.

In April, the local authority began its first fornightly collections for garden waste after introducing a £40 annual charge to residents choosing to opt in. The scheme was introduced in a bid to address some of the council’s financial issues and raise £1.7 million.

Councillor Abdul Qadir, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, confirmed this evening that the council’s target has been hit well ahead of schedule – eight months ahead of schedule. Cllr Qadir said around 42,000 homes had signed up to the sticker programme with £1,701,000 raised.

He said: “I’d like to thank officers for working hard in the background on this” and hoped it could go some way to addressing issues in the long term. Cllr Qadir said previously that a take up of 33%, or 49,000, was needed for the scheme to break even.

The impact of the programme was wide-reaching and even led to a split in the ruling Labour group at the Town Hall. A new political grouping was born when former Labour members refused to vote for this year’s annual budget which included the new surcharge.

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A petition was launched in opposition to the plans with thousands of residents making their feelings known online. It also faced criticism during the roll out of the programme, with Cllr Qadir calling patience when the local authority was made to provide an additional free week of collections after a mix-up on its website over the end of the previous scheme.

Liverpool Council also sought answers from Royal Mail over stickers designating who had paid for the scheme to be placed on bins not being received on time. Not all members were impressed by the figures, as Liberal Democrat councillor Richard Clein offered his analysis.

He said: “I managed to lift myself off the floor in shock that you’ve managed to hit the figures, so congratulations, but you’re not out of the woods yet.” In establishing the fee, Liverpool has become the fourth of the six Liverpool City Region local authorities to ask residents to stump up for collections.

St Helens, Wirral and Halton already charge a fee while Knowsley and Sefton still provide the service for free. A warning was issued by Liverpool Council to households to be aware of scammers posing as local authority officials placing bogus phone calls about the green bin scheme.