'Further burden' - Liverpool Council under fire for 'stealth' increase to green bin charge

The annual fee for collecting green garden waste bins could increase by 25%.
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The annual fee for collecting green garden waste bins in Liverpool could be rising by 25%. This means that residents could be forced to pay a £50 charge, up from £40, for the fortnightly collection.

A collection fee was first introduced in 2022 by the city council as part of a plan to raise over £1m to address some of its financial issues. Over 40,000 people signed up to the scheme. The new increase to the fee was discovered in council budget papers which revealed the increase is subject to cabinet approval.

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However, the Liverpool City Council website already states that the annual fee for collecting green bins is £50. Although the local authority is expected to add two more green bin collections, taking the total up to 22.

The move has not gone down well with many residents and councillors, who are already braced for a 5% rise in council tax. The £50 charge would be in addition to a council tax fee that once included the bin collection cost.

"They want you to be green and then they charge us to be green and then they increase the price to be green," spwilson_uk said on X (formerly Twitter). "It’s yet another stealth tax under a green banner. Meanwhile the council tax that once included these items rises yearly."

Councillor Alan Gibbons said: "I parted company with Labour because of a budget that included the Green Bin charge and swingeing cuts in Adult Social Care alongside like-minded colleagues. We always said this charge would rise and rise and our prediction has been proved correct. There is nothing stopping it rising further. In Thurrock in Essex it is now £80. This is a further burden on people already struggling with the cost of living.”

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In establishing the fee in 2022, Liverpool became 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.

Green bin collection in the city. Image: Michal/stock.adobeGreen bin collection in the city. Image: Michal/stock.adobe
Green bin collection in the city. Image: Michal/stock.adobe

Councillor Carl Cashman, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group, accused the Labour leadership of hiding the 2024 increase. He said: "This is really poor from Labour to bury a 25% tax hike in the last appendix of the cabinet report on financial strategy. It seems as though Labour think they can just jack the prices way above inflation and everyone can just lump it."

Councillor Mirna Juarez, Liberal Democrat member for Much Woolton and Hunts Cross, said since the charge had been introduced back in 2022, it had been a 'total disaster' for recycling. She added: “Residents have told us on the doorstep that they have to pack more waste into the general waste bin. We want this charge scrapped in our city.”

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