Wolverhampton Council has written to residents to inform them the annual charge of emptying their purple bins will increase from £35 to £38 for 2022.
Bosses blamed the rise on increasing costs for running the service and said it was the first rise since charges were introduced in 2018. The £35 fee for garden waste collections was introduced shortly after bin collections in the city were changed from weekly to fortnightly, with household waste and garden waste collections now taking place in alternate weeks.
The increase has been criticised by the opposition Conservative group who said it flies in the face of efforts to encourage recycling.
Wolverhampton’s service runs from February to December. The fee is cheaper than in Birmingham where taxpayers pay between £45-£50 for collections.
In Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Solihull there is no initial charge for the service but people have to fork out for additional bins and collections of garden waste.
Councillor Simon Bennett, deputy leader of the Conservative Group, said: “It’s bad enough that residents of Wolverhampton have to pay the garden tax when many of those in neighbouring authorities have their garden waste collected as part of their council tax.
“But to see the price increased with little announcement or rationale given is another kick in the teeth for the local taxpayer.
“As a group we’ve long campaigned against the garden tax and we’re raising this issue with council staff.
“The council may have declared a climate emergency but charging people to do the right thing and recycle their garden waste flies in the face of this.”
Councillor Steve Evans, Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment and climate change, said: “We know a price increase is never welcome news, but nationally costs are rising for all organisations and the council is no exception.
“This small increase is required to cover the rising costs of running and providing the service. We have written to customers to let them know about the 2022/23 service.
“This is the first time the price of the garden waste service has increased since it was launched three years ago.
“I believe that £38 (£19 concessionary rate) for a service which runs from February to December represents excellent value for money.
“Of those councils which charge for this non-statutory service, we remain amongst the cheapest in the country and here in the West Midlands, in addition to our service being one of the most competitively priced, we also offer a price concession which neighbouring authorities do not.”