A CONTROVERSIAL scheme which will see the start of charging for garden waste collections in Colchester will begin in January, it has been revealed.
Earlier this year Colchester Council voted through budget plans which will see an end to free green waste collections.
Details on the new scheme have been revealed in cabinet papers which will go before the authority in June.
It shows the charging will begin in mid-January 2024 with residents in Colchester being encouraged to start signing up from this summer.
The service will see the end of the reusable garden waste bags with wheelie bins instead being used.
There will be a one-off £10 set up charge and households without a wheelie bin will need to fork out £30 for one.
After that, there will be an annual £55 charge for collection of waste.
Charges will be reviewed each year and may increase or decrease.
The service will be fortnightly, with the exception of the Christmas period.
This scheme will also require the purchase or lease of two new bin lorries for the start of the service in December.
A third will be needed in September 2024 and a fourth in September 2025.
The cost of purchasing wheelie bins and the bin lorries is expected to be £1.65million over the next three years.
Projected figures predict an income of £63,000 in 2023/24, rising to £1.48million in 2024/25 and £1.95million the following year.
The council's waste boss Martin Goss said: "This is falling in line with what the majority of other councils do.
"It’s a separate charge, separate bill and nothing to do with council billing.
"It’s something Colchester has been looking at and we will move forward with it.
“The reason that we’re doing it is because councils can charge for garden waste and many do.
"This is already in the budget that was approved at full council in February 2023.”