RESIDENTS of Caversham, Emmer Green and other parts of Reading are to be charged £50 a year for collections of their green bins, which are used for garden waste.
Reading Borough Council has agreed to introduce the charge from April 1 despite protests by the Conservative and Lib-Dem opposition parties which called for it to be reduced to £25.
Conservative group leader Jeanette Skeats said it was a “tax” on residents that would lead to more fly-tipping and more waste going to landfill.
She added: “We will also see longer queues at the recycling cnetre as a result of this measure. It is ill-thought through and we call for the decision to be reversed.”
The ruling Labour group has blamed the move on “unprecedented” government cuts in council funding.
It says it hopes that residents will see the charge as “reasonable” for a good and convenient service.
The fortnightly garden waste collection scheme is an opt-in service which was introduced 10 years ago and is currently used by 16,228 householders and costs the council £300,000 a year.
Many other councils already charge for the service.