CHARGES for green waste come into force next month in Richmondshire.

The council has faced a backlash from some residents unhappy at having to start paying for the service.

Leader of Richmondshire District Council John Blackie said: “The decision to charge for the collection of green waste was taken with the knowledge at the time that Richmondshire District Council had to find over £1m of additional savings, having already saved a similar amount in the previous three years.

“This is a significant reduction in our budget. The decision was not taken lightly by the council’s strategy board - all members regretted the decision but the austerity measures being imposed by Government meant that we had to look at all efficiency options, however unpalatable they may be.

“The income generated from the green waste charge will go towards the cost of the service, with an anticipated saving of around £190,000 per year.

“Even after making this and other savings the council still has to save a further £300,000 by 2015 to 2016 – this puts the overall saving challenge that the council faces into context. The charge is designed to contribute towards the cost of the service and not to make a profit.” Householders wishing to keep their existing bins and continue with fortnightly collections will need to pay £17 a year, with a second bin costing £12.

Deputy leader Mick Griffiths added: “A meeting between senior councillors and officers from across the country confirmed charges ranged on average from £30 to £60 with one authority charging £90.

“It should also be noted that if residents do not want to subscribe to the service they can opt out and return to methods of disposal used in the past when no collection service was available. Where this is the case, we will pick up their green bin over the coming months.”