“WHAT are we paying council tax for?” Residents have hit out at the new garden waste charge.

From June 5, residents will be forking out up to £40 for bin men to collect garden waste.

The change, approved by councillors last week, will help generate £430,000 towards bridging the budget gap for 2017/18.

Early forecasts suggest that a third of the borough’s properties will sign up for the opt-in service.

The annual subscription for one green bin will cost £35 per year if you register online or £40 if you register by phone.

Each additional green bin will cost an additional £25 per year.

But many residents have spoken out against the new arrangement.

On the Messenger website, Divad1 commented: “This will lead to fly tipping, pavement parking, and any other activity that can be thought of to avoid paying council for.”

Robin of Alty said: “I can only assume that whoever is responsible for re-cycling our combined waste must receive payment for paper/card, bottles/tin cans and we are told we can buy back compost made from our own kitchen waste.

“So why is there a need for charging us?

“Aren't we paying part of our council tax for this service already?”

One Timperley resident told us: “If paying for things like garden waste collection can help to safeguard front-line services then this is a price worth paying. But I suspect they will charge us for garden waste collection and still make other cuts.”

Herb Booth, from Stretford, said: “I have no trees in my garden but because I am surrounded by very, very mature trees in Moss Park, my green bin is full of leaves every week from August to November so it is me that should be charging Trafford to collect their leaves.

“There will still be a weekly green bin collection for kitchen waste so there will be no savings there but there will be an increase in 'bin police' to check we are not putting our garden waste in out grey bin, so where are the savings?”

Trafford Council, anticipating queries about the new service, have issued a comprehensive guide.

With regards to council tax paying for this service, the council highlighted that this tax is part of a national taxation system and not dedicated to specific services. It said the move will make the collection service self-financing, which will help protect essential services.

The council said: “Where a service for the collection of garden waste is provided, the law allows councils the discretion to make a charge.

“Over 40 per cent of councils across the country charge for a garden waste collection service, with many having done so for a number of years.

“Although the council has been able to provide the service free-of-charge in the past we are no longer able to do so.

“We have tried hard to keep the charge as low as we can in order to minimise the financial impact upon residents whilst covering the costs of providing the service.

“Not all properties in Trafford are suitable for a garden waste collection service. For this reason, it is also felt that introducing a charge is fair as the service will only be paid for by those households that choose to use it, in the same way that charges are only made for bulky items collections to those households that request one.”

Information packs will be sent out to resident in April. Residents who sign up will receive a permit sticker which must be attached to the bin. Bin men will have a record of who has paid. Bin men may also check grey bins to ensure no garden waste has been disposed of. If recyclables are found in this bin, it will not be emptied.

If garden waste is put in the green bin but the household is not registered, it will not be collected. If it contains only food waste, it will.

Residents will be hit by the full annual charge if they sign up at a later date so are encouraged to register at the earliest opportunity.

The cost of the collection service will be the same, irrespective of bin size, and organic waste, such as cut flowers and dead potted plants, can be put out in the green bin with your food waste without charge.

Those who do not sign up to the service will have to travel to recycling centres or home compost.

Neighbours can choose to share the cost of the permit and use one registered bin.

For more information, click here.