Scrapping green waste bin charges for Arun district residents now has been labelled premature amid Tory calls to do away with the payments.
The Green Waste Club service, which sees paying customers receive a fortnightly collection of their garden waste and the hire of a wheelie bin, is run by Biffa on behalf of Arun District Council.
The company has held the current waste collection and street cleansing contract since 2017 and it is due to run until 2023.
It was discussed by the council’s overview select committee on Tuesday night (September 3).
At the meeting Paul Dendle (Con, Arundel and Walberton) proposed a move to free garden waste collections.
Nigel Lynn, chief executive of the council, pointed out that central Government had consulted on making garden waste collections free and it was due to announce proposals in the autumn.
He advised councillors to wait until the Government published its plans on green waste.
But Mr Dendle replied: “I think we should introduce a free service whether the Government pays for it or not.”
He called it a test of the Lib Dem controlled council’s resolve to put recycling at the centre of everything it does.
But Emily Seex (LDem, River) felt this was not a test of her party’s green credentials but an issue they should look at as part of a new waste contract.
Meanwhile Daniel Purchese (LDem, Beach), cabinet member for neighbourhood services, pointed out that authorities where green waste collections are free or heavily subsidised can do so because they have general waste collections either every fortnight, every three weeks or in some cases once a month.
The motion was defeated on the committee chairman Hugh Coster’s casting vote but councillors did ask the cabinet member and officers to investigate the cost of both making garden waste disposal free now or at the end of the contract.
Earlier in the meeting Mike Clayden (Con, Angmering and Findon) had said: “It’s not too much hardship to pay towards having a brown bin at around £5 a month when you compare that to the cost of petrol and getting rid of it. I think it’s well worth the money.”