A Dundee councillor has blasted a charge that will see residents paying to have their garden waste collected and has demanded the local authority rethink the policy.
West End councillor Fraser Macpherson said the council should drop the proposed charge, which would see residents paying £35 per brown bin for recycling garden waste.
The charge is scheduled to come into force by March 2020.
Mr Macpherson and fellow-Liberal Democrat councillor Craig Duncan opposed the introduction of the charge last month but it was passed through as part of the council’s annual budget.
The councillors say the fee will have a detrimental effect on recycling in the city, claiming some residents will dump garden waste in traditional waste bins in order to avoid paying extra cash.
Mr Macpherson has written to the council’s director of neighbourhood services about the issue. He has asked for a breakdown of the finances expected from the move, and added he is doubtful the proposed income of around £500,000 in 2020/21 and 2021/22 will be achieved.
Mr Macpherson said: “Unfortunately the SNP administration pushed the charges through from March of next year.
“The charging scheme will actually cost money initially as council officers estimate it will cost £69,000 to set up the brown bin charging scheme. I can think of better things to spend £69,000 of public money on.
“It is very clear that a garden bin tax has been deeply unpopular where it has been introduced elsewhere in the country and I am really doubtful that it will bring in the levels of income that the report to the budget meeting claimed.
“I have queried the financial and take-up assumptions with officers.”
Mr Macpherson cited Moray Council as an example of the policy being an unpopular one. It was recently revealed just 30% of households in Moray have signed up for its new £36 annual garden waste collection fee.
He added: “Their low uptake will bring in around £480,000 — about £200,000 less than forecast in their council’s budget.
“I fear that if Dundee City Council presses ahead with its Brown Bin tax, there will be a reduction in recycling and more garden waste going into general waste bins. This would be a retrograde step.”
The local authority decided not to address the councillor’s concerns publicly when approached for comment.
A Dundee City Council spokeswoman said: “The executive director of neighbourhood services will respond to Mr Macpherson directly.”