STOURBRIDGE residents will be asked to pay £3 a month for garden waste collections from April by Dudley Council. 

Council bosses have unveiled plans to charge £36 per year to provide all green waste collections for people living in the Dudley borough, which will now run all year round.

The proposals will replace the current system where the free fortnightly service running from April to November is supplemented with the option of paying £30 to add six extra collections between December and March.

The council said the move is part of measures to offset estimated budget pressures of more than £12 million this year on critical front-line services to protect vulnerable children and adults in the borough.

Residents will be able to opt out of the service, or order a compost bin at a discounted rate to dispose of food and garden waste.

Councillor Damian Corfield, cabinet member for highways and environmental services, said: “Most councils, including our neighbours in Sandwell and Wolverhampton, are already charging to collect green waste. Most are charging more than we propose to charge.

“We know how much people value this service.

“But in light of the need to try and balance the books to protect front-line services and the most vulnerable in our borough, we now feel we have no option but to follow suit with these proposals.

“It will equate to £3 a month – and in exchange for that, residents will get more collections as we move the service to all year round.

“In addition, we will be giving people the opportunity to opt out of green waste collections if they do not wish to pay."

The move is part of budget proposals to be discussed at the next meeting of the council’s ruling cabinet on Thursday January 11.

It takes place in Committee Room 2 at Dudley Council House on Priory Road, with members of the public welcome to attend.