Powys garden waste bank closure U-turn urged
A council introducing charges for garden waste collection has been urged to rethink plans to remove garden waste banks from 35 locations.
Powys Labour group leader Matthew Dorrance said many people could not afford a new £30-£35 annual charge.
Independent/Tory council bosses claim garden waste banks have been abused by fly-tippers and commercial gardeners.
The authority said garden waste could still be taken to the county's household recycling centres.
Garden waste banks at 35 community recycling sites across the county will be taken away over the next two weeks as a fortnightly kerbside collection service comes into force.
Mr Dorrance said waste banks such as those near Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon were "much valued" and provided a "useful and accessible service".
"Removing them will inconvenience our residents, make life more difficult and could result in a rise in fly-tipping," he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
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The Labour leader said not everyone would be able to afford the kerbside charge, and people would question why they should pay it when council tax was going up by 9.5%.
But councillor Phyl Davies, cabinet member for recycling and waste, defended the changes.
"Green waste banks at community recycling sites are unique to Powys but unfortunately they have been open to abuse by both fly-tippers and commercial gardeners," he said.
"We appreciate that the loss of the garden waste banks will require some adjustment from the community.
"However we anticipate that the new kerbside service will increase the amount of compostable garden waste that we collect, provide a more convenient service for residents and also realise a saving to the authority."