The introduction of green bin charges across the Harborough district has been a big success, councillors have been told.
With almost 19,000 households taking up the scheme, at £40 a household, it gives the council a green ‘bincome’ of more than three-quarters of a million pounds.
The council was hoping that 9,250 households would use the scheme - they got more than double that - 18,937.
The result was more income than they budgeted for although, Cllr Phil King said, still not enough to cover the cost of the subsidised service.
One result of the scheme’s success will be a free extra green bin service after Christmas, to collect Christmas trees and other garden waste.
The £40 a year green bin fee will not go up in 2017/18.
Council corporate director Beverley Jolly told Monday night’s Executive meeting that the charging scheme had “a very successful introduction”.
She added that customer complaints about the scheme’s operation were extremely low - at 0.15 per cent.
Cllr Neil Bannister said: “This is a very positive report.”
And he said the free extra post-Christmas green bin collection would be “well received”.
Cllr Phil King added: “Numbers were substantially more than we budgeted for, and in the second year of operation we should expect to see more households subscribe.
“It’s been successful and needs to carry on being so, because it’s an important part of our income generation.”
The council’s Conservative leader Blake Pain said the green bin charge “was not one of the easiest decisions, but one of the most successfully implemented decisions”.
Opposition Lib Dem Cllr Phil Knowles said: “It’s a bin tax, and clearly a useful source of income to prop up the controlling group’s budget.”