WHEELIE bin charges which are set to come into force could see residents pay for a full year even if they sign up later in the year.

Colchester Council’s controversial decision to begin charging residents for garden waste was discussed by the authority’s scrutiny panel at a meeting on Wednesday.

The finer details of the new garden waste collection service, including suggestions for pricing structures, were put before panel members.

At the meeting it was revealed all households signing up for the service will pay the same annual fee if they sign up part way through the year but will only get the service for the remainder of the financial year.

Gazette: Waste boss - Martin Goss with his wheelie binWaste boss - Martin Goss with his wheelie bin (Image: Colchester City Council)

Residents will be invited to pre-register for the scheme, which starts in January, in October this year.

The first year of the scheme will end in line with the end of the next financial year in March 2025, which means that residents signing up early will receive 15 months of service for the price of 12 months.

But households agreeing to take on a wheelie bin after the start of the next financial year will be penalised, paying the same cost as those who signed up early.

It means a property signing up in June will pay an annual charge in return for nine months of collections, before paying up again at the start of the council’s financial year.

However the council says some discounts will be offered to those who sign up later in the financial year.

The council’s waste boss Martin Goss defended this intricacy, suggesting “other councils do the same”.

How much will the new garden waste bins cost in Colchester?

Addressing the panel, a council officer laid out two proposed pricing models, the first of which would see anyone joining the service pay a one-off £10 set up fee plus an additional £55 annual service charge per bin.

The 82 per cent of Colchester households currently without a wheelie bin would be charged an additional one-off fee of £30 to receive one.

An alternative proposal would instead see everyone charged a one-off joining fee of £35 in addition to the annual service charge regardless of if they currently have a wheelie bin or not.