The statement comes as refuse collectors worked over the weekend to collect green waste dumped in the streets by residents – either unaware of the new £35 annual charge for collection or refusing to pay the charge.
Those who choose not to pay the £35 charge are expected to dispose of their own green waste, either by taking to a local tip or composting.
But over the last few weeks, bags of green waste have been collecting in streets across the city.
Despite yellow warning stickers being left on bags, asking residents to remove and dispose of bags of green waste left in the streets, many have remained where they have been left, leaving the council with little choice but to collect them.
In a statement released this morning, Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said that charging for green waste collection was necessary as decisions have to be made due to funding cuts from central government.
Cllr McKay also recognised that during the initial transition period there would be issues with people who had not paid for the service leaving their waste out. He said there would be a “limited response” to clearing up in this period.
Cllr McKay stressed that the council will continue to reinforce the message that green garden waste collection is no longer a free service and that the dumping of green waste is an offence.
Cllr McKay’s statement in full:
“The council has had to make hard decisions about budget savings as a result of central government cuts.
“The decision to charge for green waste helps to protect other front-line services because we would have needed to find £2.5million of savings from elsewhere in the council’s budget if we had carried on subsidising the old service’s collection costs.
“This is the first year of the new chargeable service, so we are currently in a transitional period from the old to the new scheme. As with any new service it takes time for residents to get used to it.
“However, despite widespread publicity about the new service, including writing to every household as part of the Council Tax billing process this March, it is clear that not every household has got the message and some have continued to put out their green waste for collection.
“In this transitional year we need to think about those residents who have paid for the new collection service, but also about maintaining the cleanliness of local neighbourhoods where residents either haven’t got the message or have decided to ignore it.
“There is a fine balance to be drawn between maintaining the confidence of our valued paying customers and ensuring that local neighbourhoods don’t deteriorate to such an extent where there is an overall detrimental effect on the city.
“We are looking at a limited response in this transitional period and we will continue to reinforce the message that the free collection service has now stopped and that the dumping of green waste is an offence.”