LESS than a fifth of Glasgow households have purchased a permit for their brown bins, the Glasgow Times can reveal.

Data from a Freedom of Information request has revealed that only 21,070 of the 122,000 properties that are currently eligible have paid the £50 charge to have their garden waste collected.

Bosses at Glasgow City Council sparked anger when they decided to introduce the charge across the city last year. 

Councils in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde also decided to hit households in the pocket for the kerbside collection of their garden refuse, but at a 20 per cent lower charge of £40 per address.

We previously told how residents in Whitburn Street in Carntyne were calling on local authority chiefs to introduce a reduced rate for the elderly and vulnerable unable to afford the one-off fee.

Ann Ayre, chair of the area’s Winget Residents’ Association, told the Glasgow Times that her members had decided to take a stand against the move – and called on senior citizens across the city to follow suit.

Glasgow Times: Ann AyreAnn Ayre (Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

Speaking about the latest FOI figures, Ann said: “I’m not surprised the take-up of brown bin permits is so low. People don’t have the cash to fork out for something that should be covered by their council tax.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that Glasgow City Council think it’s acceptable to charge pensioners and the vulnerable £50 per permit when other areas are getting the same service 20 per cent cheaper. It seems the people of Glasgow are getting hit harder in the pocket than anywhere else.

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“We need a payment plan to spread the cost, or better still axe the permit altogether. This is a charge on top of our council tax that, in my mind, can’t be justified. People are struggling right now through a cost-of-living crisis, paying to have your grass cuttings taken away is unacceptable, especially at a time when some households are having to decide between heating or eating.”

A one-off payment of £50 currently applies per brown bin, so if a household has two, the total cost is £100. Permits are provided within 21 days of purchase and those sold since the introduction of the charge cover the period until September 30 this year.

Ann, who has lived in the area for over 40 years, says she is hearing from more and more people who also plan on boycotting the fee.

Glasgow Times: Ann and her neighbours Ann and her neighbours (Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

She said: “People now feel they are being put in the position of having to choose to pay one bill over another. The feedback we are getting is that the charge is unjust and folk just won’t pay it.

“It’s okay for the council to say that we can still use the bins and empty the waste ourselves at the local dump, but how on earth are we expected to do that if we don’t have our own cars? It’s not as if we can take a wheelie bin on the bus down to the recycling centre!”

Council bosses said that they expect the number of brown bin permit purchased to rise as the summer approaches.

A spokesman for the council said: “We are satisfied with the current uptake of brown bin permits and we expect the number to rise as we move into growing season.

"Collecting garden waste is not a statutory service, which means local authorities are not obliged to provide this service.

“We are therefore allowed to seek a reasonable charge from those who receive the service and charging for the collection of garden waste is common throughout Scottish local authority areas.

“A significant majority of households in Glasgow do not receive a garden waste service and they have effectively subsidised the service until now.

"We think it's fair those who have brown bins for garden waste make a direct contribution, which will support the delivery of the service and protect other services in the longer term.

"Residents who do not wish to use the service can continue to use our household waste recycling centres free of charge or compost the waste in their own gardens.”