GARDENERS have spoken of their anger over cuts to a free waste disposal service.
The green waste collection service on Burrfields Road, Copnor, has been axed and replaced with a new scheme set up by Portsmouth City Council.
But, the new collection service will see residents charged £40 a year, or £30 a year for the first 5,000 people to sign up.
The Green Waste Club will collect waste directly from people’s properties but many residents would have preferred to continue dropping it off at a collection point than pay.
The collection point at Burrfields Bridge was made available to residents on the first Sunday of each month between March and November.
Jennifer Pearce, from Thurben Road, North End, was a regular user of the waste collection point on Burrfields Road.
She said: ‘Yet another good scheme is biting the dust.
‘Residents had no problem going to the collection point as you would see people from the nearby allotments with their wheelbarrows heading straight there.
‘It was such a wonderful place for people with allotments.
‘I just think it is silly that people will have to pay £2.50 a month for a service they were quite happily to do themselves.
‘Even though it isn’t a lot to pay, it is the principle of the matter.’
The new service will be run by Biffa, the council’s recycling and refuse contractor.
They will provide people with a dedicated 240-litre wheeled bin for the collection of garden waste, including lawn clippings, prunings, leaf fall, twigs and small branches.
Councillor Eleanor Scott, cabinet member for environment, defended the decision.
She said: ‘The drop-off points are an expensive way to collect garden waste when you see how much is actually collected.
‘We estimate a total of 5,900 tonnes of green waste is collected a year but the drop-off was only collecting 100 tonnes.
‘The new scheme is a lot more convenient for everyone as they no longer have to get in their cars and drive to the drop-off points. Also, people can share a bin with neighbours which will halve the costs.’
A green sack garden waste service at Victoria Avenue car park, Southsea, will also be axed by the council.
The new scheme was officially launched on Friday at Guildhall Square, Portsmouth.