KEEN gardeners in some areas around Portsmouth could find they are charged up to £64 a year more than others to get rid of garden waste, as residents face disparate prices across the country.
Fareham Borough Council is one of 100 local authorities in the UK that offers a free fortnightly garden waste collection to residents.
But those in Portsmouth, Havant and Gosport are charged annually for the use of a garden waste bin - all at prices higher than the UK average of £31.
Similarly nationwide there is no consistency in price, leading to concerns about the impact of a 'quiet green-garden tax.'
Anthony O’Sullivan, managing director of national group the Gardeners Club, said: 'UK gardeners are increasingly being punished with a quiet green-garden tax which seems to go against every other positive environmental initiative that the UK is trying to promote.'
Councillor Simon Martin, the portfolio holder for streetscene at Fareham Borough Council, explained why a free service was offered. He said: 'We have kept it free because we try and provide a value for money service where we can.
'We do get a pretty good uptake from residents.'
But he agreed a greener approach was needed for the future. He added: 'We are trying to focus where we can on people recycling all waste, including garden waste. Some people are composting where they live, which is what we want to encourage going forward.'
Garden waste bins in Portsmouth are provided by the Garden Waste Club through Biffa, which is contracted by the council. It costs residents £45.39 a year.
Portsmouth City Council's environment boss, Cllr Dave Ashmore, said: 'They set the prices.
'Their contract will be up for renewal in the future and it's something we will always look at.
'We are trying to cut down on general rubbish as much as possible and something we are focusing on at the moment is food waste. And we also want to see how we can recycle more.'
Portsmouth City Council can't collect green waste as part of normal household collections.
Garden waste bins cost £60 a year in Gosport and £64 in Havant.