Pay-for garden waste services pass three million households

Councils are now charging more than three million households to collect waste

Some 3.12m households are paying to have garden waste taken away by the council, with one in three councils in England and Wales charging residents to collect garden waste.

The levy, which can cost up to £120 a year, is not imposed by authorities in Scotland or Northern Ireland, which have retained free collections.

Wrap, the Government’s waste quango, recorded 3.12million homes paying for garden waste to be collected by their councils in 2012/13.

The English and Welsh councils which still offer a free service – two thirds of the total – collected green waste from 13million households with gardens, according to the latest figures.

Conservative local minister Brandon Lewis said councils were using the service as a "cash cow".

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