RESIDENTS across the former Craven District Council area who sign up to have their garden waste collected will pay a lower charge than last year - although it will still be almost twice as much as when charges were first introduced ten years ago.

North Yorkshire Council has proposed increasing the overall charge of the service to £46.50 for 2024/25, an increase of 6.9 per cent for most areas that it said was necessary due to inflation.

However, according to a report that will go before the council’s environment directorate on Monday morning, the Craven charge will be £42 as residents have already paid for March 2024 in their charge for 2023/24.

Garden waste collection was previously provided by the district councils in North Yorkshire and in the Craven area was free until charges were brought in by the former Craven District Council in 2013. The annual cost of £24 was said at the time to be necessary to raise funds for the council which was facing financial challenges and was considering 'alternative revenue streams'.

But with different councils paying different charges, North Yorkshire Council said the new fee will “harmonise” rates across the county.

Residents can subscribe online or by telephone. Once signed up, they are given a 240-litre wheeled bin to put their garden waste, which is collected every two weeks.

Collections run for 12 months, starting in April. There is a seasonal break in the winter between December and February.

The report notes that the total number of garden waste licences purchased for 2023/24 is forecast to be 126,750 generating an annual income of £4.996 million.

This is £302,000 higher than was predicted for 2023/24, which the report said was due to Selby introducing fees for the service this year.

The report said harmonising garden waste collections has already saved the council £750,000.

The report added: “The current forecast is £302,000 above the original budget which is due to Selby achieving an impressive participation rate of 43 per cent since introducing charges with total subscriptions at 18,500 compared to the target of 6,900 exceeding the budget by £355,000.

“In addition, there has been no impact on the level of subscriptions as a result of harmonising the garden waste subscription charge in any of the former district and boroughs who already charged for the service who are collectively achieving 23/24 savings targets already built into the budget.”