A landslide majority of Gazette readers say they will refuse to pay a controversial proposed green bin collection charge which is set to be rolled out by council chiefs.
Councillors will decide on a pln to introduce a £30 annual charge for the removal of garden waste from homes at a crunch town hall cabinet meeting next week.
But 90% of people in South Tyneside who were polled by the Gazette have not to fork out to have their green waste removed.
Decision-makers at South Tyneside Council say the move will make the service cost neutral, claw back £500,000 of savings - and prevent another front line services from losing out as the authority contends with swingeing Government cuts.
However, Gazette readers can barely keep a lid on their anger after delivering a stinging verdict on the proposals.
The service has been offered for free for the last decade - from April until October on a fortnightly basis - with neighbouring North Tyneside the only other authority in the region to provide the service without charge.
But householders took to the Gazette’s Facebook page in their droves to voice their anger over the scheme.
Andrew Morris says he won’t stump up the cash and fears the charge will spark a surge in fly-tipping.
He posted: “I will definitely put it in the other two bins, and ask the council to collect my green one.
“Disgusting. Considering the Council Tax we already pay. Look out for an increase in fly tipping all over the borough.”
Elaine Snowdon added: “Well I won’t be funding another pay rise for the fat cats at the town hall.”
Tanya Denton branded the plans an ‘utter disgrace’.
June Johnson believe the fees should already be covered by Council Tax.
She stated: “I thought we were already paying for the green bin, together with the other two bins to be emptied by paying our Council Tax bill.”
Ian Cawood wrote: “Do they not think fly tipping and rubbish lying about is bad enough.”
Steph Raine believes the proposal will back-fire on town hall bosses if it is given the green-light.
She posted: “Do they not think we pay enough rent and Council Tax to start with and now they want to charge for taking our green bins.
“Well they can come and get mine. I can see it costing them more for people fly-tipping garden waste in back fields and cuts etc.”
Max Fulton had a novel plan for dealing with excess garden waste.
He wrote; “Just dump it at the town hall for recycling.
“There is enough waste there already.
“A bit more wont make any difference.”
Councillor Moira Smith, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for area management and community safety, insists the council has to make ‘difficult decisions’ against a backdrop of Government cuts.
Coun Smith said; “The council has no legal responsibility to provide a green waste service but we are keen to maintain a service for residents.
However, to provide this service free of charge costs the Council £500,000 per year.
“If we are to protect front line services for our most vulnerable residents against a backdrop of national government cuts, then difficult decisions need to be made.”
“I must stress that residents are not obliged to sign up to this new service if the charge is given the go-ahead and alternatives are available.
“However, I do hope that residents would recognise the value and convenience of such a service and will decide to opt into the scheme if Cabinet agrees the recommended course of action.”
The Cabinet meeting will be held next Wednesday.