Council bosses in South Tyneside expect a major drop in the number of people having garden waste collected after it introduces charges for the service.
From next year, residents of South Tyneside will have to pay £30 a year to have their green waste collected fortnightly.
The service is currently free but Andrew Whittaker, the council’s corporate lead in area management, says the fall off in people using the service could be up to 50%
Mr Whittaker told the council’s Place Select Committee that, currently, about 50,000 of the area’s 71,000 homes have a green waste bin.
Once the charge starts he estimates only between 50% and 60% will continue to use the scheme.
Mr Whittaker said most houses only produce a small amount of green waste and might want to consider sharing a green bin with their neighbours rather than forking out for a bin each.
Other options include taking small amounts of green waste to the Recycling Village at Middlefields Industrial Estate.
He urged residents wanting to keep their green waste bin to sign up before December 31 to receive a £5 discount, while people can also sign up for three years for £65.
Councillors said it was fair to start charging for the service.
Coun Doreen Purvis said: “We would never expect a charge being imposed to be greeted with joy. There is going to be a certain amount of resistance.”
She also raised concerns that the charge could result in more fly-tipping but Mr Whittaker said the evidence from other areas does not support that.
Mr Whittaker also said this year’s service, which was due to end at the end of this month, has been lengthened by a fortnight following delays to previous collections.