MP Oliver Dowden has admitted he's "very disappointed" in Hertsmere Borough Council's decision to charge residents for green bin collections.

As part of "ambitious new plans to increase recycling rates, reduce avoidable waste and meet environmental commitments in Hertsmere", the council has announced that opt-in garden waste collection services will be introduced from April 2024.

Under the new scheme, residents would pay an annual subscription of £50, or £35 for residents who receive Council Tax Support, which works out at less than £1-per-week for a garden waste collection and less for residents on benefits.

The proposed changes are expected to affect 39,000 homes across the borough.

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden is not happy with the plans though, saying: "It is very disappointing that the new Labour-Liberal Democrat Coalition administration have decided to charge residents for their green bins.

"This service has always been free under Hertsmere Conservative-led councils.

"This is the last thing residents need after their police cuts and Labour Mayor’s ULEZ charges."

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden.Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden. (Image: PA Images/PA Wire)

READ MORE: 5 Hertfordshire planning applications you should know about

Explaining the decision, Councillor Paul Richards, portfolio holder for environmental sustainability and net zero and public health, said: "I am committed to improving our kerbside collection service for residents, as well as playing our part in tackling climate change, so it’s good news that this clear plan of action has been approved.

"We know our residents want to recycle more and make better use of our natural resources, which these changes will help them to achieve.

"We collect from 45,000 properties across the borough, so these changes will make a significant impact to our green agenda, boost recycling rates and ensure less rubbish is sent to landfill."

Hertsmere’s recycling rates are just above the national average of 44.1 per cent, but the council hopes the changes will make it easier for residents to recycle as part of their household waste collection service.

Weekly food waste collections will also be introduced from April 2025, with Cllr Roberts adding: "The weekly food waste collection will not only help prevent contamination of our dry recycling service, it will also help stop 3,744 tonnes of waste being sent to landfill each year."