A ROW has erupted over a £13,000 bill for delivering stickers to house-holders – telling refuse collectors which bins to empty.

Under a controversial new charging system, bin men can only take one load of garden waste per home. Those with more green waste have to pay £35 a year for a second green bin and a time-dated sticker showing they have paid for it.

But there is nothing to stop the system being abused by neighbours swapping extra green bins between each other to avoid the charge.

So now York Council is issuing a second smaller sticker to house-holders to stick on the single garden waste bin that is free.

From Friday, May 5, only bins with the nine-inch square “paid for” sticker or four-inch “free of charge” roundel will be emptied.

But Lib Dem Cllr Ann Reid said the bill for delivering the stickers was £13,000 and she questioned whether providing them was value for money for charge payers.

She said: “I was quite surprised – when I questioned how this would work last year I was told there would only be stickers for the paid for green bins. It seems to me a waste of precious resources. Because everyone is allowed one free bin, it is pretty obvious one is free when you put two out.

“Ours came hand-delivered by a representative of an external company. I don’t see why the bin men can’t hand them out and do we really need them?”

John O’Connell, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Council tax bills have almost doubled over the last decade but the services provided seem to be in decline. Waste collection is the most visible and frequent service that most residents will use, so to start charging extra without cutting council tax bills raises questions about the council’s spending priorities.

“ If the council wants to encourage responsible disposal of garden waste, it should reward households that do so rather than adding extra charges and fiddly demands to put the right stickers on the right bin.”

But Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Cllr David Levene, said: “All-weather stickers will be used for all green bins to ensure service changes are properly implemented and residents are in no doubt over which bins will be emptied without charge and which additional bins will be charged for.

“This involves a cost but the changes save the taxpayer by making much more significant savings to the budget, which is essential if the council is to balance its budget in the face of massive cuts from Cllr Reid’s party in Government.”