residents who paid for sacks to have their garden waste collected but have not used them all this year may have to buy new ones in 2013.
Sheffield Council axed free garden waste collections earlier this year and contractor Veolia offered a replacement service under which residents could pay £12 for six sacks which could then be left out for collection.
The company is making its final green waste collections of the year in the coming days and may not allow residents to use leftover sacks if it decides to resume the service next year.
Instead, they will have to buy new ones.
Mick Daniels, chairman of Brushes Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, Firth Park, said: “It’s a rip off. People have paid a fee for the sacks which is supposed to cover the cost of collection. Not everyone collects garden waste at the same rate and if you have paid for a service, they should provide it.”
Coun Jack Scott, council cabinet member for environment, said: “I’m very concerned about this issue and will be contacting Veolia to ask for assurances on behalf of residents.”
Opposition Lib Dems say ruling Labour councillors could have preserved the free green collection service had it bid for a share of a £100 million Government fund launched in February last year for waste services.
In other areas, Birmingham was awarded £29 million to introduce new recycling services and maintain weekly refuse collections.
A Veolia spokeswoman said: “Residents purchasing clear garden sacks were informed at the point of purchase that the sacks could only be used in 2012.
“The service is due to expire on 7 December. We are currently reviewing our green collection service for next year and will be advising residents about the new service shortly.”