Savvy Sheffield teacher Shansi Eaveson has a lesson for householders wanting to slim the cost of green bin collections.
Sheffield Council waste management contractor Veolia has expanded the service city-wide and is offering wheelie bins for residents to collect their grass cuttings and garden prunings.
But the cost of the subscription-based service, which has previously only been available in south east Sheffield, has risen from £57.60 to £60 for the 2013 season.
Households receive a fortnightly service between April and November 2013.
When Shansi, from Frecheville, applied for the green bin service, she was told that if she subscribed later on into the year it would be cheaper on a sliding scale.
Shansi said: “In the letter I was sent about green waste collections, I didn’t see any mention that the service was any cheaper if you don’t subscribe until later in the year.
“It’s totally misleading and Veolia should have broken the cost down, so people who might not want the collections all year knew they had a choice.
“Not everyone wants the full year’s collections – particularly with the bad winter we’ve just had. There’s very little to put in the green bin at the moment.”
Shansi said she was told charges for the green waste collections fell to £52 if the first two collections were missed. Fees are even lower for people who do not take out green bins until much later in the year.
Residents not wanting to start until October would pay just £13.20 for the last two collections of the year.
Veolia said it had included the details about lower collection costs if people only subscribed for part of the year in its publicity about the green bin service.
On the company’s website it explains: “Subscriptions are also available part way through the year for those that do not require the full service at a reduced cost.”
There is a link to another page showing the sliding scale of costs.
A Veolia Environmental Services spokeswoman said: “We sent letters out to those residents that had subscribed to the garden waste collection service last year with details of the full collection service for this year.
“At the beginning of April, the pro rata subscription pricing options were promoted across the city via the media, on our website and through enquiries to our call centre, 0114 273 4567.”
* For further information about green bins, visit veolia.co.uk/sheffield.