Hartlepool Borough Council will not collect household garden waste over the next three months – making a £50,000 saving to help fund a current council tax freeze.
Bins will be emptied for the last time on Friday, November 27, and collections will resume from March 1 next year.
The move is because the amount of waste put out at this time of year generally falls to low levels, meaning collection costs rise.
Coun Marjorie James, chairwoman of the neighbourhood services policy committee, said: “This is a saving that was agreed by councillors almost a year ago when planning the 2015-16 budget, and it has enabled the council to freeze council tax in the current financial year, which helps every household.
“Statistics show that the amount of garden waste put out by Hartlepool residents falls to very low levels during December, January and February, and as a result collection costs rise significantly.
“The move brings us in line with other local authorities, and as so little garden waste is collected during these three months, our recycling and composting rate will only be slightly affected.”
Figures for 2014-15 show that of the 4,569 tonnes of green waste collected, just 85.98 tonnes (1.8%) were put out by residents during this three-month period.
Collection costs were £1,384 per tonne in January 2015 and £1,901 per tonne in February 2015, the quietest months of the year, compared to £31 per tonne in May 2014 and £34 per tonne in June 2014, the busiest months.
Distinctive information tags are being attached to residents’ bins to inform them of the revised collection arrangements.
Residents are also being reminded that they can still take garden waste to the council’s Household Waste Recycling Centre, in Burn Road.
The decision to suspend winter garden waste collections will not affect the free collections of residents’ unwanted real Christmas trees, which will be carried out by the council throughout January, as in previous years.