Garden bins will still be emptied for free across three-quarters of North Northamptonshire – for next year at least.
Councillors nodded through a waste services policy document last month which confirms the £55-a-year opt-in subscription service operating in the old East Northamptonshire Council area continues unchanged after April 2022.
But there are no plans to ‘harmonise’ the service by extending the paid-for scheme to Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough during the next financial year.
A North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) spokesman said: “The council is aware that there is a difference in service provision and in some cases, charging, for a range of services across the North Northamptonshire area.
“NNC are working towards harmonising these services and how they are provided, but it naturally takes time.
“Regarding garden waste, NNC are aware that there is a difference in how this service is funded and that some residents are paying directly for it.
“It is important that we address this and we are working towards doing so as part of the budget setting process for 2022-23, which has already started.
“NNC will be considering these issues and it is expected that councillors will decide in time to reflect any changes in next year’s budget.
“It is not appropriate for NNC to pre-empt the outcome of that decision at this stage.
“Once a decision has been made, we will inform residents, with plenty of notice, how the service will be offered moving forward.”
Across the border in neighbouring West Northamptonshire, councillors recently voted to adopt a uniform £42-a-year charge for residents who want their garden waste collected.
This will mean South Northamptonshire paying separately for the service for the first time instead of having it covered by regular council tax payments.
Officers told the council cabinet it faced the threat of legal action if it continued to charge differently in different areas.
A report recommending bringing South Northamptonshire into line with Northampton and Daventry also revealed the Local Government Ombudsman had already received complaints from residents.
It added: “The council has received negative feedback and several complaints about the disparity of charging across the council area.
“Complaints have also been considered by the Local Government Ombudsman, who on the basis of the ongoing review and future decision of the council has not found fault.”
A North Northamptonshire Council spokesman said the council is not aware of any similar complaints regarding the authority’s garden waste service.