Council bosses claim over 6.000 people in South Tyneside have signed up to a controversial scheme which charges for green bins to be collected.
From April, those wanting their green waste collected will have to pay a £25 fee.
The service has been offered by South Tyneside Council for free for the last decade - from April until October – on a fortnightly basis.
Unlike household waste, the council has no legal responsibility to collect green waste.
In September, decision-making cabinet members voted to bring in the charges which will aim to claw back £500,000 in savings for the cash-strapped local authority which says it intends to continue paying recycling giant SUEZ to take away the waste.
The service will cost £25 per year, per bin, or £65 for three years - for those who apply before Saturday, December 31.
Anyone subscribing after this will have to pay full price.
Many Gazette readers slammed the decision stating they would not be paying the new charges.
One man who has decided to sign up to the service - along with 6,253 others - is Jarrow man Sean McDonagh and he believes it’s good value for money.
Sean, of Lynton Avenue, Low Simonside, said: “I think the service is good value. Our garden is quite big so we can’t compost everything.
“I’m going to subscribe online as the website is so easy to navigate. As both my wife and myself are disabled this is an ideal way to process our needs.”
“I understand what the council is going through at the moment with all the cutbacks. I think we have been really lucky in South Tyneside to have a free service all these years but now I can see why the charges have to come in.”
Householders are under no obligation to pay for the green waste service and can still recycle their green waste at the Middlefields Recycling Village free of charge.
The Recycling Village is open 9am to 6pm seven days a week. Alternatively people can make their own compost or buy a low-cost composting bin from the Council.
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community Ssafety, said: “With so many residents now signed up, it is clear that people appreciate the convenience and value of this green waste service.
“It is important to note that green waste bins can be shared between neighbours which will reduce the cost to individual households.”
To subscribe to the service, residents are encouraged to visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/greenwaste and make a single payment by debit or credit card.