Around one in three properties in Renfrewshire with a brown bin have purchased a £40 garden waste permit, it has been revealed.

The service change kicked off on Monday, July 10 and means residents who want their garden waste collected need a valid permit displayed on their brown bin.

New data provided by Renfrewshire Council shows that, as of Tuesday, August 29, only 25,486 out of 77,037 properties that receive a fortnightly food/garden waste collection service had paid the annual £40 fee.

A total of 1,435 had qualified for an exemption, which applies to those who receive a full council tax reduction or have a severe mental impairment.

Councillor Chris Gilmour, Labour group environment spokesperson, said the figures were "not really a surprise."

READ MORE: Renfrewshire Council responds to garden waste permit questions

He told The Gazette: "I believe the scheme has been badly executed and people aren't buying into it because they feel like they're being ripped off.

"I've heard more people are now going to the council dump to get rid of their garden waste. 

"This means that people are using more fuel to travel to dumps, which we should be trying to stop if Renfrewshire is trying to get to net-zero."

Councillor Gilmour said he had also received reports from constituents of discarded grass cuttings being found in local streets and green spaces.

He added: "If people see garden waste that has been dumped in parks or on the side of the road, I would urge them to report these incidents of fly-tipping to Renfrewshire Council."

The Gazette:

The £40 annual charge, which formed part of the SNP administration's budget process in March, was predicted to make the council £828,000 this financial year amid a challenging economic climate for local authorities.

The new figures reveal that, as of Tuesday, August 29, the local authority had generated £1,019,440 of income from the garden waste permit scheme.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: "Our permit scheme for the collection of garden waste has been introduced to ensure we can continue to provide the non-statutory service to those who wish to receive it.

"Since the scheme was launched, almost 27,000 permit applications have been approved, with that number continuing to rise on a daily basis, and we have exceeded our year one target – including when factoring in costs to administer the scheme for the first time.

"Residents are able to use our recycling centres for free if they prefer and their garden waste will be recycled. We have not seen evidence of an upturn in fly-tipping since the permit scheme was introduced."