Early payment offer on city green scheme.
PAYMENTS are now open for the second year of Birmingham City Council's troubled green waste collection service, with a price cut for those who sign up early.
And council bosses claim they have learned the lessons of the first year since moving from a free service to charging PS35 a year to collect grass cuttings and hedge clippings from city households.
The removal of free collections last spring led to chaos on many streets, with piles of bags left uncollected and huge bank holiday weekend queues at tips.
Despite the service remaining controversial, with even Labour MPs privately urging the Labourrun council to scrap the charge, next year's payment scheme has been announced.
And for those who sign up during December there is a PS5 discount, cutting the annual fee to PS30.
Lisa Trickett, cabinet member responsible for bins, said: "We've now completed the first year of our chargeable service, attracting more than 50,000 subscribers in the process.
"This is an encouraging base to build upon.
"It was a transitional year from the old free scheme where unlimited amounts of garden waste could be put out - a service we simply could not sustain as a result of central government budget cuts placing pressure on essential front-line services such as those we provide for vulnerable people.
"We've learned a lot of lessons implementing our chargeable service and will continue to do everything we can to make the service run as smoothly as possible."
She warned that a half-season deal would not be offered in 2015.
New customers will be issued with the 240-litre brown wheelie bin, while those who signed up in 2014 will reuse the existing bin.