HOUSEHOLDS with a second wheelie bin for garden waste are being contacted this month about a new annual charge.

From July, Huntingdonshire District Council is introducing a fee of £40 a year to have the extra one emptied.

The policy has angered Gary James, of Wheatley Crescent, Bluntisham, who said: "I think it's a step towards being charged for collection of our waste.

"Some houses have a second blue recycling bin and they don't charge for those."

Mr James also questioned how much it was costing HDC to contact all those with extra bins, invoice them and process the payments. "How much are they going to make?" he said.

HDC says it is reluctantly charging for the service due to the current financial situation.

A statement about the change on its website says collecting garden waste costs the authority £900,000 a year.

It continues: "A number of councils are charging for all garden waste collections. However, we have chosen only to charge for the additional garden waste bin."