South Ayrshire residents will soon have to pay at least £50 a year to have garden waste collected from their homes.

From Monday, July 15, households that want to continue to have their brown bin emptied must apply to South Ayrshire Council for a garden waste permit.

The decision was made at South Ayrshire Council's annual budget meeting on Thursday, February 29.

The permit will cost £50 per brown bin and will be valid for 12 months, starting from the day that payment is made.

Residents who have more than one brown bin will have to buy a permit for each one they would like to be emptied.

Once a permit has been bought, a permit sticker will be posted to residents, who should attach this to the back of the brown bin.

Garden waste will continue to be collected in brown bins with no charge, and as per normal collection schedules, until Sunday, July 14.

The council's waste management team is currently working to implement the new system, and will let residents know when they can apply for a permit.

More information and a list of FAQs is available on the council's website

Councillor Martin Kilbride, the council's portfolio holder for buildings and environment, said: “Like many local authorities, we are also facing a range of financial pressures and need to look at a number of ways to generate more income.

"By introducing a charge for brown bin collections, this will help us to reduce our funding gap. 

“This was a difficult decision to make and one that was not taken lightly.  

"I want to assure residents that it follows an extensive review of our waste management service and reflects our commitment to making our services more sustainable.

“Our waste management team are working hard behind the scenes to implement the new permit system, and we’ll share more information with residents soon.”    

Garden waste can still be disposed of at the council's recycling centres in Ayr and Troon, though residents have to apply for an e-permit and book a time slot in advance.