HOUSEHOLDERS who cannot fit brown wheelie bins in their homes say they are being unfairly hit by the city council’s new recycling charges.

Until May, residents were offered a free waste sack for garden waste, with any extras costing £7.50 each.

But Oxford City Council has now introduced £35-a-year charges for people with 240 or 140-litre garden waste bins.

Householders who cannot fit a bin in their properties must buy bio-degradable sacks, costing £25 for 10 or £35 for 20.

Noelle Brown, from Adelaide Street, Jericho, said the new system was unfair.

Miss Brown said: “You can either have a brown bin and pay £35 a year, or have a brown bags for which you pay quite a lot more.

“That is what it boils down to. It seems unfair.

“If you live in a terrace house you have no choice but to use bags.”

The retired Ashmolean Museum employee added: “I have no back access to my houses, so the council said ages ago my property was not suitable for wheelie bins.

“I have had a pack of 10 bags but it is not going to be nearly enough, as I put out quite a lot of garden waste.

“My ideal solution is for the council to reduce the cost of the bags.”

After the first delivery of the bags, more can only be collected from the council’s Cowley or Horspath depots.

Liberal Democrat councillors have backed calls for a change in the system.

Alan Armitage said: “Many residents have found serious problems with the new arrangements, particularly regarding the provision for those who, for whatever reason, cannot accommodate the new brown wheelie bins.

“This includes most people who live in terraced houses without a front garden.

“We have been campaigning actively, but so far unsuccessfully, to get both a reduction in the charge, and for greater local availability of the bags.”

Council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “The brown bin subscription service is proving to be popular with residents, and so far, we have had more than 9,000 residents subscribe to the service.

“Experience has shown that due to seasonal variation the garden waste ‘put-out’ rate is 20 times a year.

“The cost of 20 sacks at £35 would be the same as residents using a brown bin. Those needing fewer collections can either have a roll of 10 or a 140-litre brown bin.”