Sutton council's waste garden scheme faces a public backlash as an unprecdented level of flytipping of green rubbish hit the borough.

One month after the council introduced a charge of £35-a-year to residents for the collection of garden refuse, there have been 20 recorded incidents of sacks of green waste dumped in public streets.

It was also revealed that only 5,000 of the 38,000 75-litre hessian sacks have been purchased by residents since the scheme started.

Councillor Tony Shields, deputy leader of the Conservative group said: "You don't have to be Sir Alan Sugar to work out this scheme just isn't working."

"Since the plan was introduced, there's been 20 reported instances of garden waste being fly-tipped.

"Just driving round Sutton for 40 minutes showed me that there are plenty more bags being dumped.

"It demonstrates the hacked-off public's refusal to pay £35 per bag and an unwillingness to queue outside the Kimpton dump in the sweltering heat for nearly an hour - neither of which I would call fun.

"This is a total Lib Dem cock-up and the taxpayer is funding the cost of fly-tip collection."

Even council workers expected the increase. Jeanette Roe, workers' union Unison organiser said: "They told me they've been giving leeway to residents who haven't joined the scheme since June, but now it's crunch time and they're refusing to collect any garden waste that's not in the £35 bags," she said.

"They know how much garden waste they take away each fortnight and how much individuals don't like paying £35, so they've been expecting more fly-tipping."

'Environmental hazard'

Conservative spokesman for waste management and recycling, Councillor John Kennedy, said:"There's obviously going to be a large cost involved if the council diligently picks up all the fly-tipped waste.

"Who knows whether or not they have the necessary fleet get it all done.

"The carbon footprint impact will be huge, not to mention the time it takes to pick it all up."

He said Liberal Democrat councillors only had themselves to blame.

"We warned them from the outset that this would happen," he said.

"In the warm weather, not only is fly tipping an environmental hazard, it's also unsightly."

A Carshalton store owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said she had suffered from fly-tipping first hand.

"In the past week everyone has piled up bags of weeds and grass cuttings in the skip down the side of my shop," she said.

"I'm worried about the rats, because with all the garden stuff taking up the room for rubbish, they're going to have a field day.

"So I'm locking up the bin I have in my work back yard."

Council denies flytipping is a problem

Executive member for the environment, Councillor Colin Hall, confirmed the council had already dealt with 20 fly-tipping cases since June, but dismissed it as a problem.

"Sutton has the fourth lowest rate of fly-tipping across London," he said.

"There has been a minor increase in fly-tipping of garden waste.

"In June 2008, garden waste made up 5 per cent of all fly tipping, compared with 3 per cent in June 2007.

"I am well aware that not all of our residents support the new garden waste service and that is exactly why we have set up a cross-party group to review the whole package of new services in September and throughout the summer we will be asking residents for their feedback."

Council statistics reveal non-garden waste fly-tipping - including white goods and furniture - spiraled out of control last month, up 75 more cases from June 2007.