RESIDENTS outraged by council plans to introduce a new £40 charge to collect garden waste are backing a last ditch effort to stop the changes.
Although Labour cabinet members approved the new annual fee in September, many residents hope a campaign spearheaded by Ealing Conservatives could overturn the charge which is set to be introduced next April.
The service, which is currently covered by council tax, would also be reduced from weekly to fortnightly.
Conservative group leader, David Millican, hopes to present the petition at a full council meeting next month. It must have at least 1,500 signatures to trigger a debate.
He said: "My colleagues and I do not believe that these changes will benefit residents and will lead to increased flytipping and our recycling rates going down, thereby increasing landfill."
The heavy duty white sacks currently used for plastic recycling would also be withdrawn, as the council struggles to find £65million of savings by 2014.
But Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for the environment, said the changes were the least worst option as the council struggles to adapt to cuts from the government.
He says the Conservatives already had opportunities to put forward their own alternatives at past council meetings but failed to do so.
He added: "It is clear the Tories are now scaremongering to hide the fact that when it came down to the crunch they actually didn’t oppose these service changes.
If the Tories don’t want to take this saving, they would be responsible for a reduction in street cleaning to once every three weeks or having to close all our leisure centres instead."
But residents are still incensed by the planned charge.
Patricia Zuchowska, of Perivale Residents' Society, is recruiting neighbours to collect signatures. Speaking as an individual she said: "Everybody is very upset. We understand savings have to be made but to cut down on recycling when the government is talking about recycling doesn't make much sense.
"Neighbours are saying they are not going to pay it, rubbish will be dumped in the street.
"At the end of the day, the council is an appointed body and should be listening to what people are saying."
While there is a 25 per cent discount for over 65s, the hike could affect many older residents already struggling to make ends meet.