Hopes by Wirral's Labour Council to persuade around 5,000 more households to part with £40 to have their garden waste collected have flopped.
A report into the service confirms that the planned £200,000 extra income will not be met and, at the same time, recycling performance has declined.
Councillor Andrew Hodson (Conservative, Heswall) said: “The Town Hall was clearly deluded if they expected Council Taxpayers to flock towards the additional charge and sign up for a service that in every other part of Merseyside is met from Council Tax.
“Many of the residents with producing the most garden waste already pay some of the highest levels of Council Tax and clearly saw this so-called ‘Garden Waste Club’ as a trick to get them to part with more money for no additional benefit.
“To make matters worse, the Council’s recycling performance has declined since the charge was introduced.
“The whole thing is a shambles.”