Some called it a no-brainer, council staff worried about the cost, but in the end a proposal to allow city residents to dispose of dead plants for free was approved.
As drought and water restrictions took their toll on the city's gardens last year, many plants have struggled to survive.
Greens councillor Dorothy Robinson took the matter to this week's council meeting, encouraging them to waive fees at the waste transfer station on at least one day a month, for six months.
The council's CEO Susan Law did highlight the cost of allowing the free dumping of shrubs and trees for six days.
But Cr Margaret O'Connor, who supported Cr Robinson's proposal, said the council should help residents who she said dug deep last year by reducing their water usage.
Speaking to The Armidale Express after the meeting, Cr Jon Galletly described the decision as common sense.
"It's meant to be the garden city, and people actually came to Armidale because they could have good gardens in the past," he said.
"As much as Susan said it's going to cost money, fair dinkum, it's really a no-brainer."
As well as the cost, the concerns put to the councillors were that it would only benefit a minority of ratepayers, and increase the risk of people storing waste in anticipation of a 'free day'.
Cr Robinson's proposal had come from the council's Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee, which backed the plan unanimously.
The idea was initially put as a notice of motion to the council meeting in February, where Cr Robinson suggested that if additional funding was required, it might be available from the $900,000 drought stimulus package.
The motion was deferred then, as the council considered where the $900,000 would be distributed.
"That opportunity might have been lost, but the costs involved are minimal compared to the benefits," Cr Robinson wrote in her submission to the council.
The monthly free disposal of the dead shrubs and trees will be organised after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.