Garden waste collections – frequently asked questions

If your question is not answered here please email [email protected] and someone will get back to you.

Why is the garden waste service charged for?

It is not possible to fund the garden waste collection service from existing council budgets.

Is this service not included already in Council Tax?

No, it is not included in Council Tax. However, we have tried to keep the charges as low as possible.

Will I pay less Council Tax if I subscribe to the garden waste scheme

No, this service is not included in Council Tax. It is a non-statutory service, which means the Council is not legally obliged to run it.

How much will this service cost the council?

The service will be cost neutral, as income generated from the annual fee will cover the cost of providing the service.

Will another charge be introduced in the near future for other recycling and household waste?

There are no plans to introduce a charge for collecting household waste or recycling waste.

Why should I subscribe to the service before early March 2019?

If you subscribe before early March 2019 (date to be confirmed) you are guaranteed to receive all collections between April – November 2019. Subscribing before this date also allows us to plan the routes better, reducing fuel consumption and maximising efficiency. It also gives us enough time to deliver the garden waste sticker and any additional bins which have been requested.

Can I subscribe after March 2019?

Yes, you can subscribe anytime during the year, but you will only receive the remaining the collections of this year and you will still pay the same price.

How do you know if I’ve paid my subscription?

Once you subscribe for the service this will be automatically recorded in our system and garden waste collection vehicles can access this information. You will also be provided with a sticker for your bin, to confirm you have paid for collections, and help the crew identify which bins to collect easily.

How can I pay for this service?

You can sign up online using our registration form (coming soon)

If I cancel my subscription will I get a refund?

No, there are no refunds given.

Do I pay a lower rate if I join towards the end of the year?

No, the price is a fixed charge regardless of when you join the service.

Do I have to pay the same garden waste charges as everyone else, even though I am on benefits/I am a senior citizen?

Yes, there are no concessions.

Do I get any discounts if I need more than one bin?

The price is £35.00 per year to have your bin emptied, and an additional £35.00 per year for any additional bins up to a maximum of four.

I do not have much garden waste. Can I share a garden waste bin with a neighbour?

Yes, the charge is per bin and there are no issues with this practice. You or your neighbour will need to decide who is to register for the service and make the payment.

I have a really big garden, how many bins can I get?

For storage and logistical reasons, we are to limit each house to a maximum of four garden waste bins.

Why do I need to have the sticker/my address on the back of the garden waste bin, beneath the handle, and what type of pen should I use?

The sticker and address will make it easier for the crew to identify, collect and return the garden waste bin to the right property.

You must leave the bin at the same location you currently present your refuse and/or recycling bin, with the handles facing the road as normal, so it is easier for the crews to see the sticker beneath the handle. In regard to the pen that could be used, a permanent marker would be the best.

Why is garden waste not collected all year round?

During the winter months the service is suspended, as there is little garden waste. If you consider that you need to recycle your garden waste during the winter months, you can take your garden waste to the Household Waste Recycling Centre on Whessoe Road.

Will my collection date change/be the same?

We cannot guarantee that your collection day will be the same as your current day. You will receive a calendar as part of your joining pack which will detail your garden waste collection day.

My garden waste bin is lost/stolen, can I get another one?

You will need to contact us so we can arrange a replacement. There is a charge of £19.80 per bin replacement. Bins cannot be collected in person.

Can I get a bigger or smaller bin?

No. All bins are of the standard size, which is the same size as a recycling bin. If you consider one bin is not sufficient, you can order additional bins at a cost.

If I have additional garden waste will you collect it if it does not fit in the bin?

No, side waste will not be taken.

I currently get assisted collections. Will I get help with taking out my bin?

When applying for a garden waste collection you will be asked if you require an assisted collection.

If I pay for this service, when I move house will I get a refund?

The subscription is for the property only and the Garden Waste Collection Service is not transferable. The payment made is not refundable.

What should I place in the garden waste bin and what should I not?

Please do not place garden waste in plastic bags, place it as it is, directly in the bin.

YES PLEASE – grass cuttings, weeds and dead plants, twigs and small branches, hedge clippings, cut flowers and house plants, shrub prunnings, leaves and the contents of hanging baskets.

NO THANKS – food waste including meat, fish, fruit, salad and vegetables, plastic or plastic packaging, any packaging, vegetable peelings and egg shells, tea bags and coffee grinds, large items of garden waste (for example, tree trunks, soil and rubble).

Do I get refund if I had a missed collection?

There are no refunds, but we will come back as soon as we can to empty your bin if it has been missed due to bad weather or another reason which is our fault. Please leave your bin out and we will return to empty it in such occurrences.

I do not want this service any more, can you take my bin away?

You can make a request to have your bin removed, which is free of charge. However, we recommend that you keep your garden waste bin, as there will be a delivery charge if you decide you would like to re-subscribe at a later date. Besides, you may find it handy for the temporary storage of bin bags or garden tools.

How can I dispose of garden waste if I do not wish to join the scheme?

  • Home Composting – an alternative choice is to compost your garden waste. Composting is a natural process that transforms your uncooked vegetable kitchen waste and garden waste into a nutrient-rich food for your garden. A whole composter can turn around 30% of your total household waste into compost and it is easy to do so.
  • Household Waste Recycling Centre – use the centre at Whessoe Road.

Can I burn my garden waste?

Garden waste tends to produce quite a lot of smoke, which can amount to an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. A smoky bonfire may amount to a nuisance for a neighbour if it limits their enjoyment of their garden, prevents them from hanging out washing or opening windows. Fumes can be damaging to health and affect air quality. Under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, an “Abatement Order” can be issued and if the activity is not ceased a fine of £5,000 can be imposed.

Will there be an increased risk of fly tipping?

As this provides an additional method of disposing of garden waste it is not envisaged that this will increase the levels of fly tipping across the borough.

Would the waste be collected from the front or a rear of my property?

The bin will be placed out at the same location as the recycling containers are presented now.

Will there still be a bulky waste collection service if the green waste collections service goes ahead?

There will be no bulky garden waste collection service offered.

What happens to my garden waste once it has been collected?

Green waste is shredded and processed in an In-Vessel Composting facility at Aycliffe, to produce Pass 100 compost, which is used as agricultural fertilizer.

Why have you removed garden waste from the ‘bulky waste’ collection service?

The new garden waste collection service has been introduced to replace it.

Will the new service mean we have to pay more than we did with the ‘bulky waste’ collection?

The annual fee for the garden waste collection service is £35, for fortnightly collections between April and November – that’s 17 collections in all, which works out at just over £2 per collection. Under the bulky waste service the charge was £8.35 per collection (for up to ten bags) – so it actually works out cheaper!

What if I don’t want to pay?

If you do not wish to use the new garden waste collection service, general garden waste, such as grass cuttings and leaves, can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Whessoe Road. Please visit the Household Waste Recycling Centre  page for opening times and to find out what you can dispose of there.

An alternative choice would be to compost your garden waste. Composting is a natural process that transforms your uncooked vegetable kitchen waste and garden waste into a nutrient-rich food for your garden. A whole composter can turn around 30% of your total household waste into compost and it is easy to do so.