Garden waste collection and permit

Fortnightly collections of mixed recycling and brown bins

The fortnightly collection of household mixed recycling bins and brown bin collections (for garden waste and food waste) has restarted from Monday 3 August  2020.

Collection days will remain the same and fortnightly collection calendars are available to view and download. 

Collection Calendar 

Whilst the collections are returning to the normal frequency, please be aware that our crews are still operating differently due to Covid   in order to continue  to follow measures for reducing the spread of coronavirus. Collection routes may be completed slower than planned in the first few days and we thank residents for their patience during this time. If your street was missed on your collection day please leave your bin out until the next day. 

Please read our FAQs for more information.

2020/21

In March 2020 Councillors agreed a £30 charge for the collection of brown bins containing garden waste for the period from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021. New permits are available to buy online from Wednesday 15 July 2020. Garden Waste permit applications can only be made online. No cash or cheques are accepted. 

We are aware some customers are experiencing difficulties whilst making online payments using a Google Chrome browser. Our payment system supplier are working to resolve this, in the meantime if you are experiencing issues please use an alternative browser such as Internet Explorer, Safari or Microsoft Edge. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

There is no charge for using your brown bin for food waste only and your brown bin collection day will not change.

Your garden waste collection permit:

  • Is valid from 1 September 2020 until 31 August 2021. 
  • Costs £30 regardless of when in the year it is purchased.
  • Will have your address on it. 
  • Cannot be transferred to another property.
  • Will not be refunded if you move house.

Once payment is received, your permit will be posted to your home within 21 days of ordering. You should order your permit by 10 August 2020 to ensure it arrives in time for 1 September 2020. 

When you receive your permit, you should attach it to your bin before putting it out for collection. Please follow the instructions on the reverse of the permit which show you how and where to attach it to your bin. The permit is durable, tamper proof and will have your address on it.

Do not stick your new permit on top of last year’s as it will not stick. The new permit must stick directly to the surface of your brown bin.  

What you can recycle in your brown bin

You can recycle the following if you subscribe to the garden waste collection service:

  • Food waste
  • Garden waste
  • Flowers including Rhododendrons
  • Grass cuttings
  • Hedge trimmings
  • Leaves
  • Small branches, bark and twigs
  • Weeds but not Ragwort or Japanese Knotweed

What you can't recycle in your brown bin even with a permit

  • Himalayan Balsam
  • Giant hogweed
  • Pet food
  • Household waste
  • Food packaging
  • Plastic bags or black bags
  • Oils or liquids
  • Chemicals
  • Large branches
  • Fence panels, posts or treated wood such as trellises
  • Flower pots, seed trays or plastic plant labels

Frequently Asked Questions

We recognise that you may need support to apply online. You can ask a friend, family member or support worker to apply on your behalf. All applications need to be completed online, including payment. Cash and cheques will not be accepted.

If you require dedicated support from us to apply, you can phone our Customer Contact Centre on 03000 200 292 and we can provide guidance over the telephone or set up an appointment with you if additional assistance is required. We also have some guidance on how to log on or register for our online services, including  how to complete our online forms available.

The fortnightly collection of household mixed recycling bins and brown bin collections (for garden waste and food waste) will return Monday August 3 2020. Collection days will remain the same and fortnightly calendars are available to view and download.

Please help us by sharing this information with family, friends and neighbours, especially those who are unable to get updates online.

Garden and food waste collections (brown bins) were temporarily suspended in March during Covid-19 lockdown in order to understand how the Council can deliver services whilst following the measures imposed by the UK government. Brown bin collections restarted from 6 April on a reduced frequency.  

Members who attended Committee on 30 June 2020 agreed no refunds for services that were reduced due to the impacts of Covid-19.  

Please see the decision sheet for more information. 

 

The collection of garden waste is not a statutory service and local authorities are permitted to charge if they do offer it. The introduction of a charge was agreed in 2019, and is one of a number of measures introduced to help bridge a funding gap as the result of reduced funding, rising demand and growing cost pressures.

No, you will only pay if you sign up for the service. 

Anyone wanting a garden waste collection pays a fixed annual subscription which runs for a 12-month period from 1 September – 31 August each year.  You may apply for a permit at any time of the year, however, the full charge will apply. We therefore recommend signing up in time for the start of the period to get the full benefit.  

Once you have paid, your permit will be mailed to you and you must attach it to your bin before putting it out for collection. There will be instructions on the reverse of the permit showing you how and where to attach it to your bin. The permit will be durable, tamper proof and will have your address on it. 

Do not attach your new permit on top of last year’s as it will not stick. The new permit must stick directly to the surface of your brown bin.

You can have a maximum of 3 brown bins and each must display a permit to have garden waste collected. 

You can have two permits for £30. A third permit may be purchased for an additional £30.  

If you need an additional  bin (max 3 bins in total per household) there is a one-off administration charge of £36.10 per bin. 

Yes, if you plan to use your brown bin for recycling any garden waste it will only be emptied if it has a valid permit.

No, the fee only applies to garden waste and will be an optional subscription service.

No, the fee only applies to garden waste. The Council must provide a free food waste collection and that will continue. 

Bins containing food waste only will be emptied. Bins containing garden waste will only be emptied if they have a valid permit. 
 

You can still  take your garden waste to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centre, free of charge or you can try home composting.

There is no plan to offer free or subsidised composting units, however, we can provide advice and guidance on how to compost at home.
 

If you move home, your permit should remain at the property. You cannot take it with you, and you will not receive a refund. 

If you move to another property that has an existing permit, you can continue to use it until it expires. You will then have to re-apply and pay to continue using the service.

If you move to another property that does not have a permit, you will have to apply for a new one to use the service. The standard charge of £30 will apply, there is no discount for applying later in the year.  
 

If you want to put them in your brown bin then yes. Legally, anything within your garden (on your property) is your responsibility.  

Cooked and uncooked food waste can be recycled in your brown bin without a permit. Find out more about food waste.

You will need a permit to have garden waste collected. 
 

To find out if you are eligible, please use the online calendar: 

Enter your postcode into the search box and choose your property from the dropdown list. If the results show collection dates for a brown bin you are eligible for a food waste service and for garden waste if you pay for a permit.   

Please contact us if the search does not show dates for a brown bin and you have a garden and think you should be eligible.  

Households not eligible for a brown bin should have access to a nearby communal food waste bin. 

Yes, if you pay for a permit. 

You can continue to have an assisted lift for food waste only without purchasing a garden waste permit. 

You should keep your brown bin as you will still need it for recycling food waste. 

Collecting food waste separately would require significant investment in equipment (containers and possibly vehicles) and additional/altered collection routes.  We may consider this in the future. 

Yes, if you pay for a permit.

You can continue to have an assisted lift for food waste only without purchasing a garden waste permit. 

Households that currently share a bin for their garden waste (e.g. flatted properties) can continue to do this if one resident applies for the permit. 
 

No. The Council does not run the composting facility and the compost produced does not belong to us. 


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