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Garden waste terms and conditions

We offer garden waste collections as an optional subscription-based service. Garden waste licences are issued to individual property addresses and are non-refundable and non-transferable, charged at a flat rate and are applicable for the period 1 April to 31 March each year.

Garden waste charge

An annual garden waste licence is available per garden waste bin or per set of 50x paper sacks.

It is not an entitlement to a specific number of collections or a specific amount of waste to be collected and applies to the period 1 April to 31 March. On occasion collections may need to be cancelled, this will usually be when there has been service disruption due to snow or other severe weather. Resources will then be diverted to catching up on missed collections of essential refuse and food waste collections.

Additional garden waste licences and garden waste bins or paper sacks may be requested subject to an additional charge. Requests for more than three bins or sets of bags will be subject to operational garden waste collection capacity.

The licence is applicable for the whole 12 month period, irrespective of when a resident joins the service. If a resident who has purchased a licence moves from that address, the licence is not transferable to a different property, nor is any proportion of the fee refundable. Payment must be made in full and in advance by debit or credit card payment either online or by telephone. Anyone unable to make a card payment should contact the customer services team. You will not be charged for paying with a credit card.

Garden waste containers are provided free of charge when you subscribe to the service.

Bins and licenses

Garden waste bins will be supplied in a clean condition and in a good state of repair although they may have been refurbished following use by someone else as we aim to recycle as many containers as possible. The customer is responsible for the general condition and cleaning of the garden waste containers whilst in their possession. Garden waste containers supplied by the Council remain the property of the Council and must remain at the address to which they have been delivered. Only garden waste bins supplied by the Council which have a current license placed on the lid will be emptied. The licence is valid for the address stated on the licence only. It is not transferable. Garden waste bins without a valid license will not be emptied and collection crews will not return until the next scheduled collection day. If a valid licence is still not displayed, the bin will not be not be emptied.

A replacement licence will only be issued free of charge if damage or loss occurs during handling by the Council’s waste and recycling contractor. When a householder damages or loses a licence a replacement will be delivered upon request and a charge of £10 will be made to cover administrative costs.

Paper sacks

Where garden waste paper sacks are provided only the appropriate disposable sacks that have been purchased for the current year by the Council will be collected. The sacks provided are compostable.

Accepted material

Garden waste bins or paper sacks containing non-acceptable items will not be collected. Garden waste must be loose in the bins. Garden waste put in bags in the bins will not be collected as the bags may contain contaminated items and can also damage shredding equipment when the garden waste is processed.

Where containers are found to contain non-acceptable items they will be classed as contaminated. Residents will be notified by means of a sticker or hanger placed on the relevant container requiring them to remove the inappropriate material and dispose of it in a responsible manner.

Once the inappropriate material has been removed from the container it will be emptied on the next scheduled collection date.

Collection commencement and frequency

Garden waste will be collected fortnightly from March 2020. Garden waste collections may be suspended to assist with other waste and recycling collections following periods of significant service difficulty such as severe weather conditions.

Once payment has been received from a new customer we will aim to deliver the garden waste bin or paper sacks, licence and terms and conditions within 10 working days. There may be some delays in delivery time during exceptionally busy periods but customers will be advised of this when they request the service. A receipt will be issued by email or where requested a receipt number can be provided verbally to those making a payment over the telephone.

If the Council’s waste and recycling contractor fails to empty the garden waste bin or remove paper sacks as a direct result of service failure, the contractor will return to empty/collect it within three working days of the resident informing the Council that the collection has been missed.

If the subscription is not renewed after a year, collections will cease. If you currently have a garden bin that you no longer require please contact Customer Services who will be able to arrange the collection of the bin for you. The bin needs to be empty and clean.

Extra garden waste

All garden waste must be contained within the Council-supplied garden waste bins or paper sacks. No excess garden waste will be collected. Bin lids must be closed, plastic to plastic. The level of the garden waste in the paper sacks should not exceed the fill line. For safety reasons overfilled sacks or containers which cannot be easily manoeuvred by the average person will not be collected.

Frozen garden waste bins

During cold weather garden waste can become frozen in garden waste bins. When this happens the waste does not empty when lifted by the vehicle mechanism and the bin will be left with the contents still in it. The frozen bin will be reported by the collection crews to the Council and where possible crews will return to empty them. Where frozen bins are affecting a large number of properties it may not be possible to return before the next scheduled collection. The resident should then ensure that the waste is loosened within the bin when presenting it for collection on their next scheduled collection day. Pouring a small amount of hot water from a kettle into the bin usually sufficiently loosens the material so it can then be emptied properly.

Overweight garden waste bins or paper sacks

Garden waste bin

Where a crew member cannot safely and easily manoeuvre and wheel a garden waste bin to the vehicle, or where the vehicle cannot lift the garden waste bin due to the weight of it, it will be left un-emptied and a sticker or bin hanger will be placed on it notifying the resident why it was not emptied. Residents will need to empty a sufficient quantity of waste before the next collection so that it can be safely loaded onto the vehicle. In such cases the crew will not return until the next scheduled collection day.

By law, all the vehicle bin lifts have a safe working weight limit which crews cannot override. As a guideline, the bin should be easily moved with one hand.

Garden waste paper sacks

When collecting garden waste paper sacks the collection crews will assess the weight of the paper sacks before lifting. If a paper sack is too heavy to safely lift it will not be collected. Where any garden waste paper sack is found to be too heavy, the householder will be required to remove sufficient material from it and dispose of it in a responsible manner. A hanger or sticker will be placed on the paper sack notifying the resident why it was not collected.

Once sufficient weight has been removed, the garden waste paper sack should be presented on the next scheduled collection date. Our waste and recycling partner, Ubico, will not return to collect the sack before the next scheduled collection date.

All crews are trained in manual handling and health and safety. If they feel a garden waste bin or paper sack is unsafe to lift, their decision is final.