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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.

The garden waste collection is for domestic use only and must not be used by anyone operating a business and wanting to dispose of commercial garden waste.

Garden waste charge

An annual garden waste license is available at a charge of £35 per licence, per garden waste bin or per set of 50x paper sacks.

This payment is for one license for one bin. 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 occurrence. Resources will then be diverted to catching up on missed collections of essential refuse and food waste collections.

The £35 charge for a 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.

As we are late starting the renewal process this year due to the coronavirus pandemic we will continue to collect from existing customers (licence expires 30 April) until the end of June 2020. In addition the charge for this year has been reduced to £30 because the service was temporarily suspended.

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.

Bins and licences

Garden waste bins are 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 reuse/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 us are our property and must remain at the address they were delivered to. Only garden waste bins supplied by us which have a current license placed on the lid will be emptied. The licence is valid for the address stated on the licence only and 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 our 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

Garden waste compostable paper sacks are available for households which cannot accommodate a garden waste bin and all properties will have a wheeled bin for garden waste, unless we assess the property and agrees that a wheeled bin cannot be used and stored. The decision on whether a property has garden waste bins or paper sacks is based on the design and external space at the property and the operational ability to offer the alternative service.

Sacks are only sold in multiples of 50 and only garden waste placed in sacks provided by us will be collected.

Accepted material and contamination

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.

Garden waste bins and sacks must be able to be easily collected by an average person to protect the wellbeing of the collection operatives and also the lifting equipment on the back of the collection vehicles. Any containers found to be too heavy will not be collected and the household will be responsible for reducing the weight before the next scheduled collection day. Crews will not return to bins or sacks which are too heavy. 

Collection commencement and frequency

Garden waste is collected fortnightly and we are able to service a maximum of 24,900 customers in any year. Customers who have not signed up to the service when the maximum number of users has been reached will be placed on a waiting list and offered the chance to sign-up in the next licence period.

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 our 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 us that the collection has been missed.

If the subscription is not renewed after a year, collections will cease.

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.

Additional garden waste can be taken to a Household Recycling Centre.

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 us 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. 

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 day. Our waste and recycling contractor will not return to collect the sack before the next scheduled collection day.

All crews and contractor staff 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.