Brown garden waste bin

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The Garden Waste Collection Service continues to make a significant contribution to the recycling rate within the Borough.

Rotting garden waste in landfill sites produces methane-a greenhouse gas that is considerably more harmful than carbon dioxide.

The scheme was introduced in March 2006 in response to government targets for increased recycling. Since its introduction, there are now over 15,000 households subscribing to the scheme.

How the scheme works

Residents subscribe to the scheme by ordering and paying in advance for one year. For the duration of the subscription, customers are loaned a brown wheeled bin in which to keep their garden waste. The brown bin is emptied fortnightly, on the same day that green refuse bins are emptied.

The cost of one year's subscription is £42 per bin. The bin is normally delivered within 28 days of your subscription payment being taken.

We will contact you after 11 months to inform you that your subscription is coming up for renewal. (Your renewal date is set as the first of the month after your bin is delivered.) Contact will be by letter and/or phone, but if you are happy for us to contact you via email, please inform us of your email address, as we are striving to minimise the quantity of paper used in our communications.

    How to subscribe/renew your subscription

    What you can put into your brown garden waste bin

    • Grass cuttings
    • Hedge and shrub clippings
    • Leaves, twigs and bark
    • Plants, flowers and weeds
    • Small branches
    • Windfall fruit

    Frequently asked questions

    Can I put food waste in the brown bin?

    No. Food waste (peelings, cooked food, etc.) must not be put into the brown bin. This is a legal restriction, introduced after the BSE crisis, to prevent the spreading of bacteria. As garden waste is composted in the open air, contamination from kitchen and animal waste can cause widespread distribution of bacteria, leading to viral outbreaks such as BSE (mad cow disease) and Foot-and-Mouth disease.

    Kitchen waste should be put into your kitchen caddy, and you can also compost uncooked food waste at home.

    Can I put pet waste into the brown bin?

    No, animal waste (faeces, bedding, etc.) must not be put into the brown bin, for the reason explained above. Double-bag dog and cat waste and put into your green wheeled bin. Bedding and waste from vegetarian pets can be composted at home.

    Can I put soil into the brown bin?

    Soil attached to roots is not a problem, but large amounts of soil make the brown bin extremely heavy, making it impossible to empty the bin.

    I've cleared my greenhouse; can I put old pots and growbags into the brown bin?

    No. Plastic and earthenware pots cannot be composted. Sprinkle old compost from growbags onto your lawn, or around the shrubs.

    My brown bin smells; can I put some disinfectant in it?

    The odour is part of the natural process of decomposition. Do not put disinfectant or synthetic insecticides in the brown bin, as this will interfere with the natural composting process.

    Should I bag my waste before putting it in the brown bin?

    No, please do not put any type of bag or sack in the bin. The collection and composting process is fully automated, and there is no opportunity for the crew to open plastic sacks.

    Garden waste collection service terms and conditions

    Please read the terms and conditions before you sign up for our garden waste scheme. Please keep a copy of this document for your records.

    • The Council will provide the brown bin for the duration of the subscription and empty the bin at the agreed frequency.
    • The customer will pay the agreed charge for the service provided, in accordance with the following conditions.
    • The charge covers the cost of emptying one bin for a period of 12 months.
    • All brown bins remain the property of the Council.
    • Only agreed waste may be disposed of through this service. Full details of permissible garden waste may be found at our website:
    • All waste must be contained within the bin(s) provided. Any waste not contained in the brown bin will not be collected. Additional bins can be supplied as described above.
    • Bins should not be filled with such a weight as to make the moving or emptying process hazardous to the Council’s contractor. The Council reserves the right to suspend or cancel the service to customers whose bin is excessively heavy.
    • Due to the mechanical methods used to empty bins, it is required for the lids to be in the closed position. The Council reserves the right to suspend or cancel the service to customers who fail to present their brown bin with the lid closed.
    • Bins should be presented at the kerbside by 7.00am on the day of collection, unless alternative arrangements have been agreed.
    • There will be no return visit for aborted collections due to access not being made available by the customer.
    • Should collections be missed due to circumstances beyond the Council’s control, every effort will be made to arrange an alternative collection.
    • The customer will be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the bins.
    • Charges are set annually from 1 June each year and customers will be notified of any price increase at least 14 days prior to payment being due.
    • Payment is to be made annually in advance. If payment is not received before the service start date, the bin will be removed and the service will no longer be made.
    • Receipts following payment will be sent via email where possible. Customers are required to provide the Council with a pre-paid envelope if they wish to receive a printed receipt.
    • This agreement continues to be in force for the full 12 months and if cancelled by the customer at any stage within this period no refund will be issued and the bin will be removed.
    • Should the customer fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement the Council has the right to withdraw the Service with immediate effect and no refund of the charges shall be made.
    • Without prejudice to any of the preceding terms and conditions, the Council reserves the right to withdraw its service at any time in which case a pro rata refund of the charges shall be made to the customer and the bin will be removed.
    • The brown bin remains the responsibility of the customer and if they move within the Borough it is their responsibility to move the brown bin to the new property and notify the Council customer services department of the change of address. If the customer moves outside the Borough they must notify the Council customer services department who will arrange to collect the bin.
    • Alterations to normal collection days due to bank holidays will be published on the Council’s website in advance,

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