West Berkshire Council

Garden Waste Collection (Sacks): Your Questions Answered

Explaining why the garden waste service for sacks is changing and how it will work

Why can't I pre-register before 1 March 2019 / what is the part year charge?

The subscription year ends on the 31 August 2019 for all service users, regardless of when you sign up. The £25 charge only applies to residents who subscribe to the service between the 1 March 2019 and the 30 June 2019.  The 1 March is not the start of a new subscription period, it represents a point in time when the charge reduces.  You can subscribe to this reduced charge anytime between 1 March 2019 and 30 June 2019. Regardless of when you pay this reduced charge the service will end on 31 August 2019.

It is not possible to pre-register for the part-year charge before the 1 March 2019.  It will take approximately two weeks for your sticker to arrive once you have subscribed and during this time, you will not be able to use the service. 

How do I sign up for a garden waste collection?

To subscribe for a garden waste collection you will need to call 03301 319742 and pay the annual charge.

How will you know who has paid?

Your property details will also be added to the in-cab system that informs collection crews which households have subscribed to the service.

How much will it cost?

The subscription year runs from the 3 September 2018 to the 31 August 2019.

The annual subscription charges for the 2018/19 collection service are as follows:

 Annual Subscription
(if you subscribe between July 2018 and 28 February 2019)
Part Year Subscription
(if you subscribe between 1 March 2019 and 30 June 2019)
1st roll of green sacks

(service charge)

(service charge)
Cost per additional roll of green sacks£40
(service charge)

(service charge)

With your initial subscription you will receive one roll of green sacks. Every full roll will contain at least 70 sacks. If you use up your supply of sacks you can make up to four further subscriptions.   

Once we have your completed subscription and payment your property details will be added to a database used by our waste collector, that shows which households have subscribed to the service.

Can I pay by direct debit or instalments?

Payment needs to be made in full, we cannot accept payment via direct debit and do not offer concessions. If full payment is not received at the time that you subscribe, your subscription will not be successful and the service will not commence.

Will there be help for residents who receive benefits?

No concessions will be available.

I subscribed to the garden waste service but haven't received my sacks?

Please allow up to 14 working days from ordering to receiving your sacks. If you have still not received your sacks after this time please contact Customer Services.

Who is this service for?

This service is for the collection of household garden waste from residential properties only. You will only be allowed to subscribe for a garden waste sack collection if approved by us.

Can I have a green bin instead of sacks?

If you would prefer to have a garden waste bin please contact Customer Services. We will review your request, taking into account things like storage space and distance to your collection point and if suitable can exchange your sack collection for a bin collection. Different service terms and conditions would then apply to your garden waste collections, you can read these pdf icon Garden Waste Terms and Conditions 2018 [133kb].

As a subscriber what can I put in my green sacks?

We will only collect garden waste (of a type specified by us) that is contained in the green sacks supplied by us. You can check what can go in your green sacks here.

Will my collection day change?

No your collection day will remain the same. Please continue to put your green sacks out on your normal recycling collection day.

Will there be a change to my other collection services?

There are no plans to change your other collection services. Information about your other waste collection services can be found here.

Why have we introduced a paid-for garden waste collection?

Before September 2018, we collected garden waste without residents being asked to pay extra for it.

However, with mounting financial pressures, we couldn't afford to keep doing so without asking residents to pay a separate charge. Therefore, we have followed in the footsteps of many other authorities and introduced a charge for the service.

Like all local authorities, we have been affected by reductions in central government funding which means that increasingly, we need to charge for some non-statutory services such as garden waste collections. We consulted with residents and it was clear that garden waste collection is valued. (You can view the results of the consultation online.) Therefore, we are giving residents the choice of paying a £50 fee in order to retain the service.

Don't I already pay for my garden waste collection in my council tax?

Council Tax contributes towards the costs of running council services but changes to government funding means that we can no longer afford to offer this service without making a separate charge. Find out more about where our money comes from and how it's spent.

Council Tax is payable towards all services provided by West Berkshire Council, the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Police and Crime Commissioner, whether you use the services or not. As such you are not entitled to a refund if you do not sign up to this service.

Do I have to subscribe to garden waste collections?

No, this is an opt-in paid-for service. You do not have to subscribe to this service if you do not want your garden waste collected.

From the 3 September 2018, if you have not subscribed we will not collect your garden waste.

If you currently use a kerbside caddy to recycle your food waste this service will not change. To request a kerbside caddy to recycle your food waste contact Customer Services. For more information about food waste check here.

You can still recycle your garden waste for free by composting it at home or by taking it to one of our Recycling Centres.

If I do not subscribe what happens when the service changes?

We will stop collecting your garden waste and you will no longer receive an annual delivery of green sacks.

If you currently use a kerbside caddy to recycle your food waste this service will not change. To request a kerbside caddy to recycle your food waste contact Customer Services. For more information about food waste recycling.

You can still recycle your garden waste for free by composting it at home or by taking it to one of our Recycling Centres.

If I move house, will you refund the fee?

There are no refunds outside of the cancellation period. If you move house within the West Berkshire district please contact us using our change of details form and we will transfer your subscription to your new address.

Will I still be able to take garden waste to the recycling centre free of any additional charge?

Yes, household garden waste can still be taken free of charge to the recycling centres at Padworth Lane, Padworth or Newtown Road, Newbury. Please ensure that you have the correct permit. Find out more about the recycling centre permit scheme.

Will you take extra garden waste put out in other sacks?

No, we will only collect garden waste from subscribers that is contained in the green sacks supplied by West Berkshire Council.

What about leaves or debris from my neighbour's overhanging trees?

When leaves, seeds or small twigs leave a tree naturally, they no longer have a legal owner. If these fall into your garden they become your responsibility to remove.

Will charging for green waste mean more fly-tipping?

We expect residents to dispose of their waste responsibly by either paying for a garden waste collection, composting at home or taking their garden waste to their nearest recycling centre. In line with the experience of other councils that have introduced this charge, we do not expect a significant increase in fly-tipping but will continue to monitor levels of fly-tipping across the district.


How will you use my personal information?

We will treat any personal information by which you can be identified (ie name, address, email) in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). You can review our Privacy Notice online.

Who To Contact

Assistance with a range of issues related to council services

01635 551111