West Berkshire Council

Garden Waste Collection (Sacks): Your Questions Answered

Explaining the garden waste service for sacks


When does the 2021/22 garden waste collection service start?

The 2021/22 garden waste collection service starts on 30 August 2021. To make sure your subscription is processed in time for the start of the service period, please sign up by 26 August 2021.

 


How much does it cost?

The subscription period runs from 30 August 2021 to 28 August 2022. 


There has been no price increase again this year. The subscription charges for the 2021/22 collection service are:

Subscription
Subscription Type

 Subscription Charge

 (per roll)

Service charge for 1st roll of green sacks £46*
Service charge for 2nd to 5th rolls of green sacks £36*

*We have reduced the subscription fee for each bin by £4 for 2021/22, as a goodwill gesture following the temporary suspension of the service in January and July 2021.


Payment for the 2021/22 subscription period is by Direct Debit (which shall be a single payment for the full subscription charge in respect of the forthcoming service period).


With your initial subscription, you will receive one roll of green sacks. Every full roll will contain at least 70 green 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 for scheduling and undertaking collections. That database shows which households have subscribed to the service.

You can view our pdf icon Privacy Notice for the Green Waste Subscription Service, here [402kb].

 


Will there be a part-year charge for 2021/22?

There will be no part-year charge for 2021/22. A part-year charge was only included for the first year the subscription charge was introduced. The service was new and we wanted to give a part-year option at a reduced price for residents who may have missed the initial launch. As the scheme is now established, we will not be continuing with a part-year charge.


You can subscribe at any time until 30 June 2022. Regardless of when you subscribe the charges remain fixed as detailed above.

 


How do I sign up for a garden waste collection?

Payment for the 2021/22 subscription period is by Direct Debit (which shall be a single payment for the full subscription charge in respect of the forthcoming service period).


If you do not currently pay for your subscription by Direct Debit, or are a new subscriber, you can subscribe to the 2021/22 Subscription Period (starting on 30 August 2021) from 28 July 2021. Regardless of when you subscribe the charges remain fixed.
  

To subscribe for a garden waste collection by sacks you will need to call 01635 503880, quoting reference SACKS70.

You will need details of your bank or building society account number and sort code to complete your subscription by direct debit when you call.

To make sure your subscription is processed in time for the start of the service period, please sign up by 26 August 2021.
 


What is a Direct Debit and what are the benefits of this type of payment method?

A Direct Debit is an instruction from you to your bank or building society. It authorises the organisation you want to pay (eg the Council) to collect payments from your account.

Payment will only be collected after you have been given advance notice of the amount and date of collection.

You will need details of your bank or building society account number and sort code in order to do this.

All payments made by Direct Debit are protected by the Direct Debit guarantee this means that:

  1. Each year you will receive notice from us, at least 10 working days in advance to notify you of the amount that will be taken and the date on which it will be taken.
     
  2. You can get a full and immediate refund from your bank for any payment taken in error.
     
  3. You can cancel your Direct Debit at any time before the payment is due to be made, or to stop any future payments being made. 

Banks do not charge you for making or setting up a Direct Debit, however, please ensure there is enough money in your account to cover the payment on the payment date, as you bank or building society may charge you if payment cannot be made.

Some of the additional benefits of paying for the garden waste collection service by Direct Debit are:

  • It will actually save you time in the long run as setting up a Direct Debit now will mean that you don't have to spend time each year making a payment or completing a new subscription request.
     
  • It's safe and secure. The security of your data is covered under data protection and privacy laws including GDPR. If interested, you can read our privacy policy pdf icon Privacy Notice - Green Waste Subscription Service [402kb]
     
  • Moving customers to Direct Debit will make us more efficient and free up time and resources for other priorities that could benefit West Berkshire residents. Savings in administration costs can help the Council to keep the garden waste charges at an affordable level for our residents.

You can find more information about Direct Debits on directdebit.co.uk.
 


How do I set up a Direct Debit?

There are 3 simple steps to setting up a Direct Debit for your sack collection:
 

Step 1

Call us on 01635 503880 to tell us your subscription requirements and complete the Direct Debit mandate.

When completing the mandate you will need to provide us with:

  • your account number and sort code 
  • the name(s) on the account
     
Step 2 

We will send you advance notice of the amount to be taken and when we will collect payment. Please check these details are correct and contact us at gardenwaste@westberks.gov.uk straight away if you need to query anything.
 

Step 3

Relax. Apart from making sure you have enough money in your account when the payment is due, there is nothing more for you to do.

 


Where do I find my bank account number and sort code?

You can typically find your 8-digit account number and 6-digit sort code on your bank statements and on the front of your bank account debit card. You may also find them on your cheque book or by logging into your online bank account.

 


Can I pay by instalments?

You cannot pay by instalments.

When you pay by Direct Debit, a Direct Debit mandate will only be required on initial subscription to the service and payment will be by means of an initial single payment for the total fixed subscription charge due in respect of the whole subscription period.

Subsequent subscription periods commence around the start of September each year (unless otherwise notified) and payment and renewal of subsequent subscription periods paid by Direct Debit will be automatic.

Information regarding future subscription periods will be sent to you in advance and, unless you cancel your Direct Debit instruction, your subscription for that forthcoming subscription period will be automatically renewed.

 


How to set up an e-mail account

When you subscribe to our garden waste collection service we need your e-mail address so that we can confirm the subscription amount that will be taken and the date on which it will be collected. This is also important for future communication regarding renewal charges for subsequent years' subscription periods.

If you do not have an email address, you can easily create one. Details of some popular free e-mail accounts, including how to set these up, can be found by clicking on the links below:

You can also find useful information on how to set up an email account, along with other email essentials on the Age UK website.

Information on how to deal with unwanted emails, known as "spam", can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office website.
 


What is the cancellation policy?

You have the right to cancel your subscription within 21 days without giving any reason.

The cancellation period will expire after 21 days from the day you subscribe. If you cancel within 21 days from subscription, we will make a full refund. This does not affect your statutory rights or the Direct Debit guarantee. If you cancel your subscription, your green sacks will not be emptied if it contains garden waste.  

No refund will be given if you decide to stop using the service, in whole or in part, for any reason outside of the 21-day cancellation period, or outside of the terms of the Direct Debit guarantee.

For full information, please refer to the pdf icon Terms and Conditions [522kb] and Cancellation Policy.

 


Will there be help for residents who receive benefits?

We do not offer concessions.

 


How will you know who has paid?

Once we have received your subscription, we will deliver your sacks.

Your property details will also be added to a database used by our contractor that informs collection crews which households have subscribed to the service.

 


I have sacks left over from my 2020/21 subscription, can I still use these?

No, sacks are provided for use in one subscription period and cannot be used in the following subscription period. You may only use the sacks that we supply to you.

 


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, we can exchange your sack collection for a bin collection.

Different service terms and conditions would then apply to your garden waste collections, please see our garden waste collections webpage for information on the service and terms and conditions.

 


I have signed up to the Garden Waste Service but my green sacks have not been collected?

The subscription period runs from 30 August 2021 to 28 August 2022.

We will only collect garden waste (of a type specified by us) contained within the green sacks supplied by West Berkshire Council. 

We retain the right to refuse to collect the sacks if they contain the wrong types of materials. In order for the collection service to be resumed, you will be required to remove the wrong types of materials from the sacks before your next scheduled collection date. For full details of what can go in your green sacks, please visit our garden waste collections webpage.

For more information about missed collections, visit our missed bin collections webpage.
 


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 complete our online change of address form, and we will usually be able to transfer your subscription to your new address.

 


Who is this service for?

This service is only for residential properties, places of worship and village halls that dispose of household waste.

This service does not cover:

  • Premises which are occupied by a club, society or any associations of persons in which activities are conducted for the benefit of the members - for example, sports pavilions and social clubs
     
  • Village halls, other halls or residential properties that are managed by a commercial landscaper/gardener

Occupants of such premises should seek a commercial waste service for the disposal of such garden waste.

You will only be allowed to subscribe for a garden waste sack collection if approved by us.
 


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. You can find out more about how the Council is funded and where the money is spent on our council spending webpage.

Council tax is a tax which 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?

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 30 August 2021, if you have not subscribed, your green sacks will not be collected.

To request a kerbside caddy to recycle your food waste contact Customer Services. For more information about food waste visit our food waste recycling webpage.

You can still recycle your garden waste for free by composting it at home (see our webpage on composters), or by taking it to one of our recycling centres at Padworth Lane, Padworth or Newtown Road, Newbury. 
 


How will you use my personal information?

We will collect personal information for the purpose of processing your application and providing the garden waste collection service. This information will be held in a secure manner. We won't use your information for any other purpose without your permission. We won't hold it longer than we need to.

We will treat any personal information by which you can be identified (ie name, address, email etc.) in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018.

You can review our pdf icon Privacy Notice for the Green Waste Subscription Service, here [402kb].

 


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

We will only collect garden waste (of a type specified by the Council) that is contained in the green sacks supplied by West Berkshire Council.

We will collect:

  • grass cuttings
  • prunings
  • small twigs and branches
  • hedge trimmings and leaves
  • plants and weeds
  • cut flowers and fallen fruit

You can also put food waste in your green sacks. This list is not exhaustive, for full details of what can go in your green sacks, please visit our garden waste collections webpage.

 


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

No, we will only collect garden waste from green sacks supplied by West Berkshire Council.

If you use up your supply of sacks, you can make further subscriptions for additional rolls of green sacks (5 rolls in total) by calling 01635 503880 (sack service only).

 


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.

 

Who To Contact

Assistance with a range of issues related to council services

01635 551111