West Berkshire Council

Garden Waste Collection: Your Questions Answered

Explaining why the garden waste service 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 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 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 1 March. 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 garden waste collection, you will need to complete the online form and pay the annual charge.

Subscribe online now.


How will you know who has paid?

Once you have paid for your subscription we will send you a sticker for your bin. Please follow the instructions to clearly display the sticker on your bin as this will identify you have paid for the service. Your property details will also be added to the in-cab system that informs collection crews which households have subscribed to the service. Please allow 14 days for this process to be completed.


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)

First green bin

£50 (service charge)

£25 (service charge)

Each additional green bin

£67 (£40 for the service charge and £27 for the one off bin payment)

£47 (£20 for the service charge and £27 for the one off bin payment)

Once the one off bin payment has been made, should you re-subscribe next year you will only need to pay the service charge for each bin. The green bin remains the property of West Berkshire Council at all times.

There is a maximum of five green bins per household.

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.

If you subscribed to the Chargeable Extra Green Waste Collection Service in 2017/18 the annual subscription charges for the 2018/19 collection service are:

 

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)

First green bin£50 (service charge)£25 (service charge)
Cost second additional green bin£40 (service charge only if you have already paid for the bin)N/A
Cost for each new additional green bin£67 (£40 for the service charge and £27 for one off bin payment)£47 (£20 for the service charge and £27 for the one off bin payment)

 


 

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 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 have subscribed for the service, when will my collection start?

Your garden waste collection will start when you receive your sticker and put it on your bin. Your collection will continue to be a fortnightly service on your normal recycling collection day. You can check your bin day online.

As part of the terms and conditions of the service, we aim to deliver your subscription sticker within 14 days of your application. This allows for time to verify payment, add new subscriptions to the collection rounds and deliver the sticker.

You can subscribe for a garden waste collection throughout the year but all subscriptions for 2018/19 will end on 31 August 2019.


How secure will the sticker be on my bin?

Once you have signed up and paid for a garden waste collection you will receive a sticker for your bin. The sticker will be printed with your unique subscription number and your address. The sticker will identify that you have paid for the service and let the operatives easily identify those bins signed up for a garden waste collection.

Your property details will also be added to the in-cab system used by the collection operatives so they will be able to double check which households have subscribed to the service. If reported to us, we will investigate if a bin sticker does not match the property address.

If your sticker is damaged or in the unlikely event removed, please let us know as soon as possible and we will send out a replacement sticker free of charge.


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

When you subscribe online you should receive two emails, one confirming your subscription and one containing a payment receipt (please note that if you don't receive an email containing a payment receipt it is possible that payment was unsuccessful). If you do not see the emails in your Inbox please check your spam or junk folder. Please allow up to 14 working days from ordering to receiving your sticker. If you have still not received it after this time, please check with your bank that the payment has been made. If it has, please email gardenwaste@westberks.gov.uk with your payment receipt number, the date you subscribed and your address.


Who is this service for?

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

We will not collect garden waste from:

  • Premises which are occupied by a club, society or any associations of persons in which activities are conducted for the benefit of the members. Examples of these are sports pavilions and social clubs. Occupants of such premises should seek a commercial waste service for the disposal of any garden waste.

  • 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.


I live in a communal property where we attend to our own gardens/communal gardens. Can I subscribe?

Please contact Customer Services and a Waste Officer will get in touch with you to discuss your needs.

Please note that if you are approved for garden waste collections the subscription, including payment, will need to be made under an individual property address. The subscriber will then be responsible for the green bin. Bins containing the wrong materials will not be collected and these materials would need to be removed to allow collections to continue. No refunds will be provided outside of the cancellation period.

Any unsubscribed communal green bins will be removed.


I don't currently have a green bin, can I still sign up for a garden waste collection?

Yes, you can subscribe for garden waste collections online and we'll deliver a bin and a subscription sticker to you.

If you live in a communal property please refer to I live in a communal property where we attend to our own gardens/communal gardens. Can I subscribe? above.


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

We will only collect garden waste (of a type specified by the council) that is contained in the green bin supplied by us. Check what can go in your green bin online.


Why has my green bin not been emptied?

If your green bin has not been emptied you should have received a notice on your bin explaining why. If you didn't receive a notice you can check why it might not have been emptied online. Before reporting a missed collection please make sure:

  • you have received your subscription sticker and placed it on your bin as we will not empty it without a sticker
  • you have the correct materials in the bin - if you have not subscribed to the service, you will only be able to put food waste in your green bin.

You can report a missed collection to Customer Services within five working days of your scheduled collection day. We'll investigate and if we agree we have missed your bin we will return to empty it. If there is an issue with your bin due to contamination, you will need to remove it before your next collection.


Will my collection day change?

No your collection day will remain the same. Please continue to put your green bin 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. Find information about your other waste collection services online.


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've 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 was 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.

Please continue to use the green bin for your food waste recycling, visit our Food Waste Recycling page for more information.

From the 3 September 2018, if you have not subscribed, you will only be able to put food waste in your green bin. Green bins containing garden waste without a valid subscription sticker will not be collected.

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


I'm not going to subscribe and I don't want to use my bin for food waste recycling, what happens to my green bin?

We would encourage you to continue to use the bin for the recycling of food waste, if you choose not to use this service your food waste will have to go in your rubbish bin where it cannot be recycled.

We are happy that you keep the bin and use it for something else other than waste collections for example storage in your garden or garage. You could consider converting the bin into a water butt, wormery or composter and can find more ideas online.

If you wish to have your green bin collected and you have considered all the above options, please fill in the online form. We will be providing a collection service for unwanted green bins running until end of March 2019. Please note once the form is completed you will receive an email acknowledgement and we will then send you another email to let you know the date your bin will be collected. Please keep your bin on your property until your confirmed collection date.


If I do not subscribe will you still empty my green bin?

We will continue to collect food waste from your green bin, but will not empty bins containing garden waste if you have not subscribed for a garden waste collection. If your bin is not emptied for this reason then you will need to remove the garden waste from the bin before the bin will be emptied again.


If I do not subscribe what happens to my green bin?

We will still provide a free recycling collection for food waste, so please continue to use the green bin for this service.


What if I currently have two green bins?

We provide one green bin as standard for the collection of food waste.

If you have not subscribed to the service and you have two green bins you do not have to pay for subscriptions for both bins. However, please note that we will only collect garden waste from green bins which are subscribed to the service and we will collect your second bin.


Can I share a bin with my neighbour?

Yes you can. Please ensure the bin you share with your neighbour has the subscription sticker clearly visible. It is up to you to make your own arrangements as to who will purchase the subscription as this will only be linked to one property. This property will be where the green bin will be collected from.

As the subscriber you will be responsible for compliance with the pdf icon terms and conditions [133kb] even if you share the green bin with your neighbours. This is because our agreement is with you.


I have lost my sticker, what do I do?

If you are sure you can't find your sticker, please email gardenwaste@westberks.gov.uk with your address and we'll send you a free replacement.

 


My green bin has gone missing or is damaged, will I have to pay for another one?

No, there is currently no charge for replacement bins. You can order a replacement online.


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 and send you a new sticker.


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 placed beside the bin?

No, all garden waste must be placed inside the green bin. You can order additional green bins online. There is a maximum of five green bins per household.


How will you stop residents, who haven't paid for garden waste collections, putting their garden waste in my paid-for green bin?

We can't. We suggest keeping the green bin on your property where possible in a location where it is not easy for others to put waste in your bin. Following collections you should move your bin back onto your property as soon as possible.


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