West Berkshire Council

Garden Waste Collection: Your Questions Answered

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


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. If there is high demand we cannot guarantee your bin will be collected before Christmas. Please keep your bin on your property until your confirmed collection date.


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

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. If you haven't received your sticker yet, please tape a copy of your payment receipt to your green bin and we will still collect your garden waste.


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. Please tape a copy of your payment receipt to your green bin and we will still collect your garden waste.


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.


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.

As part of the terms and conditions of the service, we will aim to deliver your subscription sticker within 14 days of your application online or by telephone. 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.


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.


When does my paid-for collection start?

Your paid-for garden waste collection will start once you have received your subscription sticker and placed it on your bin. Your collection will continue be a fortnightly service on your normal recycling collection day. You can check your bin day online.


Will my collection day change?

There are no plans to change your collection day. 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 are we introducing a paid-for garden waste collection?

Until now, we have collected garden waste without residents being asked to pay extra for it.

However, with mounting financial pressures, we can't afford to keep doing so without asking residents to pay a separate charge. Therefore, we must now follow in the footsteps of many other authorities and introduce 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.


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)

What if I currently have two green bins?

If you were a subscriber to the Chargeable Extra Green Waste Collection Service in 2017/18 please see how much will it cost above.

If you were not a subscriber to the Chargeable Extra Green Waste Collection Service in 2017/18 and you have two green bins then you have not yet paid the one off charge for the second bin you have. If you want to subscribe for two bins then the total cost would be £117 (£50 service charge for the first bin, £40 service charge and £27 for the one of payment for the second bin)

Alternatively you do not have to pay for subscriptions for both bins, but please note that we will only collect garden waste from green bins which are 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 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.


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 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.


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.


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.


If I do not subscribe will you still empty my green bin after 3 September 2018?

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 such 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.


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 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.

 

 

Who To Contact

Assistance with a range of issues related to council services

01635 551111