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Garden Waste Collection: Your Questions Answered

Explaining the garden waste service and how it will work

 When does the 2020/21 Garden Waste Collection Service start?

The 2020/21 garden waste collection service starts on 1 September 2020. To make sure your subscription is processed in time for the start of the service period, please sign up by 14 August 2020.

How much will it cost?

The subscription year runs from the 1 September 2020 to 27 August 2021.

The annual subscription charges for the 2020/21 collection service are:

Subscription Type

Subscription Charge (per bin)

Service charge for 1st green bin (new subscription or existing subscription renewal)


Service charge for 2nd to 5th bins

(This is for existing subscription renewals only where the one off set up payment has already been made in a previous subscription year)


Charge for each additional bin 2nd to 5th (new subscriptions only)


made up as follows:
£40 for the service charge and £27 for the one off set up payment

The green bin(s) remain the council's property at all times.

You can subscribe up to a maximum of 5 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 for scheduling and undertaking collections. That database shows which households have subscribed to the service.

You can review our pdf icon privacy notice online [100kb].

Will there be a part year charge for 2020/21?

There will be no part year charge for 2020/21. 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 the 30 June 2021 for this subscription period. Regardless of when you subscribe the charges remain fixed as detailed above.

How do I sign up for a garden waste collection?

To subscribe for a garden waste collection you will need to complete the online subscription form and pay the charge. Subscribe online.

You will receive an email acknowledgement once you have successfully subscribed and a separate emailed receipt once your payment and subscription has been processed.

Can I pay by direct debit or instalments?

Yes you can now pay by direct debit. You cannot pay by monthly instalments.

Payment for the current subscription year may be made by credit/debit card or cheque from 21 July 2020 or by direct debit from the 11 August 2020. 

If you pay by direct debit, payment will be by means of an initial single payment for the total fixed subscription charge due in respect of the 2020/21 subscription period. Subsequent subscription periods commence around the start of September each year (unless otherwise notified) and payment 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 will be automatically renewed.

How does the direct debit payment work?

Once you have completed the direct debit form online or with Customer Services, you will receive an email confirming your bank details within 3 working days'. Please note confirmation will take longer by post if you only provide a postal address.

We will submit your direct debit request to your bank and once confirmed we will contact you to let you know when payment is due to be taken. We will provide at least 10 working days' notice before payment is taken.

Your direct debit payment will be one single payment for the full garden waste subscription amount.

Once payment has been made by direct debit we will not take any further payment until next renewal is due next year for 2021/22 subscription year. You do not need to contact us unless you wish to make changes to either your payment details or subscription.



Can I pay by cheque?

Yes you can pay by cheque, however please note that the fastest way to subscribe is online.

Please ensure your cheque:

  • is made payable to 'West Berkshire Council'
  • is not post-dated
  • is signed
  • has words and figures that match
  • has the address for which you are subscribing clearly written on the back together with the number of subscriptions you are requesting.

Cheques should be sent to Waste Management, Environment, West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5LD, or can be handed to reception at the Market Street Council Offices.

Cheques that have been incorrectly filled out cannot be cashed. In this situation we will contact you and you will need to send a replacement, or pay by alternative means, in order for your subscription to be processed. We will return your incorrect cheque to you.

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. If you cancel your subscription your green bin will not be emptied if it contains garden waste. You can continue to place food waste in the green bin (except for communal properties).

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 days cancellation period, or outside the terms of the direct debit guarantee. 

For full information please refer to the pdf icon Terms and Conditions [254kb] 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 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.

After we have processed your subscription your property details will then be added to the in-cab system that informs collection crews which households have subscribed to the service. The sticker colour will be grey for 2020/21 subscription.

Do I need to remove my purple 2019/20 bin sticker?

Please try to remove your purple bin sticker before you place your new 2020/21 sticker on your bin. If you cannot remove your old sticker please place your new grey subscription sticker above or below it. 

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

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

If I decide not to renew my subscription will you still empty my green bin after 1 September 2020?

We will continue to collect food waste from your green bin (except for communal properties) but will not empty bins containing garden waste if you have not subscribed to the 2020/21 garden waste collection service. If your bin is not emptied for this reason then you will need to remove the garden waste from the bin before it will be emptied again on the next scheduled collection day.

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

Yes, you can subscribe for a garden waste collection online. Once you have signed up and paid online, we will deliver a green bin and subscription sticker to you.

I have signed up to the Garden Waste Service but my green bin has not been emptied?

The subscription period runs from 1 September 2020 to 27 August 2021.

If you have signed up to the service, you will need to make sure your subscription sticker is clearly visible on the back of the bin. Our collection crews will not empty a green bin if a sticker is not visible.

If you have a subscription sticker on your bin and it has still not been emptied you should be left a notice explaining if there is an issue with your green bin. Some of the common issues include:

  • Bin too heavy - although you may be able to move your bin, the bin lift on the back of the collection vehicle may not be able to lift it. Please remove some material from the bin before your next collection.
  • Wrong material - please make sure you only put the right materials in your green bin. You can check what can be recycled. Please remove any incorrect materials before your next collection.

If you have checked the reasons above and your green bin has still not been emptied on your scheduled collection day, please contact Customer Services via email customerservices@westberks.gov.uk or telephone 01635 519080 within five working days to report the missed collection of your bin(s). If our records indicate that there was no reason why your bin should not have been collected, the collection crew will aim to return to collect it within two working days of this being reported.

We retain the right to refuse to empty a bin if it contains the wrong type of materials. In order for the collection service to be resumed you will be required to remove the wrong types of materials from the bin(s) before your next scheduled collection date.

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 online. We will usually be able to transfer your subscription to your new address and send you a new sticker. Do not take your green bin to your new property.

When you leave your old address please remove the subscription sticker from your green bin(s) and dispose of it, leaving all bins at your old property. All bins remain the property of West Berkshire Council.

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. Examples of these are 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.

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

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?

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 1 September 2020 if you have not subscribed, your green bin will not be emptied if it contains garden waste. You can continue to place food waste in the green bin even if you do not have a subscription (except for communal properties)

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

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 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 (i.e. name, address, email etc.) in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018.

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 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 put food waste in your green bin. This list is not exhaustive, for full details of what can go in your green bin, see our Garden Waste Collection webpage.

Can I share a bin with my neighbour?

Yes you can, however please note that any agreement made between neighbours to share green bins is a private arrangement. Please ensure the bin you share with your neighbour has the sticker clearly visible. It is up to you to make your own arrangements as to who will purchase the subscription which will only be linked to one property (the subscriber's property). The green bin will be collected from outside the subscriber's property.

As the subscriber you will be responsible for compliance with the pdf icon terms and conditions [254kb] even if you share the green bin with your neighbours. This is because our agreement is with you.

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.

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

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

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 types of materials will not be emptied and such materials would need to be removed to allow collections to continue. No refunds will be provided outside the cancellation period.

Any unsubscribed communal green bins will be removed.


Who To Contact

Assistance with a range of issues related to council services

01635 551111