Garden waste collections - FAQs

Q: Why do the council charge for the garden waste service?

A: The council has no statutory obligation to provide a free kerbside garden waste collection service. Due to current financial constraints, we cannot afford to provide a kerbside garden waste service free of charge. We provide a chargeable service to those who request it.

Q: Can I put kitchen waste in the brown bin?

A: Kitchen waste must not be put into the brown bin. This is a legal restriction, introduced after the BSE crisis, to prevent the spreading of bacteria. As garden waste is composted in the open air, contamination from kitchen and animal waste can cause widespread distribution of bacteria, leading to outbreaks of diseases such as BSE (mad cow disease) or foot and mouth disease. There will be a separate collection for kitchen waste.

Q: My bin has not been emptied. What happens now?

A: Occasionally collections are missed. If your bin was not put out by 7am, it may well not be collected and the crew will not return until the next scheduled collection day. The collection crews record and report any instances where containers have not been put out for collection. If the bin contains items that are not allowed (DIY waste, stones/rubble, building material and so on), it will not be emptied.

If your collection has been accidentally missed and is not collected by 3.30pm on your collection day, please contact us or use our online form. The crew will have 48hrs to collect the missed receptacle but will aim to return on the next working day where possible, so please leave your bins out at kerbside until collection. Please ensure that you contact us within 48 hours of your scheduled collection otherwise we will be unable to return.

Q: Can I put pet waste in the brown bin?

A: Animal waste must not be put into the brown bin, for the reasons explained above. Instead, please double-bag dog and cat waste and put it in your green refuse bin. Bedding and waste from vegetarian pets can be composted at home.

Q: Can I bag my waste before putting it into the brown bin?

A: Please do not put any type of bag or sack in the bin. The collection and composting process is fully automated, and the crew will not be able to open or remove plastic sacks.

Q: Why can't I put soil in the brown bin?

A: Soil attached to roots is not a problem, but large amounts of soil make the bin extremely heavy and difficult to empty. You can take any surplus soil to the recycling centre at Wingmoor Farm near Bishop's Cleeve.

Q: I've cleaned my greenhouse, why can't I put old pots and growbags into the brown bin?

A: Plastic and earthenware cannot be composted. Please reuse where possible or dispose of these in your green refuse bin.

Q: My brown bin smells, can I put disinfectant in it?

A: No. The odour is part of the natural process of decomposition. Using disinfectant or synthetic insecticides will interfere with the natural composting process. We recommend using washing up liquid and warm water to clean out your bin.

Q: What is the charge for the service?

A: The cost for the service is £50 per year which is payable annually in advance. Residents can sign up for this service at any time of the year on a 12 month rolling contract. Therefore if you sign up in April, you will not need to renew until the following May.

Q: Can I have more than one bin?

A: Yes. You can request and pay the annual charge, in advance, for each additional bin.

Q: How long will it take for the bins to be delivered?

A: Bins will be delivered within ten working days of receipt of payment.

Q: What can I do with my old garden waste bags?

A: Residents can return any bags that they do not want for reuse or recycling to the Swindon Road recycling centre.