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Garden Waste Collection: Your Questions Answered

Frequently asked questions about our Garden Waste Collection service

General queries

Payment and Direct Debit queries

Collection queries

Sticker queries

 


General queries

I haven't subscribed to the 2023/24 service, what do I do with my garden waste?

When does the 2024/25 Garden Waste Collection Service start?

How do I sign up for a garden waste collection?

Who is this service for?

What is the cancellation policy?

How do I subscribe if I don't have internet access at home or an email address?

If I move house, will you refund the fee?

How will you know who has paid?

How will you use my personal information?

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Payment and Direct Debit queries

How do I set up a Direct Debit or change the details?

I already have an active Direct Debit for this service, what do I need to do?

I previously paid by Direct Debit but cancelled my mandate, can I renew?

How much does the 2024/25 service cost?

Can I pay by instalments?

Will there be help for residents who receive benefits?

Don't I already pay for my garden waste collection in my council tax?

Do I have to subscribe or renew my subscription for garden waste collections?

There isn't enough space to type in the full account holders name into the Direct Debit mandate, what do I do?

I am not the only person who can authorise Direct Debits on my account, can I submit a Direct Debit mandate by myself?

Why is my payment being taken at the start of August when the 2024/25 subscription year starts on 26 August?

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Collection queries

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

Can I share a bin with my neighbour?

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

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

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

What about leaves or debris from my neighbour's overhanging trees?

Why are you not collecting garden waste over Christmas?

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Sticker queries

Why am i not receiving a subscription sticker this year?

Do I need to remove my previous service bin sticker?

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General queries


I haven't subscribed to the 2023/24 service, what do I do with my garden waste?

You can compost your garden waste at home or take it to one of our recycling centres free of charge. 

If visiting our recycling centres, please make sure your household has registered for a permit and book an appointment before you visit.

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When does the 2024/25 garden waste collection service start?

The 2024/25 garden waste collection service starts on 26 August 2024.

You can find our updated Icon for pdf terms and conditions [540KB] for the 2024/25 service here.

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How do I sign up for a garden waste collection?

If you are a current subscriber to the 2023/24 service and have an active Direct Debit, you do not need to sign up again for the 2024/25 service. We will be contacting you to see if you want to make any changes to your subscription as part of the renewal process and to provide advanced notice of the date that payment will be taken for the 2024/25 subscription period.

If you are a new subscriber, or do not have a current Direct Debit set up, you will need to subscribe for the 2024/25 service. Subscriptions will open in late July 2024. Please note we cannot accept payment before then.

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Who is this service for?

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

If you live in a communal property where you attend to your own gardens/communal gardens. Please contact us and a Waste Officer will get in touch with you to discuss your needs.

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 (e.g. sports pavilions and social clubs)
  • village halls, other halls or residential properties that are managed by a commercial landscaper/gardener

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

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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 bin 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  Icon for pdf Terms and Conditions [539KB] and Cancellation Policy.

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How do I subscribe if I don't have internet access at home or an email address?

If you do not have your own internet access, a smartphone, or friends or family members who can help you with this, you can complete the subscription process by:

A member of the team will be able to complete the subscription process with you. 

Please note: our phone lines are very busy at this time and we would prefer to prioritise helping vulnerable residents. Residents are kindly requested to only call if they cannot find the information they require online.

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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 Tell Us You've Changed Your Address and 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 leave all bins at your old property. All bins remain the property of West Berkshire Council.  

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How will you know who has paid?

Once we have received your subscription (or your Direct Debit renewal has been processed), 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.

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How will you use my personal information?

We will collect personal information for the purpose of processing your application, providing the service and where applicable for collecting payments. Your property details will be added to a database used by our waste contractor and relevant council officers in order to provide the service to those residents who are subscribed to the service. This information will be held in a secure manner. We will not use your information for any other purpose without your permission and we will not hold the information for longer than we need to.

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

You can review our Privacy Notice here.

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Payment and Direct Debit queries

How do I set up a Direct Debit or change the details?

There are 3 simple steps to setting up a Direct Debit.

Step 1

Subscribe here to tell us your subscription requirements and complete the online Direct Debit mandate.

When completing the mandate you will need to:

  • check your name and address details are correct
  • 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.

Changes?

If you need to make any changes to the bank details connected to your Direct Debit, please make these directly with your bank. Our payment system will then automatically be updated.

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I already have an active Direct Debit for this service, what do I need to do?

If you are a current subscriber and have an active Direct Debit for this service, you do not have to complete the subscription process again for the 2024/25 service. We will contact you directly by email or letter about renewing the service in June.

Unless you cancel your Direct Debit, your renewal will be processed automatically (following notification of the amount and payment date) and in time for the start of the subscription period.

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I previously paid by Direct Debit but cancelled my mandate, can I renew?

If you paid for the 2023/24 service by Direct Debit but you cancelled your Direct Debit, you will need to complete the registration process again for the 2024/25 service when subscriptions opens in late July 2024.

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How much does the 2024/25 service cost?

The subscription period runs from 26 August 2024 to 24 August 2025.

The subscription charges for the 2024/25 service are:

Subscription type 

Service charge for 1st green bin 

(existing subscription renewals and first-time subscribers)

£55

Service charge for renewal of each current 2nd to 5th additional bins

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

£50

Charge for each new additional 2nd to 5th bin

(please note you can have a total of 5 green bins per household)

£85

made up as follows:
£50 for the service charge and £35 for the one-off set-up payment

Payment for the 2024/25 service is by Direct Debit or credit/debit card, which shall be a single payment for the full subscription charge in respect of the forthcoming service period.

We have reduced the first bin subscription charge from £58 to £55 for the 2024/25 service, demonstrating our commitment to both our community and the environment.

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Can I pay by instalments?

Payment for the service is made in advance and the charge in full is payable regardless of when you apply and pay for the service; no part-payments are accepted.

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Will there be help for residents who receive benefits?

No, we do not offer concessions for this service.

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Don't I already pay for my garden waste collection in my council tax?

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 the garden waste collection service.

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

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Do I have to subscribe or renew my subscription for 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. 

The current 2023/24 service ends on the 25 August 2024.

The 2024/25 service commences on the 26 August 2024 if you do not subscribe or renew your 2023/24 subscription, your green bin will not be emptied if it contains garden waste from this date. 

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

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There isn't enough space to type in the full account holders name into the Direct Debit mandate, what do I do?

Don't worry if you can't type the full names of all account holders into the Direct Debit mandate. We only need one account holder name - this can include just the initial for the first name, but must include the whole surname.

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I am not the only person who can authorise Direct Debits on my account, can I submit a Direct Debit mandate by myself?

Yes, this will only be an issue if you require all account holders to authorise Direct Debits on your account. If you are unsure please contact your bank to confirm.

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Why is my payment being taken at the start of August when the 2024/25 subscription year starts on 26 August?

Direct Debit payments will be taken at the start of August to allow enough time for us to check receipt of payment and for Veolia to deliver any additional garden waste bins and add subscribed properties to their collection rounds, ahead of 26 August 2024.

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Collection queries

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. 

Food waste should be disposed of in your food waste caddy.

You can find full details of what can go in your green bin on our Garden Waste Collection page.

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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. It is up to neighbours to decide 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 terms and conditions of the garden waste service, even if you share the green bin with your neighbours. This is because our agreement is with you.

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

If you have subscribed to the service and your bin has not been emptied, the collection crew should have left a notice explaining if there is an issue with your waste or green bin.

Some of the common issues include:

  • The bin is 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 safely; please remove some material from the bin before your next collection.
  • The bin contains the wrong material - please make sure you only put the right materials in your green bin; please check what can go in your green bin and remove any incorrect materials before your next collection.

You can find more information regarding missed collections on our Missed Bin Collection webpage.

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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. You can order a replacement, here.

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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.

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Why are you not collecting garden waste over Christmas?

The garden waste service will operate for 50 weeks of the year. For a two-week duration over the Christmas and New Year period garden waste will not be collected. Available data shows that only limited amounts of garden waste are generated by householders around that time of the year due to the cold weather. The extra vehicle and staff resources that become available during the period when garden waste collections are not taking place will be used to support recycling and general refuse collections which usually see an increase in demand at that time of the year. Customers will be able to present reasonable amounts of excess garden waste (up to 3 open-topped bags) next to each garden waste bin with a subscription during the first garden waste collection date when the service is resumed.

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Sticker queries

Why am I not receiving a subscription sticker this year?

We're not issuing garden waste subscription stickers for the 2024/25 service. Thanks to in-cab technology, our collection crews will know which properties are subscribed, eliminating the need for bin stickers. This will see over 33,000 fewer pieces of paper and plastic issued, saving money, resources, and reducing waste. Please put your bin(s) out with the handles facing outwards as this greatly assists the collection crew and if you can, please put your house name or number on your green wheelie bin. 

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Do I need to remove my previous service bin sticker?

You don't need to remove any previous subscription stickers. If you can, please place your house name or number on the bin(s) as that would assist our collection crews.

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