Garden Waste Collection: Your Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about our Garden Waste Collection service
The changes to our garden waste collections:
The garden waste charges will be phased out as funding allows. Reductions will be given to those most in need first. Because of the new charging season starting so soon, this year's discount will be paid as a rebate when next year's charges come out. We are currently considering the level of rebate that will be paid and we will announce this later in the year. The government are also consulting on whether garden waste collection should be made free of charge across all local authorities; we wait in anticipation of their announcement.
The 2023/24 garden waste collection service starts on 28 August 2023.
You can find our updatedfor the 2023/24 service here.
If you are a current subscriber to the 2022/23 service and have an active Direct Debit, you do not need to sign up again for the 2023/24 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 2023/24 subscription period.
If you are a new subscriber, or do not have a current Direct Debit set up, you can subscribe to the 2023/24 Subscription Period (starting on 28 August 2023) by Direct Debit, credit/debit card at any time from now and 30 June 2024. Regardless of when you subscribe, the charges remain fixed.
To make sure your subscription is processed in time for the start of the 2023/24 service period, please sign up by 6 August 2023. Subscription stickers will usually be delivered within 14 days of your subscription being processed.
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 our 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 (eg 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.
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 Cancellation Policy.and
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:
- calling our payment line on 01635 503828
- or visiting our Market Street office in Newbury
A member of the team will be able to set up a Direct Debit for you and provide further assistance where possible.
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.
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 remove the subscription sticker(s) 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.
Once we have received your subscription (or your Direct Debit renewal has been processed), we will send you a subscription sticker for your green bin. Please ensure the sticker is clearly visible on the back of the bin (handle side), as this will identify that you have paid for the service.
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.
The sticker colour is pink for the 2023/2024 subscription period.
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.
Payment and Direct Debit queries
There are 3 simple steps to setting up a Direct Debit.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org straight away if you need to query anything.
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.
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.
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 2023/24 service. We will contact you directly by email or letter about renewing for the 2023/24 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. If you cancelled your direct debit mandate please see 'How do I sign up for a garden waste collection'.
Your new subscription sticker(s) for your green bin(s) will be sent to you automatically as part of this process.
If you paid for the 2022/23 service by Direct Debit but you cancelled your Direct Debit, you will need to complete the registration process again for the 2023/24 service when subscriptions opens in July 2023.
The subscription period runs from 28 August 2023 to 25 August 2024.
The subscription charges for the 2023/24 collection service are:
Service charge for 1st green bin
(existing subscription renewals and first-time subscribers)
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)
Charge for each new additional 2nd to 5th bin
(please note you can have a total of 5 green bins per household)
made up as follows:
Payment for the 2023/24 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 increased the price this year due to various factors, including higher inflation and rising costs associated with providing the garden waste collection service. This decision is essential to ensure the sustainability and continued provision of high-quality services to our residents, including not only the garden waste service but also other vital services like social care and libraries. Our garden waste scheme delivers good value-for-money for customers and our rates are still considerably lower than those charged for equivalent services in many neighbouring local authority areas.
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.
No, we do not offer concessions for this service.
Council tax contributes towards the costs of running Council services but changes to Government funding means that we cannot afford to offer this service without making a separate charge. You can find out more about how the Council is funded and where the money is spent on our council spending webpage.
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.
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 2023/24 service commences on the 28 August 2023 if you do not subscribe or renew your 2022/23 subscription, your green bin will not be emptied if it contains garden waste from this date.
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.
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.
Yes it is, but as funding allows. Reductions will be given to those most in need first. Because of the new charging season starting so soon, this year's discount will be paid as a rebate when next year's charges come out. We are currently considering the level of rebate that will be paid and we will announce this later in the year.
Why is my payment being taken at the start of August when the 2023/24 subscription year starts on 28 August?
Direct Debit payments will be taken at the start of August to allow enough time for us to check receipt of payment, send out the new subscription stickers and for Veolia to deliver any additional garden waste bins and add subscribed properties to their collection rounds, ahead of 28 August 2023.
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.
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 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.
If you wish to order additional green bins for the 2023/24 service that starts on 28 August 2023, please complete our online subscription form and select the relevant option when prompted.
This will require you to set up an additional Direct Debit or make another payment by card. At the end of the subscription period multiple Direct Debits will be consolidated into one for the forthcoming subscription period.
Yes, you can subscribe here for a garden waste collection. Once you have signed up, we will deliver a green bin and subscription sticker to you.
The 2023/2024 subscription period does not start until 28 August 2023.
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 (handle side). Our collection crews will not empty a green bin, containing garden waste, if a sticker is not visible.
If you have a subscription sticker on your bin and it 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.
No, there is currently no charge for replacement bins. You can order a replacement, here, however please also let us know that you need a replacement sticker by emailing email@example.com.
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.
The garden waste service will operate for 50 weeks of the year. For a two-week duration over the Christmas and New Year period (i.e. from 25 December 2023 to 5 January 2024), 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 would 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 sticker during the first garden collection date when the service is resumed.
Please try to remove any old bin stickers before you place your new service sticker on your bin. If you cannot remove your old sticker, please place your new subscription sticker above or below it.
Your subscription sticker(s) for your green bin(s) will usually be delivered within 14 days of your subscription being processed and stickers will be sent by second class post. If it has been more than 14 days since you subscribed to the service and you have not received your sticker(s), please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.