Garden waste collection service

Questions about the service

The following questions and answers have been compiled to help residents to understand the new service and decide whether or not they would like to subscribe.

How do I sign up for the service?

You can sign up and pay online. Payment can be made by debit or credit card. Alternatively you can sign up and pay by phone by calling (01788) 533332. The fee must be paid in full when you sign up to the service.

How much does the service cost?

The service costs £40 per bin for the year, which runs from April to March with a short break at Christmas and New Year.

What can go in the garden waste bin?

We will collect almost all garden waste: grass cuttings; hedge clippings; twigs and small branches; weeds; flowers and plants; leaves; hay/straw from small animal bedding. Soil and turf cannot be collected in the garden waste bin. See also the questions about food waste towards the bottom of this page.

Is there a cost reduction for residents without the means to pay or who are in receipt of benefits?

There are no discounts or exemptions.

Does the service operate all year?

The service will stop for a short period at Christmas and New Year.

How do I opt out?

You do not need to contact us to opt out of the service. If you do not subscribe, you will not receive a garden waste collection service. You can stop using the service at any time, but there are no refunds or discounts for part-year subscriptions.

Can I have more than one bin and will additional bins be charged at the same rate?

You can subscribe as many times as you wish. The charge will be £40 per bin for the year.

I already have more than one bin, but I only want to subscribe for one.

You can subscribe for as many bins as you like, but we will only empty your bins if they display a valid permit.

How will you know that I have paid for the service?

When you pay to receive the service your property will be added to our records and you will be issued with a unique sticker to place on your bin. Together these will identify that you have paid. Only bins with permits on will be emptied. Permits cannot be used at any other address.

How soon after paying will I receive a collection?

It can take up to two weeks for us to process your request, deliver your sticker and arrange your first collection. However, we will not empty your bin until you have stuck the sticker to it.

I don’t currently have a bin, can I still sign up for the service?

Yes, you can sign up to the service. Once you have paid for the new service you will need to tell us that you also need a garden waste bin. There will be no delivery charge if you have not had garden waste collected previously.

Is it legal to charge for garden waste collections?

Yes, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, councils can charge for a collection of garden waste. The collection of garden waste is a non-statutory service therefore we do not have to collect it.

Don’t I already pay for a garden waste collection through my council tax?

Most of your council tax goes to Warwickshire County Council. About ten per cent goes to the Police and Crime Commissioner to pay for policing services. Rugby Borough Council keeps only eight pence in every pound of your council tax and this contributes to the cost of running of all Rugby Borough Council’s services. We also receive funding from the government and other income such as charges for services. We can no longer provide this service free of charge at the point of collection.

What will I do with my garden waste if I don’t want to pay for a collection?

You can take your garden waste to the Household Waste Recycling Centres (Hunters Lane, Rugby or Stockton) but food waste is not accepted at these sites. Alternatively you could home compost your garden and uncooked food waste. 

I understand some residents have larger bins than I do, are they being charged the same as me?

Yes. The charge for the garden waste collection service is the same regardless of the size of the bin. Where available, it may be possible to swap your bin for a smaller or larger alternative.

What happens if I join part way through the year?

You can sign up for the service at any time of the year. However, there is no discount for a part-year subscription.

How will I be charged in future years?

We will email a reminder to renew your subscription before the end of your subscription period; you can renew your subscription online or by telephone.

Can I share the cost of a bin with my neighbour?

Yes, but you will need to make the arrangements with your neighbour yourself. The relevant bin must be put out for collection at the property of the resident that has paid the subscription. We will not arbitrate between residents over the use of any bin that is shared.

If I move house can I take my subscription with me?

No, when you move house the bins must be left at the property. All bins remain the property of Rugby Borough Council. The subscription will continue to the end of the subscription period and cannot be transferred to a new property or refunded.

If my bin gets damaged, will you replace it free of charge?

If the bin can be repaired and replacement parts are available we will try and repair the bin free of charge. If it needs to be replaced, we will remove the old bin and provide a replacement free of charge. We will also issue a new sticker.

My bin has been stolen, will you give me a new one?

Residents are responsible for the safe keeping of their bins and bin permits. However if they are lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair we will replace the bin and sticker free of charge.

Who owns the bins?

We will continue to own the bin. The service you are paying for is to have the bin emptied.

What happens if I no longer want the service?

If you do not renew your subscription annually before April then your garden waste collections will end without any further notice. If the agreement is cancelled by you at any stage after payment has been made then no refund is issued.

Can I keep my bin if I don’t want to pay for a collection service?

Yes. If you do not want to pay to have your garden waste collected then you can keep your bin but we will not empty it after your last scheduled collection day. If at a later date you choose to sign up for the service you can use your existing bin. The bin will remain our property and must not be used in connection with any trade or any other waste collection service.

Have you considered the environmental impact of more people driving to the Household Waste Recycling Centres to dispose of their garden waste?

Yes. However we hope that residents will recognise the benefits of home composting and reduce the amount of waste that they produce. Alternatively using our garden waste collection service for just £40 for the year will help reduce this problem. The £40 charge is less than £2 per collection.

Where do I place my sticker on the bin?

The sticker must be stuck onto the back of the bin, underneath the handle. The bin must be placed kerbside with the handle facing the collection crew in order that they can easily identify that your bin is part of the service.

What time will my collection be made?

Your collection could take place any time between 7:30am and 4pm on your collection day. You must place your bin out for collection by 7.30am. We will not return to empty garden waste bins that were not ready for collection.

Will you take garden waste placed in a container at the side of my bin?

Side waste is not collected and bin lids must be fully closed. If your bin is too heavy for the lifting mechanism on the lorry it will be left unemptied until you remove some of the contents.

Is there be a ban on garden waste in the black refuse bin?

Yes, we cannot accept garden waste in the black refuse bin because it makes the resulting material unsuitable for incineration at the Energy from Waste plant that the council uses for disposal of general refuse (black bin waste).

What happens if I put garden waste in my blue-lid recycling bins?

Bins containing unacceptable material will not be collected. You will be required to remove the garden waste material before the next collection.

What happens if my garden waste collection is missed?

If you placed your bin out at the correct time for collection and it was missed you should let us know. The collection crews record all bins that are not out for collection. In addition the vehicles have a camera system on them. If we missed your bin we will arrange to empty it within the next three working days. You must leave your bin accessible to the crew.

What happens if my bin isn't fully emptied?

Bins do not fully empty because they are either overloaded and the contents are compacted or the contents have frozen due to weather conditions. In either of these situations the crew will not return. In order to avoid this situation do not overload your bin and during frosty conditions keep your bin in a sheltered spot.

Can I line my bin with newspaper or bag my material up before putting it in the bin?

You can line your bin with newspaper but plastic bags are NOT acceptable in the green bins.

Will charging for garden waste mean more fly tipping?

Experience elsewhere has shown little difference in fly tipping cases. However the council will, as it does now continually monitor the number and nature of fly tipping cases. We prosecute anyone who can be proved to have fly tipped any material.

Am I allowed to put food waste in the garden waste bin?

Warwickshire County Council has advised that food waste that has been put in the garden waste bin will not be treated as contamination at this time. The composting process they use at the moment uses a high temperature process that can kill off harmful bacteria that can be found in food waste.

If you do not subscribe to the garden waste collection service or do not wish to put food waste in your garden waste bin, you can put food waste in the black bin.

What's the difference between food waste and garden waste?

Once food has been taken into the kitchen it is "food waste" and not "garden waste", even if it is fresh produce from your own garden. This is because it may have come into contact with animal proteins. These can cause outbreaks of animal disease. The waste process has to be controlled to prevent cross-contamination - this is why the waste streams often have to be dealt with differently.

What shall I do with leaves that fall from other people's gardens?

Leaves can be left on the ground to form leaf mold, as they would in woodland. However, if you opt-in you can put them in the garden waste bin. Alternatively you can home compost them or take them to the county council's household waste recycling centres.

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