Charging for green bin collections - FAQs

Why are you charging for these collections?

We have a reduced budget from central government and we can no longer subsidise the cost of collecting this additional waste. The decision to charge for garden waste collections is one of the many difficult decisions the council has faced to help reduce costs.

There's no legal requirement to provide a kerbside collection service for garden waste. But where it does we can make a charge. The income from charging for garden waste collections will make the service self-financing. Many councils across the country charge for this service and have done for many years.

Not all properties in Warrington require a garden waste collections service as they may not have a garden. For this reason it is also felt that introducing a charge is fair as the service will only be paid for by those households that choose to use it, in the same way that charges are only made for bulky waste collections to those households that request one.

Why is there an increase on last year's subscription?

We've had to increase the price of both online and offline subscriptions to meet with rising operational costs, in particular to meet the increased cost of collection and tipping.

Don't I already pay for this service through my council tax?

Although your council tax is collected locally it actually forms part of a national taxation framework. This means that your tax isn't just calculated in relation to specific council services, such as waste collection or other community facilities and services. Your council tax payment contributes and finances all local council services not just waste collection. 

How much will the service cost and how can I subscribe?

The cost of the service is £35 per bin per year or £32 per bin per year if purchased online by visiting our website from 14 January 2019.

When does the charge start?

The service will start on the 5 March 2019 and only households that have subscribed for the service will have their green bin(s) emptied after this date. Residents should allow at least 5 working days for an identification sticker to be posted out to you to identify your green bin to our collection crews that you have paid for the service. The charge will cover you from the 5 March 2019 to the 6 December. Please note, the garden waste service is a seasonal service and collections will not be provided in the winter. Please see our website or your collection day sticker on your black bin for your actual dates.

I will only need to put a green bin out occasionally. Can I pay for a part year of collections?

No. If you join part through the year or only need a collection a few times a year the charge will still remain at £35 (£32 if paid online). We offer no reduced rates except for online payments.

Do I need to renew my payment every year?

Yes. You'll need to renew your payment every year and you'll be able to do this through our website each year in January.

Will my collection day or collection time change for any green bins that I pay for?

Initially your collection day will remain the same and you should present your green bin for collection as you do now. However the time of your collection may change. Please have your bin out for 6.30am on your scheduled day of collection.

Can I have more green bins?

You can have as many green bins as you like for domestic garden waste. You'll be charged a £35 (£32 if paid online) subscription per bin/ per year. To order more green bins and pay your subscription please visit our website from 14 January 2019.

If I have a green bin at the moment but do not want to pay the subscription, what do I do with the bin?

If you choose not to subscribe to this service your green bin(s) will not be emptied after 5 March 2019. Any green bin should remain at your property. 

If I don’t want to sign up and pay, how can I dispose of any garden waste? 

We encourage you to either home compost your extra garden waste or take it to one of our community recycling centres. Garden waste should not be placed in your black and blue bins for disposal. We will not take any side waste and all bin lids should be closed.

How will your collection staff know if I have subscribed to the new service?

Collection vehicles will have an electronic record of which residents have subscribed. You'll also be sent an identification sticker through the post each year when you've paid. This sticker should be applied to your bin as soon as possible to ensure collection. 

Where do I stick the identification sticker to show that I have paid?

Attach the identification sticker under the handles at the back of the bin. This allows the collection crew to make a quick check and ensure the stickers aren't damaged by the lifting equipment. The collection crews will not collect any garden waste bins that don't display a sticker. 

What happens if I move house?

If you move house during the period of your subscription you can transfer this subscription to your new address if this is in Warrington. Please complete the online form to tell us that you have moved house so that we can update our records. Please do not take your green bin with you to your new property.

Refunds cannot be provided if you move out of the Warrington area or if the service is not offered to your new property. Furthermore a refund is not available if you move to a new property and require fewer bins than you have subscribed for at your previous address.

Can I get a refund if I decide to cancel my subscription?

You have the right to cancel your subscription and obtain a full refund within 14 days of the day of purchase. There will be no refunds after the 14 day cooling off period has expired. 

Do I get a refund if the council fail to empty my green bin?

No. Genuine missed collections are rare. If your bin hasn't been emptied it may be because it contains the wrong items or it's too heavy. If this is the case we'll place a sticker on your bin and it will be left. All bins should be out for collection by 6.30am on your collection day. We reserve the right to cancel collections due to circumstances beyond our control e.g. severe weather. If your missed collection is our fault then we will return to collect your bin as soon as possible. Missed collections can be reported by completing our online form.

What can I put in my green bin for composting?

We can accept grass cuttings, hedge clippings, twigs and small branches, weeds, plants, dead flowers, leaves and bark. We can't take any food waste, soil, stone, ash, pet bedding, card, or general waste. Check out our which bin page for more info!

Can I apply for an extra black bin (Red Top) to dispose of my extra garden waste?

We don't provide additional black bins for garden waste. Garden waste should not be placed in black bins for disposal. Residents should subscribe to the kerbside garden waste service or take the extra garden waste to a community recycling centre. Home composting is also a good way to dispose of garden waste.

Are there any concessions for elderly or infirm residents or those on benefits?
The scheme is a self-funding service and given the current financial constraints of the council we're unable to provide concessions.

Can I share a garden waste bin with my neighbour?

Yes, if one bin provides sufficient capacity to meet the needs of you and your neighbour. The charge applies per bin so if you wish to share then one of you will need to pay the charge and then you can split the cost and usage between you.

Will assisted collections still be available for the new green bin service?

Yes. If you subscribe to the new service and you already have an assisted collection this will continue. If you don't already have an assisted collection and you would like one then please apply online.

What if I subscribe and my green bin or subscription sticker is stolen?

Please check with your neighbours to make sure they have not taken the bin by mistake. If not then report it to us as soon as possible so we can investigate.

Is this new charge not going to discourage people from recycling?

We hope that residents will understand the financial pressure we face and the reasons for introducing this new scheme. It's hoped that the new subscription service, the free of charge community recycling centres and home composting will provide sufficient alternatives for those who wish to recycle.

Do you expect to see more fly-tipping of garden waste?

There's no evidence to suggest that we'll see any increase in fly-tipping. We have spoken to other councils that have introduced similar schemes and they've seen no increase. We'll monitor this issue closely and any reports of fly-tipping will be passed to our Environmental Enforcement Team.

What happens if I currently pay someone to cut my grass or attend to my garden?

If the garden waste materials are placed into your green wheeled bin, then you would still need to subscribe to the kerbside collection service. Alternatively, you can ask your gardener or the person who carries out the work for you to take the garden waste away and dispose of it responsibly – but they may charge you to do so. If you pay your gardener they cannot take the waste to one of our community recycling centres as the waste will be classed as trade waste when they remove it from your property.

Remember, householders are required by law to check that anyone removing waste from their property is authorised to do so. Householders who do not take reasonable measures to check that operators are legitimate waste carriers could be liable to a fine.

Can I put garden waste in my black bin?

No. Garden waste should never be placed in your black bin. Black bins found to contain garden waste won't be emptied.