Wealden District Council

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Changes to Wealden’s Garden Waste Collection Service in 2019-Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the garden waste collection service changing?

We want to continue to provide garden waste collections for our residents. However, as a result of rising costs and reduced funding, in order to keep the service we will no longer be able to provide this for free.

We will, therefore, ask those residents who want to continue to have a garden waste collection to pay for it from 1 July 2019. This will bring us in line with the other councils in East Sussex-which already charge for this service.

We think this is fairer than all residents having to pay to maintain a free service through an increase in their council tax.

Unlike household waste and recycling, garden waste collection is a service which the Council is not obliged to provide.

When will the new chargeable service start?

The new chargeable garden waste service will start from 1 July 2019.

How much will the new service cost?

The annual fee will be £50 per bin.

How do I register?

If you currently use the Council's garden waste collection service, we will be sending you further information nearer the time on how to register and pay for the new chargeable garden waste collection service.

How does the service work?

Our garden waste collections will be an annual subscription service. You will  keep the brown bin for your garden waste. You will still be able to recycle all of the same compostable material that you do now. The bin will be emptied fortnightly from the edge of your property as normal, except for a two week suspension over the Christmas and New Year period. 

Can I share a bin?

Yes, if you prefer to, you can share a bin and the cost with a neighbour. The bin will be registered to one property and collected from that address.

Can I have more than one bin?

Yes, you can have up to two garden waste bins. You will need to pay the same subscription fee of £50 for each bin.

Will there be any discounts or concessions?

No, the charge will apply equally to all customers and no discounts or concessions will be provided.

What do I do if I don't want a garden waste collection service?

If you decide not to sign up to the new service, you do not need to contact us. The brown bin will continue to be emptied as normal until the last free collection before 1 July 2019. We will provide information about retrieving garden waste bins from those who have not signed up nearer the time.

Can I put my garden waste in my refuse or recycling bin?

No, garden waste cannot be put in the refuse bin or recycling bin. These bins will not be emptied if they contain garden waste.

Give composting a go!

Home composting is the most environmentally friendly method of dealing with your garden waste. For information on the County Council’s great value compost bins and food waste digesters visit 

Get Composting website (external link) or call Getcomposting on 0844 5714444. Alternatively, you can recycle your garden waste free of charge at your local Household Waste Recycling Site where it will be recycled. Visit Household Waste Recycling Sites (external link) for your nearest site and opening hours or call 08453 550550.

Can't Wealden District Council sell collected garden waste as compost and offset the cost? 

Wealden District Council collect the garden waste and deliver it to East Sussex County Council's composting facilities for treatment through its waste disposal contractor, Veolia. No income is received by the Councils from the sale of the compost. 

Why do I have to pay all year around when we don't use them for four months?

Although spring and summer are when most garden waste is collected, the majority of customers continue to use the garden waste service throughout the year as there are many garden maintenance jobs even over the winter.   

I use a communal garden waste container where I live, what will happen when charges begin?

All properties currently provided with communal collection facilities for the use of residents will be contacted in early 2019. It will be a decision for the managing agent or residents' association whether they wish to pay for the service to continue.

How will the collection crews know if I have paid for the garden waste collection service?

When a customer subscribes and pays for the service they will receive a self-adhesive permit label to attach to the brown bin for the year. Bins without this label attached will not be emptied.  

I have a small garden waste bin, will this cost less?

No, the subscription fee will be the same for both - the regular (240 litre) and smaller size (140 litre) bins. The cost of the bin collection service is mainly in operating the service such as the costs of the vehicles, fuel and staff. We are therefore unable to reduce the subscription costs for the smaller bins.

Why should I pay for my gardener to maintain my garden and then also for the disposal of the waste?

If you pay for the services of a commercial gardener they have a statutory duty to lawfully dispose of the waste they produce themselves. The garden waste bins are provided for the use of residents only and must not be used to dispose of waste produced by commercial gardening services.  

Will charging for garden waste result in more fly tipping?

No. From the experience of other authorities that have started charging for garden waste services there has been little evidence of an increase in the fly tipping of garden waste. The majority of fly tips in Wealden are from commercial sources and rogue traders rather than householders. Wealden also has a strong and effective enforcement team that investigate incidents and pursue prosecutions where necessary.