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Annual charge for garden waste

Your questions answered

Why is a subscription service being introduced for garden waste collections in Northampton?

The subscription service is being introduced as we can no longer afford to collect garden waste free of charge. Unlike household waste and recycling councils are not required by law to collect garden waste free-of-charge and not everyone uses the service. Making it self-funding will enable the service to continue for only those who want it. As a non-essential, opt-in service, it will not be paid for by your Council Tax. Around half of all local authorities in England now charge for garden waste collections.

I pay more Council Tax for a house with a large garden. Why should I pay separately to have my garden waste collected?

Council Tax is a tax, varied by house value to reflect, in broad terms, the ability of people to pay. Whilst overall it helps fund for local services, paying more does not create an entitlement to receive more services. There is, for example, no difference in the amount of books which can be borrowed in a library depending on the amount of Council Tax paid.

How much does the garden waste subscription service cost?

There is an annual subscription cost of £42 per bin or per 100 sack labels. Subscription to the service allows wheeled bin users fortnightly collections and collections as required for sacks, across 50 weeks of the year, with a short break for Christmas, between 6 April 2020 until 31 March 2021. The subscription will need to be renewed each year for your garden waste collection to continue.

How do I subscribe to the garden waste collection service?

You can subscribe for the service on our website. The subscription fee is £42 and covers the service from 6 April 2020 until the end of March 2021.

Once you have subscribed the service will start from your next scheduled collection. We will not collect your waste if you have subscribed on your collection day.

Are concessions available?

No, there is only one standard charge of £42 per year which applies to all households regardless of personal circumstances.Other options are available for residents to dispose of their garden waste, such as home composting.

Is there a deadline for subscribing to the service?

No, you can join the garden waste collection subscription at any time in the year. The £42 charge does not reduce if you join after the subscription services begins on 6 April 2020, so we recommend that you subscribe as close to this date as you can.

I use sacks rather than a wheeled bin; can I still subscribe to the service?  

Yes, properties that use sacks instead of a wheeled bin are still able to subscribe to have their garden waste collected. Instead of one bin sticker, a set of 100 labels will be sent to you when you sign up to attach to your garden waste sacks. Once these stickers have run out, residents are able to purchase a further supply of labels. 100 stickers equates to the equivalent of two sacks of garden waste each week between 6 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.

You will need to book in the collection in the normal way by requesting an ad-hoc collection using our online form.  

Can I subscribe for more than one bin or set of sack labels?

The subscription fee of £42 is per bin or per 100 sack labels. If you wish, you can subscribe to have more than one bin or additional sack labels at an additional cost.

How will you know I have joined the garden waste service?

All homes that sign up will receive a permit label to stick on your garden waste bin or labels for your sacks, and all subscribed properties will be added to our collection round lists. These will be a different colour each year.

Please note that due to Covid-19  some residents may find they have not yet recieved their stickers for their garden waste bins or sacks due to postage delays. Our supplier is working continuously to get these posted as soon as possible.Veolia are aware which properties have subscribed to the service due to their on board technology. Please present your bins as normal on your scheduled collection day.

What happens if I run out of sack labels before the end of the year?

When you subscribe for the garden waste collection service, you will receive 100 sack labels which is the equivalent of presenting two sacks per collection; however, it will be up to you manage how many sacks with labels you present for each collection. If you run out, you will be able to subscribe for another 100 labels at any point in the year for £42. Smaller amounts sack labels will not be available. The colours of labels will change each year. Labels issued each year cannot be carried over into the next year.

Will I get a new garden waste bin when I subscribe?

No, your subscription does not entitle you to a new bin. If your bin is badly damaged or broken you can order a new bin contacing our customer service team on [email protected], but otherwise you should continue using your current bin. If you are subscribing for an extra bin subscription, then you will be provided with an additional bin for as long as you have more than one subscription. If you are subscribing for the first time and do not currently have a bin then one will be provided.

What do I do with my garden waste if I don’t want to sign up to the subscription service?

This is an opt-in service, so you only pay if you wish to use it. If you do not wish to subscribe, you can take your garden waste to your local household waste recycling centre. There are restrictions in place at these sites for commercial type vehicles and vehicles towing trailers. Charges will apply for the disposal of all trade wastes. You may also wish to consider home composting. 

Please note that due to Covid-19 all Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are currently closed until further notice.  Please check the website for further information.

What happens if I change my mind, can I cancel the subscription service?

You can cancel the service at any time but no refunds will be made if your subscription is cancelled.

What should I do with my garden waste bin if I do not subscribe to the service?

You can keep and reuse your bin if you wish. See our tips on how to reuse your unwanted bin. We will not empty any bins that are not subscribed to the service. If you do not want to keep your bin we will aim to take away any empty bins from October though there may be a delay if there is a large amount of requests for this service. Further information will be available near the time.

When will the last free garden waste collections take place?

The last free garden waste collections will take place on your normal collection day week commencing 30 March. From Monday 6 April 2020 only bins and sacks which are from properties that have subscribed to the service and that are displaying the necessary subscription labels will be collected.

What if I move to a new house and do I take my bin with me?

You can transfer the service to a new address if you are moving within Northampton borough. Please contact us and we will cancel the sticker at your old address and re-issue one for your new address. Please do not contact us until you have moved as the service will be cancelled with immediate affect at your old address, and transfer to your new address ready for your next collection.

What do I do with my bin and sticker if I am moving out of Northampton?

You can leave your bins and sticker for the people moving into the property to use until the end of the service period, when they will need to pay for another if they want the service to continue. 

What if i do not want to re-subscribe to the garden waste service?

If you choose not to renew your subscription the following year, your garden waste collections will stop at the end of March. 

I have an assisted collection? Will this continue if I sign up to the new chargeable service?

Yes, your assisted collection for your garden waste bin will continue if you sign up to the service. If you don't currently have an assisted collection but need one then please apply online.

Will you take side garden waste?

No, all garden waste needs to be contained within the wheelie bin provided. You can have more than one bin as long as you pay the £42 subscription fee for each service. The crew will not empty any bins (such as not completely closed lids) or remove any sacks that are deemed to be a risk to their safety.   

Can I share a garden waste bin with a neighbour?

Yes, if you wish to share, then one of you will need to pay the charge and you can arrange between yourselves how you split the use of the bin. This will be a private arrangements between neighbours and one in which we will not get involved. The subscription will be assigned to one address. Only bins with valid stickers will be collected. 

How can I stop other people putting their waste into the bin that I have paid for?

You should store your wheelie bin within your property boundary until your collection day in the same way as your other bins.

What can go in my bin?

Yes please

Flowers, plants, grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, or green organic material 

No thank you 

Plastic bags, plastic pots, bricks, animal waste/bedding, large tree branches, tree trunks, or any other wood items