FAQ's - Garden Waste
Why is the Council bringing in charges for a winter garden waste service?
The collecting of garden waste is not a service which the council is obliged to offer by law, and collections are not covered by council tax. Stoke-on-Trent City Council runs a service free of charge throughout the summer months however, to ensure the service is financially viable over the winter months residents must be charged.
How to sign up, costs and your bin sticker
How much does the garden waste collection service cost?
It costs £15 per bin for the garden waste service for collections from November until April, regardless of when you sign up.
What if I want more than one brown bin collected?
You can sign up for multiple bins if you wish at the cost of £15 per bin.
Is there a reduction if I subscribe to more than one garden waste bin?
No – if you subscribe to more than one garden waste bin, the cost remains at £15 per bin.
How can I sign up/pay?
It’s really easy – visit our website for online subscription and fill in the online form. You will be asked for your debit/credit card to make a payment. We will then send you a sticker to put on your bin.
How long after I pay will my garden waste bin be emptied?
Your sticker should arrive within 10 working days of payment. Once this has been received please stick to your bin. Please then put your stickered bin out on your collection day at 6:45am.
For collections to take place you need both to have made the payment and put your sticker on. Instructions on how to put your sticker on, and where to put it, are in the sticker pack sent out once your payment has been received.
Benefits and Discounts
Is there a reduction if I receive benefits?
We are unable to offer discounts to residents who receive benefits.
I don’t need to put my bin out every fortnight; will I get a discount/reduction?
No, the charge is a fixed for the calendar year regardless of when you subscribe or how often you put the bin out for collection.
Other options for your garden waste?
How do I start home composting?
Home composting is a great alternative that is low-cost and also great for the environment and your garden. Click here to find out more and order low cost home composting bins.
Can I put my garden waste into my household rubbish bin?
Yes, you can put garden waste into your residual waste bin if you have space.
Can I take my garden waste to the tip?
Yes, you can take your garden waste to the either of the tips located in Hanford or Burslem. Click here for information including tip opening times.
Service and Collection Days
When will my bin be emptied?
Garden waste bins are emptied fortnightly on the same weekday as your recycling bin. Check here to find your collection day My Bin Day | Stoke-on-Trent
Collections will only be suspended in cases of bad weather and in such circumstances, we will return, no refunds will be made (see terms and conditions).
If I subscribe will my collection day for garden waste stay the same as it currently is?
Yes, but if your collection day alters once the new service starts, you will be notified of any day changes in advance of this happening.
What happens on bank holidays?
Apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, there will be no changes to your usual day of collection if it falls on a bank holiday.
Rescheduling to avoid Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day will be in line with the existing policy – there will be a two week (one collection) break over the Christmas period.
About your garden waste bin
How will the crew know to empty my bin?
Your garden waste sticker needs to be visible to the crew when they are passing in their trucks. If they cannot see the sticker the bin will not be emptied so please make sure that the sticker is facing the road when you put your bin out.
Refer to instructions in the sticker pack about where to put your sticker.
What can I put in my garden bin?
Leaves, twigs, cut flowers, plants, weeds, prunings, hedge cuttings and grass cuttings are accepted by the garden waste service. See more information here - What can I do with my rubbish? | Stoke-on-Trent
What can’t I put in my garden bin?
Soil, turf, rock, stone, brick, concrete, large branches, sawdust, pet waste or wood cannot be put into your garden bin and may result in your bin not being emptied.
Can I line my bin or put my waste in bags/sacks?
No. Garden waste must be loose in the bin
What happens if you miss my bin?
If your bin was out on time and there were no issues reported by the crew then please contact us by the end of the next working day. This will then be recorded as a missed collection and a crew should return within two working days. This is in line with our existing service policies.
What happens if the collections are suspended because of snow or other operational issues?
In such circumstances we will do our best to return as soon as possible. If we cannot return to empty your bin, or the collection is delayed, we will not offer any refunds. More details are provided in our terms and conditions.
What happens if the garden waste is reported as frozen and not emptied?
On the morning of collection, we recommend that you loosen the contents of your bin if it has been frosty and check that the lid will open, however, we cannot guarantee that this will allow us to empty the bin. More details are provided in our terms and conditions.
What happens if I put the wrong things in my garden waste bin and it is not emptied?
If the crew report that the bin has the wrong items in it, and is therefore contaminated the bin will not be emptied. Please remove the wrong items and your bin will be collected on the next scheduled collection.
What happens if I forget to put my bin out/I put my bin out too late?
If the crew report that the bin was not out when they came, the team will not be able to return until the next scheduled collection day. Please ensure your bin is presented at the edge of your property by 6:45am with the sticker facing the road.
What happens if I have extra garden waste, can I leave it at the side of the bin or on top?
No, we are unable to take any extra garden waste that is not contained within the garden bin.
Whilst our crews will make every effort to collect your bin, if the crew report a bin as too heavy/overloaded/has a raised lid, this poses a safety hazard and it will not be collected and we will not return until the next scheduled collection. Please ensure the extra waste is removed from the bin so it can be emptied the next time.
If you regularly have extra garden waste why not sign up for another bin?
I currently receive an assisted collection for my bins, will this still apply to my garden waste collections?
Yes, if you sign up to the service you will receive the same assisted collection service you do already.
Moving house and lost stickers
What if I move house?
If you move to another address within Stoke-on-Trent you can move your garden waste subscription to your new address for a small charge of £5. Please click here to complete the online application form and select 'change of address'. Do not move your garden waste bin to your new home, as it will have your old address on the label, and so will not be emptied.
If you move out of the area, or move to an address inside the borough and do not require a garden bin, we do not offer refunds.
What if I lose my sticker?
If you lose your sticker please contact us online and we will arrange for a replacement to be sent to you for a charge. Your bin will not be emptied if it does not display a sticker, so please get in touch as soon as possible.
What if my bin is lost or stolen?
If your garden waste bin is damaged by accident, or stolen, the council will replace this and the sticker on the first occasion. After that, there will be a charge for a replacement sticker of £15.
We will not make a refund for any collections missed while waiting for the new bin.
Leaves, fly tipping and more
I have to use my bin to dispose of leaves that fall from council or neighbour’s trees, why should I pay?
If leaves from a nearby tree fall into your garden, as it’s a natural event it’s your role to dispose of them and legally you can’t require the owner of the tree to dispose of the leaves. If, however, you have tree branches/vegetation overhanging your property from a neighbour’s property, if you remove any, you should return the branches and any fruit to your neighbour.
How can we stop residents without subscriptions putting their garden waste in our paid-for bin?
We recommend that residents keep their bins in a safe/secure place on their property, so other people cannot access them. Your bin(s) should only be presented by 6:45am on collection day and returned to your property as soon as possible.
Won’t there be an increase in fly tipping as a result of the charge?
More than half of all local authorities now charge for garden waste collections and there is no evidence that this has resulted in increased fly tipping.
About the charge / decision to charge
Isn’t this just a tax on gardens?
Council tax helps to provide a wide range of local council services. Stoke-on-Trent City Council, as with all local authorities, is not required by law to offer garden waste collections free of charge. Currently summer collections are free of charge however, to be able to offer a winter collection service we must charge.
What will happen to the income the councils make from the charge?
The income from the subscription charge will contribute towards the cost of running the service.
Will I get a reduction in my council tax if I don’t sign up to the new service?
No, your council tax will not be reduced. Council tax goes towards paying for a wide range of services provided by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Police, Fire and Parish Councils services but garden waste disposal is not a statutory service.
Is it legal to charge for the collection of garden waste?
Yes, the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012 allow councils to charge for the collection of garden waste. Collection of garden waste is not a statutory service.
Is the service available to everyone?
If you currently have a garden waste bin collected in the summer months you are eligible to sign up to the winter collections. Sadly, due to accessibility of some roads and premises some residents in the city do not have a garden waste collection therefore, this service will not be available.
However, you can take garden waste to the either of the tips located in Hanford or Burslem. Click here for more information on our local tips.