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Garden Waste Subscription Service

Important changes to your garden waste collection service

New opt in, paid-for, garden waste service – from July 2021

The Council is introducing charges for all garden waste collections from Monday 5 July 2021. These changes will apply to you if you live in a house or flat where we currently collect your garden waste.

Most other councils in England charge for this service and, with a large budget gap to fill, sadly we can no longer continue to offer it free of charge.

We know lots of residents value this service, so we want to keep on providing it.  But we think it’s fairer to offer a paid for service for those who want it, rather than add it onto the Council Tax for everyone to pay whether they use it or not. 

Council agreed to introduce the charges at its meeting on 24 February 2021 (see the Council paper).

Our last free garden waste collection will be on Friday 2 July 2021.

How much will my subscription cost?

Below are the charges for the first bin (or bags, for conservation areas) and additional bins (or bags). You can also choose to sign up for up to three extra green bins (or bags) for each household.

The first bin will cost:

  • £45 per bin per year 
  • £35 per bin per year (for residents in receipt of Council Tax Reduction benefit)

Each additional bin (or bags) will cost:

  • £50 per bin per year 

         

What do I need to do next?

You will have received a letter in your Council Tax pack, in March, explaining the changes to the garden waste service. 

Step 1

March to May

If you have not already done so, sign-up now for your MyStAlbans District Account. Make sure we have your correct email address.

Find out more about the MyStAlbans District Account here.

If you are unable to sign up online you will be able to call our dedicated garden waste subscription helpline from mid-May on 01727 819322.

Step 2

Mid-May to June

In May, we will send you an email with a link to the sign-up and pay service via your MyStAlbans District Account.

You will be able to pay by direct debit or by debit or credit card.

Step 3

June and beyond

Once you have signed up and paid we will send you a confirmation letter with subscription stickers to put on your bin(s) (or, in some conservation areas, your bags). Be sure to give us at least two weeks’ notice so we can get your stickers to you in good time.

Your property will be added to the electronic database so that crews know who to collect from. Only bins (or bags) displaying the sticker will be emptied. The stickers will change each year.

We will collect your garden waste every fortnight, throughout the whole year, as we do with the current garden waste service. 

Your subscription year will run from 1 July to 30 June.

Garden waste subscription service FAQs

How will the new service work? Toggle accordion

The subscription period will run from 1 July to 30 June. You will be able to sign up or add additional garden waste bins at any time throughout the year. However, collections will always end on 30 June. There will not be discounts for those people who sign up part way through the year and no refunds if you stop using the service.

When will you start to charge for this service? Toggle accordion

We will start charging to take away your garden waste from Monday 5 July 2021. Our last free garden waste collection will be on Friday 2 July 2021.

What will you get for this service? Toggle accordion

Your subscription will be for one 240 litre green wheeled bin (the same size as a standard recycling bin) or, for conservation areas, two reusable bags. If you choose to sign up for extra bins (or bags), these will be the same as your first bin (or bags).

We will collect your garden waste every fortnight, throughout the whole year, as we do with the current garden waste service. 

Why we are doing it

Why is the Council introducing a charge for garden waste collections? Toggle accordion

We are introducing charges to allow us to continue to provide the service in the current economic climate.

We want to keep providing the service and think it’s better and fairer to offer a paid for service for those who want it, rather than add it onto the Council Tax. The payment will go towards covering the cost of the service.

Nearly two thirds of councils now charge for collecting garden waste. 

Where will the money from garden waste collections go? Toggle accordion

The garden waste subscription charge will go towards covering the cost of delivering this service. The charge will also help to protect other vital services including weekly food waste collections to all homes.

How have the charges been determined? Toggle accordion

Research was carried out into how much other councils charge for garden waste collections. Locally our charges are in line with Watford and Three Rivers councils.

Do other councils make a charge for collecting garden waste bins? Toggle accordion

Of 326 councils in England which pick up rubbish and recycling from homes, around 65% of them (data from 2019) charge for a garden waste collection service.  Locally Watford, Three Rivers, North Herts, Broxbourne and Welwyn Hatfield councils all charge to collect garden waste bins.

Is it legal to charge for a garden waste service? Toggle accordion

Yes, under the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012 we can charge for the separate collection of domestic garden waste.

Subscribing to the service

When will I be able to sign up? Toggle accordion

You will be able to sign up for the new garden waste collection service from 12 May 2021 - for a start date of 5 July.

How do I sign up to the garden waste service? Toggle accordion

You sign up and pay via your MyStAlbans District Account.

If you have not already done so, sign-up now. Find out more about MyStAlbans District Account here.

You will be able to pay by direct debit or by debit or credit card.

If I have trouble signing up online, how do I get help? Toggle accordion

You can call our garden waste subscription helpline from mid-May on 01727 819322.

How do I know if I have paid? Toggle accordion

Once you have signed up and paid, we will send you an email confirming your payment. We will then send you a confirmation letter with  coloured subscription stickers to put on your bin(s) (or, in some conservation areas, your bags), within two weeks.

Your property will be added to the electronic database so that crews know who to collect from. Only bins (or bags) displaying the sticker will be emptied. The stickers will change each year.

 

When will I have to pay my garden waste subscription by? Toggle accordion

Please sign up and pay by 14 June so we can get your stickers to you in good time for the start of the new service. This will ensure that your garden waste collection continues without a break for the next 12 months.

You can pay after this date, but the period covered by the subscription charge will still end on 30 June the following year (i.e. it will be less than a full 12 months).

What are the benefits of paying by direct debit? Toggle accordion

If you pay this way, your renewal will happen on time and automatically each year. Therefore, you would not see a break in your service at the end of the subscription year.

How much will I be charged if I sign up after 1 July? Toggle accordion

If you sign up at any time after 1 July and before 30 June, you will still be charged the full amount.

If you decide to cancel the service during the year, we will be unable to offer a refund.

Will I still be able to get an additional garden waste bin? Toggle accordion

Yes, you will still have the option to pay for an additional garden waste bin(s) on similar terms to the current scheme.

I have an additional garden waste bin, will this service change? Toggle accordion

No, this service will continue. However, the current subscription period for additional bins has been extended until 30 June 2021 (at no extra cost) to bring it into line with the new chargeable first bin garden waste service.  If you want to continue, you will be able to choose how many additional bin(s) (or bags) you would like when you sign up to the new service.

Will I be able to leave additional waste next to the garden waste bin to be collected? Toggle accordion

No, only bins (or bags) that have been paid for will be collected. Other material left by the side of the bin will not.

Your bin lid should also be able to close fully. (Bags should not be overfilled so that they are too heavy to be lifted by collection crews.)  If you are regularly generating more garden waste than will go in your first green bin (or bags), you may wish to consider signing up for an additional garden waste bin (or bags).

If I’d paid for my first bin and I decide I want a second bin, what do I do? Toggle accordion

You will need to pay another charge for any additional garden waste bins (or bags). You will be able to do this via your MyStAlbans District Account . 

 

Can I share a bin with my neighbour? Toggle accordion

Yes, you can share a subscription with your neighbour. However, the bin (or bags) can only be allocated to one address.

If I live in a rented property, can I still subscribe? Toggle accordion

Yes, you or your landlord will be able to subscribe to the service, but please bear in mind that the bin(s) are allocated to the property not the occupant(s).

Can I sign up to the service if I live in a flat? Toggle accordion

The Council does not generally collect garden waste from flats as this is classified as commercial waste. Communal gardens are usually maintained by a contractor who will be responsible for removing any garden waste.

 

If I decide not to subscribe, can I change my mind later? Toggle accordion

Yes, if you decide to sign up to the service later, you will be able do so via your MyStAlbans District Account.

If I paid for the service then changed my mind, can I get a refund? Toggle accordion

No refunds will be provided for cancellations during the year.

Once I've paid, how long will it take for my service to start? Toggle accordion

Stickers can take up to two weeks to arrive. Once you have received your sticker (and bin if ordered) collections will start on your next scheduled collection day. Only bins displaying the correct sticker will be emptied. This can take up to a maximum of four weeks depending on when you had paid in relation to your collection day.

What do I do if I have paid but have not received my sticker? Toggle accordion

Stickers can take up to two weeks to arrive. If after two weeks you still haven't received your sticker, please call the garden waste subscription helpline on 01727 819322.

How the service will operate

When will my garden waste be collected? Toggle accordion

The garden waste bin (or bags) will still be collected fortnightly on the same day as before.

What will happen to my bins if I moved away from the District? Toggle accordion

You will leave your first garden waste bin (or bags) and any additional bins (or bags) at the property you are leaving.

Don’t forget to tell us if you are moving. You need to do this through your MyStAlbans District Account.

What will happen if I moved within the District? Can I take my bin with me? Toggle accordion

You can transfer your subscription to your new property. You will need to leave your first garden waste bin (or bags) at the property you are leaving.

If there is not a bin at your new property, or the bin does not have a sticker, we will provide one. Please call our garden waste subscription service helpline on 01727 819322 to arrange this.

However, if you have subscribed for any additional bins (or bags), you will need to take these with you to your new property.

Don’t forget to tell us if you are moving and that you want to continue to receive the garden waste subscription service at your new property. You need to do this through your MyStAlbans District Account.

What do I do if my bin has been damaged, lost or stolen? Toggle accordion

You can report damaged lost or stolen bins through your MyStAlbans District Account.

If your bins has been damaged and is unusable we will repair or replace it.

If your bin is missing after your collection, please check with your neighbours as often bins have been moved accidentally. If it does not turn up after a couple of days please contact us through your account.

 

 

Will I continue to receive an assisted collection? Toggle accordion

If you subscribed to the garden waste service and are already on the Council’s assisted collection, this will not change and you will continue to receive your service as usual. Find out more about our assisted collections.

I have a smaller garden waste bin (140 litre). Will I be able to change it for a larger bin (240 litre)? Toggle accordion

Yes, you can swap it for free. To arrange this please call Veolia on 01727 809019.

Will I be able to continue to use my smaller garden waste bin (140 litre), and get a discounted price? Toggle accordion

No, all bins will be priced the same. We will give out the larger bins (240 litre) as standard. If you have a smaller bin and want it swapped for the larger bin, you can arrange this by contacting Veolia on 01727 809019. You will be able to do this for free until December 2021.

If my bin is missed, can I have a refund? Toggle accordion

No, this service will be non-refundable. If your bin was missed you can report it online within 48 hours of your scheduled collection.

If weather disrupted the collection service (for example, if it snowed) will I receive a refund for the service? Toggle accordion

No refunds will be given for this service. However, we will make every attempt (where safe to do so) to collect your bins.

How long will the service last for? Toggle accordion

This will be an annual subscription running from 1 July to 30 June. You will need to sign up by mid-June each year to get your full 12-month subscription.

How will the renewal process work? Toggle accordion

We will send an email reminder that your annual subscription is due to end. If you pay by debit or credit card, the email will include instrustructions on how to renew or cancel your subscription.  If you pay by direct debit, the email will confirm when we will collect your payment if you wish to continue with the service.  

if you choose to renew, you will be provided with a new sticker for your bin. This will tell our crews that you have re-subscribed to the service and that they should continue to collect your garden waste.

If I signed up mid-year, do I renew at the same time the following year? Toggle accordion

No, the subscription year will always run from 1 July to 30 June. If you sign up part way through the year you will still be required to renew by mid-June to ensure you have received your new sticker(s) ready for the new collection year.

What can go in my garden waste bin? Toggle accordion

You can put the same items into your garden waste bin as you currently do. Here is a reminder.

Will I own the bin? Toggle accordion

No, all bins and bags will remain the property of St Albans City and District Council.  By subscribing to the garden waste service, you are, in effect, renting the bin(s) (or bags).

Can I stick or paint my door number on my bin? Toggle accordion

You can, but you will also need to ensure that the subscription sticker is clearly displayed on the bin(s).

Not subscribing to the service

What will happen if I don't pay? Toggle accordion

Only green bins (or bags) with the relevant year's sticker (which you will get when you pay) will be collected from 5 July 2021.

I can’t afford to pay for this service, do you offer a discount? Toggle accordion

We will offer a discount for those residents on Council Tax Reduction. Those who qualify will pay a reduced price of £35 for a first bin each year. Alternatively, if you did not want to pay there are lots of ways you can still recycle your garden waste (see below).

What else can I do with my garden waste if I don't sign up to the subscription service? Toggle accordion

We want you to keep on recycling and reduce the waste that goes to landfill. If you decided that you didn't want to sign up for the regular collection, there are lots of ways you can still recycle your garden waste.

  • Compost it in a home composting bin and turn it into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. Subsidised home composters are available through Waste Aware Hertfordshire
  • Take it to your local recycling centre. But remember to save it up so you don’t make unnecessary car journeys, or share trips with your neighbours.
  • Share a bin with your neighbour(s). It would have to be registered at one address though.

If I decide I don’t want to pay this charge, what can I do with my green bin(s)? Toggle accordion

Please keep hold of your unwanted bin(s) (or bags) for the time being. If you would like us to take them away, we will be arranging to collect in any unwanted bins or bags from January 2022. This is to allow time for the service to settle in and to save the cost of lots of journeys. Please contact Veolia on 01727 809019 from January 2022 onwards to arrange this.

In the meantime, you can use them for storage in your garden.