Garden Waste Subscription Service

Our garden waste collection is now an opt-in paid subscription service. If you wish to continue receiving fortnightly green-lidded bin collections you will need to subscribe and pay an annual fee.

Subscriptions for the 2023 collection season (starting in March and ending in November) are now closed. Subscriptions for the 2024 season (starting in March and ending in November) will open in January 2024.

How does it work and what is the cost?

  • To continue having your garden waste collected, you need to sign up to the new paid subscription service. Those who are unable to access the internet can call our Customer Services on 01442 228000.
  • The annual subscription charge is £45 per wheeled bin. All extra green-lidded bins will be charged at the same rate.
  • Once subscribed you will receive a subscription sticker with a unique serial number within 10 working days. You will need to attach this to the body of your green-lidded bin to make it eligible for collection. If a bin does not have a sticker attached then there will be no collection.
  • Green-lidded bins are collected fortnightly from the beginning of March until the end of November. Find out when your next collection is

What are the alternatives?

If you decide not to sign up to the paid service, there are many ways you can still recycle your garden waste. You can compost it in a home composting bin and turn it into valuable and nutrient-rich food for your garden, or take it to your local recycling centre.

Terms and conditions

Please view our full  Garden Waste Subscription Service terms and conditions (PDF 139KB).

Frequently asked questions

For further information, please see our frequently asked questions below:

Why the service is changing

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  • Why are you charging?

    Not everyone needs a garden waste collection service. The majority of residents who live in flats do not manage their own gardens and so do not need this service. Many residents do not create enough garden waste to warrant a fortnightly collection, or already choose to have compost bins to break down their garden waste. Making the service a paid-for subscription means that only those who are using the service are paying for it. This makes it fairer for everybody and enables Council Tax to be spent more effectively.

  • I already pay Council Tax, why are you charging me twice?

    The Council Tax that you pay helps to provide mandatory services, which have to be prioritised. Garden waste is a discretionary service, not a mandatory one, meaning that it is a service we are not legally required to provide. Having a self-funded, optional service for garden waste will help us to protect our other essential public services.

  • Do other councils charge for collecting garden waste?

    More than two thirds of councils in England currently charge for this service and, with increased financial pressures, unfortunately we can no longer offer this discretionary service without collecting a subscription charge. We will be joining the majority of other councils in Hertfordshire who all charge for garden waste collections. This includes St Albans, Watford, Three Rivers, East Herts, North Herts, Broxbourne and Welwyn Hatfield.

  • Will this be added to my Council Tax bill?

    No, this is an opt-in service. By introducing a paid-for subscription it means that only those who are using the service are paying for it. This makes it fairer for everybody and enables Council Tax to be spent more effectively.

  • What happens if I cannot afford the new service charge?

    For those in receipt of Council Tax Support (not including single occupancy discounts), a reduced rate of £35 will be available. Alternatively, you can compost your waste at home or take it to your local recycling centre.

  • Why was I not consulted on this?

    Garden waste is a discretionary service, not a statutory one. This means that it is a service that we are not legally required to provide. We will always seek to consult on statutory services.

    Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, the service is no longer viable and it would be unfair for it to be funded through the public purse as not all residents require garden waste collection - for example, those who live in flats. As such, the decision was made to make it a subscription service, so that those who require it still have this option. Therefore, a consultation was not required.

  • How can I complain about this decision?

    We understand that some residents may wish to complain. However, we will not be in a position to respond as this is a policy decision that we have had to make.

Subscribing to the service

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  • If I sign up after collections have begun, how much do I pay?

    The annual fee of £45 will remain the same throughout the year. We encourage residents to sign up to the service before collections begin in March to ensure that they receive best value for money. 

  • Can I have a refund if I cancel the subscription during the year?

    No, if you decide to cancel the service (for example, if you move out of the borough) during the year, we are unable to offer a refund.

  • If I subscribe, when does my service start?

    Green-lidded bin collections will be the same as is on your bin collection calendar.

    Once you have subscribed to the service, we aim to get your sticker (and extra bins if ordered) delivered to you within 10 working days of payment. Your green-lidded bin will not be collected until the subscription sticker is in place, and will then be collected at the next scheduled collection. For this reason, we encourage residents to sign up to the service as early as possible - ideally in January - to ensure that you have everything in place before collections start.

    Delivery of bins and stickers may be affected by matters outside our control (for example unexpected high demand, postal issues).

  • I don’t want my green-lidded bin. When are you taking it away?

    To help our collection crews manage the transition to the new service we are asking residents to keep hold of their green-lidded bins for the time being, regardless of whether you would like to subscribe to the new service or not. Once the transition period is over, we will put in place arrangements for residents to request removal of unwanted green-lidded bins. More information will be published on this page when the removal service is available.

    If you ask for your green-lidded bin to be removed, then later decide to subscribe and need a new bin, there will be a charge of £25 to provide a new green-lidded bin.

  • Can I share a bin with a neighbour?

    Yes. This is a great way to keep costs down for both neighbours. You will need to decide which neighbour will pay for the service and ensure that the bin is stored on their property ready for collection.

    It is the responsibility of individuals to split the costs between them. We will not get involved in any disputes from neighbours who decide to share a bin.

  • Can I have more than one green-lidded bin?

    Yes, you can have an unlimited number of extra green-lidded bins for each household. Each bin will require a valid annual subscription sticker costing £45. This means that you cannot purchase an additional bin for storage purposes only. If you previously had extra bins through the Additional Garden Waste Subscription Service, then you can continue to use these as long as you ensure they all have a valid annual subscription sticker.

    If you do not yet have extra green-lidded bins and would like to purchase some, these will be at an additional charge of £25 per bin. You can order and pay for this through the same link as the subscription service.

  • Will you collect additional garden waste that won't fit into the green-lidded bin?

    No. We will only collect what is stored within the bins and they should not be overfilled. If they are too heavy for the collection crews to be lifted or moved safely, then they will not be collected. You will then be responsible for ensuring your bin is suitable for the next collection. The collection crews will not return until the next scheduled collection. Crews will also not collect extra waste left on top of or at the side of the bins.

    If you are frequently generating excess garden waste, you may wish to buy an additional green-lidded bin, or a home composter.

  • I live in a block of flats - can I have a garden waste subscription?

    No. This service is currently not available for flats.

  • If I rent my home, who should sign up - me or my landlord?

    This is a matter for discussion with your landlord. We cannot decide this.

  • If my green-lidded bin is missed, do I get a refund?

    No. If your green-lidded bin is not collected because it fails to meet the standards set out in our terms and conditions - such as contamination with the wrong materials, being too heavy, overloaded or not being on the property boundary in time for collection - then it is your responsibility to resolve the issue before the next scheduled collection.

    If the bin is missed accidentally, then it must be reported to us within 48 hours and we will aim to send our collection crews to you within five working days.

    In cases where the collection is missed beyond our control (for example, severe weather), keep your green-lidded bins out and we will do our best to collect where possible. 

  • I currently have a garden waste sack collection. Can I still subscribe?

    Yes. To continue having your garden waste collected you will need to purchase a garden waste subscription, which costs £45 . You will receive sacks within 10 working days of your subscription purchase. Garden waste sacks are only available for residents who already have a garden waste sack collection.

  • Can I swap my garden waste sacks for a green-lidded bin?

    Yes. If you think you have space on your property for a green-lidded bin and would like to swap your garden waste sacks for a green-lidded bin, please email before you purchase your garden waste subscription.

How the service works

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