How does garden waste collection work in the UK?

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Council Tax

We’ve already published a guide on which bin is which in the UK, but how does garden waste collection work?

For homes with a garden green waste disposal can be a regular inconvenience. Plant matter like cut grass, hedge trimmings and dead leaves can go in home compost or in special garden waste bins.

As with all waste collection in the UK, when and how you can use your garden waste bins depends on which district council area you live in.


Which bins are for garden waste collection?

While the colour of the general waste and recyclable waste bins vary in colour between areas, garden waste is almost always collected in a brown wheelie bin.

If you don’t have a garden waste bin, contact your Council directly. They will be able to arrange a replacement, though there may be a fee to pay.


What goes in garden waste bins?

What you can throw away in your garden waste bins also varies between local councils. Generally, they can be used for waste from your garden such as grass clippings and leaves. In some local areas, you can also use them to dispose of (cold) ashes and food waste.

Your council might distribute a leaflet about what to put in each bin. Alternatively, many bins have a sticker on the lid listing what can be put inside. If you’ve moved somewhere new and you’re not sure, the best place to find information is on your local council’s website.


How does garden waste collection work in my area?

As we mentioned above, garden waste collection varies from area to area. Garden waste is considered a ‘low priority’ service, so some local councils don’t offer any collection at all. Residents in these areas must arrange a private waste collection if needed.

In many districts, Councils collect garden waste in exchange for a fixed annual or monthly fee. In Southwark, London, for example, garden waste collection costs £80 a year, for which the Council collects the bin twice a month.

In some areas, the Council still operates a free monthly or fortnightly collection, such as in Leeds. The easiest way to find out how garden waste collection works in your area is to enter your postcode on the website here. 



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