Garden waste collections
A fortnightly garden waste collection service is offered to subscribers using a wheeled bin or compostable paper sacks. Prices and service and order details are shown below.
Annual renewal notices for wheeled bins are issued to subscribers and start from 1st April each year (1st March in West Somerset). New subscriptions can start from anytime during the year, but the full year fee will still apply for collections until renewals are due. Refunds cannot be issued for cancelling the service during the year.
Garden waste collections are fortnightly and normally on the alternate week to your refuse collection, although round arrangements for some involve a different day. There are no garden waste collections in the two weeks following Christmas and garden waste collections may be suspended during periods of severe weather. Garden waste collections will not take place 25 December 2013 – 7 January 2014, resuming from Wednesday 8 January 2014 on usual days.
Garden waste is only collected in the pre-paid bins or sacks ordered from district councils. Wheeled bin lids should be closed when put out for collection.
Garden waste collection service charges for 2013/14 are:
|District||Wheeled Bin||Sacks (10)|
(new trial for a two year option)
To place an order for garden waste collections click on district name in table above. Orders can be placed online, except for West Somerset, who can take by phone. Collection days can also be checked online for all districts or by contacting customer services.
The following can be recycled in your garden waste bin or sack:
- Flowers, plants and garden weeds
- Grass cuttings, leaves and hedge trimmings
- Small branches (less than 10cm or 4 inches width)
- Straw or sawdust (if bedding material, then only from vegetarian pets, such as rabbits, but not micro-pigs or racing pigeons)
Please do NOT put the following out with your garden waste: plastic bags, flower pots, kitchen food waste, cat litter, dog poo, stones, rubble, soil, large branches or logs and Japanese Knotweed or Common Ragwort. Also see advice on Chalara dieback of ash trees.
How the garden waste is composted
Garden waste is delivered to one of a number of composting sites around Somerset. At a large-scale, composting occurs quickly and reaches high temperatures. The garden waste is first shredded and then stacked in long piles, known as windrows, which are regularly turned. The process is monitored and closely managed to quality standards. The end-product is screened and sold by our contractor Viridor as Revive soil conditioner.
Composting costs less than landfill and the income from sales helps to off-set the processing costs, but is not enough to cover collection costs too.
Other options and why we charge for garden waste collections
Garden waste can be home composted, which is the best option with most environmental benefits, or taken to a recycling site for composting. It should not be put out with rubbish for refuse collections, as it will then go to landfill and give off greenhouse gases as it breaks down. We advise not to burn garden waste which can also cause pollution and local nuisance.
Garden waste is not collected for free in Somerset. It is legally classed as household waste for which a collection charge may be made. Charging retains an incentive for home composting and means those wishing to use the service pay for the collections rather than all Council Tax payers.
Collection charges are set so they are close to covering the costs of the service, but the fees income is still slightly lower than the total costs for the collections.