Garden waste FAQs

We have put together the following frequently asked questions. We hope you find them useful. You can click on an item in the list below to jump to the questions on that topic.

About the charges

How much will the garden waste collections cost?
It will cost £36 a year per bin for the garden waste service in 2018.

What if I don't sign up straight away?
We are sorry but if you don't pay for the new service, we will not empty your green bin from January 2018. If you decide to sign up to the service at a later date, you will be charged £36 for the remainder of that calendar year regardless of when you sign up.

Why are you bringing in charges for the garden waste service?
Councils across the country are having to become financially self-sufficient as the government continues to withdraw funding. We know residents will not welcome the extra charge. However by introducing a producer-pays principle we are aiming to make the charge as fair as possible, as only households who use the service will pay extra for it. We are hopeful residents understand the financial pressures we face, and that by charging for the service, rather than stopping it, we can keep offering a garden waste service.

When was the decision made to charge for garden waste bins?
Lichfield District Council made the decision at a meeting of Cabinet on 4 April 2017. Tamworth Borough Council made the decision at a meeting of Full Council on 4 April 2017. We communicated the service change when the decision was made and through press releases and our website. To keep the costs of communicating the service change as low as possible, we have used the same distribution teams who send out our annual calendars to let local households know about the new service.

Don’t I already pay for this service through my council tax?
Council tax helps to provide a wide range of local council services and amenities including street cleansing, adult and social care, highways, libraries, Police and Fire. We are not required by law to offer garden waste collections. Whilst, in the past, we could afford to provide the service free of charge, in order to continue to provide the service, we now need to pass on the costs to those who want to use it, or not offer the service at all.

What will happen to the income the councils make from the charge?
The income from the subscription charge will help towards offsetting the cost of running the service and other vital council services.

Is it legal to charge for the collection of garden waste?
Yes, the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012 allows councils to charge for the collection of garden waste.

How to sign up and about your bin sticker

How can I sign up/pay? – Available from 15 December 2017
It’s really easy – visit
www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/mygardenbin
or www.tamworth.gov.uk/mygardenbin
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. You can also sign up by telephone on 0345 002 0022 however you should find that it is much easier online.

Can I pay by direct debit?
We have not launched direct debit yet, but hope to do so in the near future.

How long after I pay will my garden waste bin be emptied?
Your sticker should arrive within 10 days of payment. Once this has been received please stick this on either the front or back of your bin so that the crews can see it when they come to do the collections. Please then put your stickered bin out on your normal collection day before 7am.

Please note collections are suspended for 2 weeks over Christmas – check your recycling calendar for more details or visit
www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/bincalendar
or www.tamworth.gov.uk/bins

Benefits and discounts

Is there a reduction if I receive benefits?
Sorry, we are not offering discounts to residents who receive benefits.

Is there a reduction if I subscribe to more than one garden waste bin?
Sorry, but the cost is £36 per bin regardless of how many subscriptions you purchase.

I don’t need to put my bin out every fortnight, will I get a discount/reduction?
Sorry the charge is a fixed one for the calendar year, regardless of when you subscribe or how often you put the bin out for collection.

I can't afford it - what do I do with my bin and my garden waste?

Can I share a bin with a neighbour?
Why not share a garden waste bin with a neighbour? To share a bin with a neighbour, one of you will need to subscribe online and then agree to share the costs between yourselves. We are sorry but we do not offer a facility to join forces and purchase together online.

How do I start home composting?
Composting at home is a great alternative that is low-cost and also great for the environment and your garden. Find out more and order low cost home composting bins at www.getcomposting.com.

Can I take my garden waste to the tip?
There is also the option to dispose of your garden waste at a local tip or Household Waste Recycling Centre. Find out where your nearest tip is at www.tamworth.gov.uk/tips

What if I don't want my bin?
We are sorry but we are not offering a collection service for unwanted green bins. This is because you, or someone else who may move into your property in the future, may wish to sign up at a later date. We may also charge for green bin replacements in future. If you don't want to sign up, why not use your green bin for garden storage?

About the service and collection days

Will my collection day change?
Your collection day will remain the same, please check your waste and recycling calendar or log onto
www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/bincalendar
or www.tamworth.gov.uk/bins

How often will my bin be collected?
Collections will continue to be fortnightly on the same day as your blue bin. Collections are suspended for two weeks over Christmas and New Year although your black and blue bin collections will be collected during this time.

What happens on Bank Holidays?
Apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day when the garden waste service is suspended, there will be no changes to your usual day of collection if it falls on a Bank Holiday. 

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 the sticker is facing the road when you put your bin out.

What can I put in my garden bin? Find out more.

Can I line my bin or put my waste in bags/sacks?
Whilst we understand you wish to keep your bin clean, all garden waste must go into the bin loose. The reprocessor cannot accept bags/sacks because they get entangled in the machinery that shreds the garden waste and the shredded plastic also contaminates the compost which is produced.

What if I don't want my bin?
We are sorry but we are not offering a collection service for unwanted green bins. This is because you, or someone else who may move into your property in the future, may wish to sign up at a later date. We may also charge for green bin replacements in future. If you don't want to sign up, why not use your green bin for garden storage?

About missed collections

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 3 working days.

Why do missed bins have to be reported by the end of the next working day?
It is necessary to impose a deadline because it allows the truck we use for missed collections to work in a confined zone rather than having to collect from properties across both districts. This improves our efficiency and helps keep the cost of the service down.

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, we will not offer any refunds.

What happens if the garden waste is reported as frozen and not emptied?
If the crew are unable to empty the bin because the contents are frozen then unfortunately we won’t be able to return because it is likely that several thousand bins will also be affected and we do not have the resources to do so. On the morning of collection we recommend you loosen the contents of your bin if it has been frosty and check that the lid will open.

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 we will not return before the next scheduled collection. Please remove the wrong items so the bin can be emptied the next time it is due.

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 we 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 7am 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?
Sorry, no we are not able to take any extra garden waste or empty bins that are overloaded or too heavy. If the crew report a bin as heavy/overloaded/has a raised lid 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 a second bin?

About assisted collections

I currently receive 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 service as the black and blue bins.

Moving house and lost stickers

What if I move house?
If you move to another address within Lichfield District or Tamworth Borough you can move your garden waste subscription to your new address. Please contact us on 0345 002 0022 to arrange this. 

If you move out of the area, we are sorry but we do not offer refunds.

What if I lose my sticker?
If you lose your sticker please contact us on 0345 002 0022 and we will make arrangements for a replacement to be sent to you. Unfortunately your bin will not be collected if it does not display a sticker so please get in touch as soon as possible.

Leaves, flytipping and more

I have to use my bin to dispose of leaves that fall from council or neighbours 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 as it is their property.

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 either the night before or by 7am 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 councils now charge for garden waste collections and there is no evidence that this has resulted in increased fly tipping.