2021 garden waste collection FAQs

When can I register for garden waste collections in 2021?
Registration for the public opened on 12th January. The collection service starts from 1st March 2021.

When will my bin be delivered?
Once you place your order you will receive your new bin/s within 14 days.

Why have you changed to garden waste wheeled bins?
The reasons we have changed to bins are:

  • When we asked customers which they would prefer the majority asked for bins. The results from the recent garden waste public survey can be viewed here.
  • Bins are more environmentally friendly, they will be made from recycled plastic and are recyclable themselves at the end of life. The bags are not.
  • Bins offer better value for money, to keep the same service as we currently have we needed to increase the cost of a bag to over £40 to cover the cost of running the service.
  • Bins can be wheeled by residents and do not have to be carried or lifted.
  • Bins are better for the Health & Safety of our collection crews as the bins can be wheeled and mechanically lifted. Whereas the bags have to be lifted above shoulder height to be tipped into the collection vehicle.
  • Bins offer clean storage.
  • Bins can be used to store waste over the non-collection winter months.

How do I use the wheeled bin?
You should store your garden waste bin on your property. Fill it with garden waste, ensure that the lid is closed. Your bin has two wheels on the same side as the handle. Tilt the bin so it is on the two wheels and you will be able to manoeuvre it. Place your bin at the kerbside before 7am on your day of collection. After collection return your bin to your property.

What are the dimensions of the wheeled bin?
The dimensions are: 58.2cm width (at top rim) x 72.4cm depth x 106.6cm overall height (lid closed).
The wheeled bins have a 240 litre capacity.
A wheeled bin is the equivalent of 3 of the old brown bags (80 litre each).

When will my garden waste be collected?
The garden waste bins will be collected once a fortnight from 1st March 2021 to 3rd December 2021.
Your collection day will have changed from last year. Please visit Local Info to see your new collection day.

What should I do with the garden waste bags?
You do not need to return them to the council. You can use them as you choose to. They can still be useful in the garden.

Will I get a permit with a wheeled bin?
You will not receive a physical permit this year. A record of your subscription to the garden waste service will be stored electronically and the collection crews will have a system that tells them which properties have paid for the service.

What if I can’t store a bin?
In general, a wheeled bin takes up no more space than bags. If you cannot store a wheeled bin due to having no space between the front of the property and the public highway, we will work with our residents to ensure the service is still available to them. Please contact the council by calling: 01633 644644.

What if I can’t move a bin?
The bins can be wheeled so they are easy for residents to manoeuvre and do not have to be carried or lifted like a bag. If no member of the household is physically able to manoeuvre a wheeled bin we will work with you to ensure the service is still available to you. Please contact the council by calling: 01633 644644.

Will there be another break in the garden waste service?
Key services were prioritised during the Covid19 lockdown and we are still in a state of national crisis where following social distancing rules is of utmost importance. We will do our very best to keep the garden waste service running normally but this cannot be guaranteed.

How can I manage my garden waste at home?
Raising the cutting height on blades and mowing more frequently without collecting grass cuttings will help to fertilize the ground and reduce the amount of waste that needs disposing of.
Home composting is an easy alternative for dealing with grass cuttings, leaves and hedge trimmings.
You don’t need a compost bin, just a small area set aside for a simple compost heap will do. If it’s in a sunny spot the grass cuttings will rot down quickly so this can be a practical solution while garden collections are on hold.
A garden compost heap can be beneficial to insects and wildlife at a time when nature also needs a home. Wild patches of grass, hedges and tree canopy also play a huge part in the fight against Climate Change.

Can I burn my garden waste?
Please do not burn garden or any other waste. Environmental health officers are receiving a large increase in complaints and have appealed to the county’s residents to be good neighbours during these difficult times.  People with existing respiratory problems and those recovering from Covid-19 need to be protected from poor air quality, including smoke from bonfires.

What does the seasonal garden waste service cover?
The garden waste collection service is seasonal and covers collections from March to November.

Why is the service seasonal?
During the winter months there is a substantial reduction in service usage, meaning the service is underutilised and inefficient.

As a direct response to the increasing pressure on Council budgets we were faced with the difficult decision to either increase the charges significantly to cover a full year service, or deliver a seasonal service and maintain current charging levels. The options were assessed by Councillors at both Cabinet and Strong Community Select committees and the preferred option was for a seasonal garden waste service.

Can I put food waste in my garden waste bag?
All food waste including peelings must be put in your food waste box and not in the garden waste bag. This is particularly important as food will be collected separately to garden waste later in the year. Food waste will be going to a separate anaerobic digestion facility. Garden waste will be composted locally and cannot contain food waste under new waste regulations.
Alternatively food waste can be composted at home.

What happens to the material?
Welsh Government legislation requires us to collect food and garden waste separately later this year. The food waste will be going to anaerobic digestion in Bridgend which creates electricity and soil fertiliser. Garden will be sent to be composted locally at a facility in Abergavenny.

Why do I have to pay for garden waste collections?
There is no legislative duty to collect garden waste and under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 councils can make a charge to recover collection costs.

Why isn’t it included in my Council Tax?
Not all residents need garden waste collected so it would be unfair to charge for it through Council Tax. Many compost at home and use the soil improver in their gardens.

Is the Council making money from selling the compost?
No – the council is only allowed to recover costs for garden waste collection. We have to manage the disposal costs without passing on these charges to residents. Disposal costs are currently in excess of £210,000 per year.

What else can I do with my garden waste if I don’t want a permit or during the winter months?
The best way to deal with garden waste is to use a home compost bin, these can be purchased from a local garden centre.
Household Waste Recycling Centres are open year round for free disposal of garden waste.
Alternatively you could store the waste to place out for collection in March (upon purchase of a new permit).

Will my Christmas tree be collected?
As the service is now seasonal and will not be operation during the winter months, Christmas trees will not be collected. Household Waste Recycling Centres will accept trees as will some garden centres.

What do I do with my compostable pet waste in winter?
If you have a vegetarian pet you can dispose of that material in the same ways as noted above or store the waste until the March collection (upon purchase of a permit for the next year).

What happens to the garden waste after it’s collected?
It goes for composting and the resulting product gets used on agricultural land to improve the soil. Some of the garden waste produced in Monmouthshire is treated on a farm in Abergavenny and re-used locally.

What about winter pruning and leaf fall?
We have tried to capture the main gardening season including leaf fall and winter pruning. You can take additional material to the Household Waste Recycling Centres or store it for collections in March (upon purchase of a permit for the next year).

Will seasonal collections result in more fly tipping?
Neighbouring authorities who provide a seasonal garden waste collection have not seen an increase in fly tipping.