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Garden waste collections - your questions answered

When will the change happen?

From 5 June 2017, a charge will be introduced for the collection of garden waste from households in West Lancashire.

How do I sign up and pay for the service?

You can pay by debit or credit card. There is a small charge for payment by credit card. If residents are having difficulty paying the garden waste charge by credit or debit card they may wish to ask a family member to assist them. Or they can talk to Customer Services to seek further advice and assistance on how to make a payment.

Do I need to sign up now, or can I sign up later in the year?

If you sign up and pay part way through the year, the cost is the same.

How much does it cost?

£30 each year for one bin to be emptied. There are no concessions and no reductions for residents who maintain grass verges or other areas outside of their property and clean up leaves or other vegetation that fall into their garden from nearby trees. The charge is the same for everyone.

Why did the Council introduce this charge?

West Lancashire Borough Council has introduced a charge for the collection of garden waste, which came into effect from June 2017. 

Whilst the garden waste service has previously been provided free of charge, like many other Councils facing significant funding reductions, the Council now needs to charge for this discretionary service. A discretionary service is one that the Council is not legally obliged to provide. The charge will enable the Council to continue to provide the fortnightly service to residents who wish to sign up and pay. 

The same charge applies to all households.  However, in agreement with neighbours, residents can choose to divide the cost between them and share a bin/s. In order to do this, one of the residents concerned must organise it and register their name and property with the Council for the service.

What if I decide not to sign up and pay?

From 5 June 2017, your green bin will no longer be emptied. the green bin can remain at your property as you, or a future householder, may decide to sign up to the service at a later date.

Can I have more than one green bin emptied?

Yes. You can have more than one green bin emptied, at a charge of £25 per year for each additional bin. If you don't already have the green bins that you need, you will need to buy them from the Council at a cost of £23 each. You can buy bins online when you sign up and pay for the collection service.

If I buy additional bins, when will they be delivered?

You will receive your new bin(s) before your first collection under the new chargeable service. If you are not at home, we will leave the bin(s) at your property and put a delivery note through your door.

I need help to present my bin. Can I have an assisted collection?

Assisted collections are available depending on your circumstances. You can request an assisted collection online: Ask for assistance with your collection

Can I get a refund?

When you sign up you then have a 14 day period when you can change your mind and get a refund. After this period, no refunds will be given.

What happens if I move house?

The bin must be left at the property you are moving from. Payment for the garden waste service relates to the property and is not transferrable. if you move to another property in West Lancs where no payment has been made, you will have to sign up and pay at your new address if you want to receive the service. If you move to a property where payment for the service has already been made, you will receive the collection service for the remainder of the subscription period.

Is there any other way to dispose of garden waste?

You can take your garden waste to the household waste recycling centres at Glenburn Road, Skelmersdale and Abbey Lane, Burscough. You could also compost garden waste at home. You could also consider sharing a green bin with your neighbour, which will reduce the cost for both of you.

Where can I get a compost bin?

There is a composting bin scheme available across Lancashire with bin prices starting from £17.98 (plus £5.99 delivery).  Visit Lancashire Composting (external link) or call the bin ordering line on 0844 571 4444.

Can I put garden waste in my grey bin?

We encourage all residents to either use the garden waste collection service, home compost their garden waste or use the household waste recycling centres, to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.  If you choose to put garden waste in your grey bin, you may find that you don’t have enough room in your grey bin to dispose of household waste.  If you present your bin and it is too heavy or the lid won't close we will not empty your bin.  No additional side waste will be taken.

Can I put out garden waste in other containers for you to collect?

You can only use green wheelie bins supplied by the Council. We will not empty any other type of containers.

Will my collection day change?

There are no changes to the day of collection at present. Collections will still be made every two weeks. Garden waste collections are suspended around the Christmas and new year period. To check your collection day, type your address or post code into the "Your West Lancashire" panel on this page.

Signed up before 15 May?

Your first collection will be on your normal recycling collection day after 5 June, and there will be no interruption to your collections.

Signed up after 15 May?

In line with the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, there is a 14 day cancellation period, which starts from the day you sign up for the service, during which you are able to change your mind and get a refund. Your first collection will be on your normal recycling day after the 14 day cancellation period. So, there may be an interruption to your collections. If you put your bin(s) out before the first collection date, it may not get collected.

How will the collectors know who has paid for garden waste collections?

When you sign up and pay, we will send you an information pack with a subscription sticker for each bin you have paid for. If bins don't have stickers, they won't be emptied.

What happens if my bin isn't emptied?

Your bin may not be emptied if it contains the wrong items, is too heavy or the subscription sticker isn't visible. If this happens, we will put a label on the bin to let you know.  If you have met all the collection conditions and we fail to collect, please report the missed collection. Report a missed collection  online.

Do I get a refund if the Council fails to empty my bin?

No refunds will be given.

I have a gardener - what should they do?

A gardener should take the garden waste away and dispose of it as commercial waste as part of the service they provide to you.