Garden waste collections - your questions answered
Head back to the garden waste page to subscribe here.
When can I sign up and pay?
The 2023/24 garden waste service starts on 1st June 2023, and you can sign up and pay for the service on the council website with effect from 27th April 2023 onwards. Please sign up online.
Create or sign into your account to subscribe to garden waste.
The charge is an annual charge and covers the 12 months period from 1st June 2023 until 31st May 2024.
How long does my subscription last?
The subscription year runs from 1st June 2023 to 31st May 2024. If you subscribe later in the year the end date of your subscription will remain unchanged.
How much does the service 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 their property and clean up leaves or other vegetation that fall into their garden from nearby trees. The charge is the same for everyone. To reduce the cost, you may wish to consider sharing a bin with a neighbour. If your home doesn't have a brown bin then you can buy one at www.westlancs.gov.uk/gardenwaste for £25.
Why is there a charge for the service?
For the council to be able to run the garden waste collection service, we charge a small fee to support the delivery of the service.
When will my collections take place?
The council will empty your garden waste bins every two weeks (except for the two-week Christmas and New Year period when collections are suspended.)
To check your collection day, put your address or postcode into the "Your West Lancashire" panel on this page where you can also download a calendar.
Will there be any interruption to my service?
If you sign up before 31st May 2023 there will be no interruption to your service. Please be reminded that no collections will be undertaken during the Christmas and New Year period.
Why should I subscribe online?
We are able to offer online subscriptions to our garden waste collection service payable by direct debit, debit or credit card. The majority of our garden waste subscribers subscribe online as it is the quickest and easiest way to continue your subscription.
I subscribed by direct debit last year, what do I need to do?
No action is needed, and your subscription will automatically renew each year unless you choose to cancel. Your direct debit payment will be taken in advance annually on or around 1st April each year. If you have insufficient funds in your account, your subscription will automatically cancel.
How do I set up a self-service account?
If you don't already have a self-service account, you can register for one by visiting www.portal.westlancs.gov.uk/selfserve.
Once you have created an account, activate your account by clicking on the link in your email.
Once your self-service account has been activated, visit: www.westlancs.gov.uk/gardenwaste.
I subscribed online last year, however I couldn't remember my self-serve account details this time, what can I do?
If you still have the same email address, you used to register a self-service account but have forgotten your password then please visit www.portal.westlancs.gov.uk/selfserve and press the forgotten password button. Then type your email address in the box, press the request password reset and follow any further instructions.
If you have forgotten your password and your email address, or you have a new email address, then you will need to create a new account. But don't worry, it is simple to do and only takes a few minutes. Just follow the instructions under 'How do I subscribe online'.
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 transferable. If you move to another property in West Lancashire 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 your new home doesn't have a brown bin, then you can buy one at www.westlancs.gov.uk/gardenwaste for £25. If you move to a property where payment has already been made, you will receive the collection service for the remainder of the subscription period.
If you pay by direct debit you will need to cancel your existing direct debit and set up a new direct debit when you re-subscribe at your new address.
If you have moved house and are still using the same email address then you don't need to set up a new self-service account however you will need to change your address on the account to your new address.
What payment options do I have?
You can pay online by debit or credit card, or by direct debit. You can pay over the phone by debit or credit card. Residents that are having difficulty paying by debit or credit card may wish to ask a family member or friend to assist them. For alternative payment methods, please contact customer services.
Do I need to sign up now, or can I sign up later in the year?
For the 2023/24 collection year you can sign up online from 27th April 2023. You can still sign-up part way through the year but please note that the cost is the same and your collections will still only run until 31st May 2024.
What colour bin is required for garden waste?
For your garden waste collection, you will require a brown bin.
Can I have more than one brown bin?
You can have additional brown bins emptied, however you will need to purchase additional subscriptions for each bin at a discounted rate of £25 each per year.
If you don't already have the brown bins that you need, you can buy them from the Council at a cost of £25 each.
If I buy additional bins, when will they be delivered?
Once you have successfully submitted your request, you will be given an expected delivery date for your brown bin.
Can I share a bin with my neighbour?
Yes, but one household will need to sign up and pay and take responsibility for the subscription. The bin must also be presented on collection day at the property where the bin has been signed up from.
What if I decide not to sign up and pay next year?
If you decide not to sign up next year, please retain your brown bin at your property in case you choose to re-subscribe in the future.
Can I cancel my subscription?
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. If you put your bin(s) out before the first collection date, it may not get collected and you will be expected to wait until your next collection date.
If you cancel a Direct Debit because you no longer wish to receive the service in the subsequent year, please contact your bank to cancel the payment for the following year. In the event of any failed payment, the Service will be withdrawn. No refunds will be given for part years or unexpired annual subscription periods.
Can I get a refund?
When you sign up you will have a 14 day 'cooling off' period when you can change your mind and receive a refund. After this period, no refunds will be given. You will need to do this online through the Council's website.
Is there any other way to dispose of garden waste?
You could compost garden waste at home or consider sharing a brown bin with your neighbour which will reduce the cost for both of you.
Alternatively, you can take your garden waste to the household waste recycling centres at Glenburn Road, Skelmersdale and Abbey Lane, Burscough. N.B. The HWRC's are operated by Lancashire County Council, not West Lancashire Borough Council. Please check Lancashire County Council's website for opening times: www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/recycling-centres/ (External link).
What if I don't subscribe to the garden waste service but have garden waste to dispose of?
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.
Where can I get a compost bin from?
You can purchase home compost bins at www.GetComposting.com website (external link) which has a Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price offer. Bins are delivered straight to your door with full instructions on how to get started.
Can I put garden waste in other containers for you to collect?
You can only use brown wheeled bins supplied by the council. We will not empty any other type of containers.
How will the collectors know who has paid for the garden waste service?
A subscription at a property can be cross referenced with the computer software system on board the collection vehicle. If a household hasn't subscribed and present their bin for collection an advisory label will be placed on the bin. Please ensure your house number is clearly marked on your bin.
What happens if my bin isn't emptied?
It may be because it contains the wrong items or is too heavy. 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 a missed collection online here.
Do I get a refund if the council fail to empty my bin?
No refunds will be given, however you can report a missed collection online here.
Will I get a sticker for my brown bin?
You will no longer need a sticker to notify the crews of a valid subscription. The crews will cross reference the property with the integrated incab system on board the collection vehicle to see if it has signed up to the service. Where a property hasn't signed up and the bin is presented for collection a warning label will be placed on the bin.