Garden waste collections - your questions answered

When can I sign up and pay?

The 2019/20 garden waste service started on 3 June 2019 and you can sign up and pay for the service whenever you want.

The charge is an annual charge and covers the 12 months period from 3 June 2019 until 2 June 2020.

Will there be any interruption to my service?

When you sign up and pay you will be advised of the date of your first collection. No collection will be undertaken during the Christmas and New Year period.

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 consider sharing a bin with a neighbour.

What colour bin is required for garden waste?

For your garden waste collection you will require a brown bin.

When will I get my brown bin?

Once you have successfully submitted your request, you will be given an expected delivery date for your brown bin.

Can I have more than one brown bin?

You can have additional brown bins emptied at a cost of £25 each per year.

If you don’t already have the brown bins that you need, you will have to 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.

How do I sign up and pay for the service?

You can pay by debit or credit card. If you are having difficulty paying the garden waste charge by credit or debit card you may wish to ask a family member to assist you.

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

For the 2019/20 collection year you can sign up online from 11 March 2019, which is the quickest and easiest way to sign up. If you are unable to access the website, the Customer Services team will be able to sign you up over the phone from 3 May 2019. You can still sign up part way through the year, the cost is the same.

What if I decide not to sign up and pay?

If you have a brown bin please retain it at your property for future use.

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.

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 transferable. 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 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 the garden waste service?

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 bin with your neighbour which will reduce the cost for both of you.

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.

Where can I get a compost bin from?

There is a composting bin scheme available across Lancashire. Visit the Lancashire composting website get composting (external link) or call the bin ordering line on 0844 571 4444.

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?

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 a warning 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 item or it 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.

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

No refunds will be given.

If I have a gardener – what should I 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.

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 computer 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.

Will I still receive a subscription pack if stickers aren't being used?

You will receive an information pack explaining the service, the terms and conditions of service and some helpful Frequently Asked Questions.

If you provide an email address when you subscribed this will be automatically emailed to you. If you do not have an email address it will be sent by post to your home address.

Do I have to start using a blue bin instead of a blue box?

When blue bins were first implemented, residents were given the option to retain their blue boxes, however they were informed at that time that no replacement blue boxes would be issued in future and that a blue bin would be provided. At the time the bin would have been free of charge, however containers are now chargeable.

WLBC are now moving to a wheelie bin collection service across the Borough with effect from October 2018 and residents are required to purchase a blue bin accordingly to contain glass, cans & plastic bottles.

What if I buy a blue bin after 31 October 2018

A blue bin purchased after 31 October will incur a £25 charge in line with Council policy.

Why have WLBC decided to move to an all wheelie bin collection system?

The current blue boxes are often inadequate for the volume of glass, cans and plastic bottles that many residents have to recycle. Additionally the blue bag is inadequate for the paper and cardboard waste which can end up strewn along the street on collection days, particularly in windy weather conditions.  The wheelie bins provide greater capacity for residents to recycle and contains all the waste.

Also, consideration must be given to protecting the welfare of our employees from a health & safety perspective.  Currently WLBC are unable to control the weight of the blue boxes (or other receptacles that are sometimes presented by residents) which poses a risk to staff.  Presenting the waste in a wheelie bin ensures a streamlined service whereby all waste is contained appropriately and removes unnecessary lifting and bending.

Currently, residents with blue boxes often present a variety of mixed recyclable in the blue boxes – blue bags are often placed on top making the operation slower and inefficient.

The green bin is the receptacle for paper and cardboard recycling and the blue bin will continue to be utilised for glass, cans and plastic bottles.

The house I moved into has only ever had a blue box, I didn't refuse the blue bin but the previous resident did. Do I still have to pay for a blue bin?

Yes, as with the provision of all bins, they are a chargeable item. They can be ordered via the website or by contacting Customer Services.  There are no agreed concessions, charges for bins have been in place since 2014.