Garden waste collections - your questions answered

When can I sign up and pay?

The 2020/21 garden waste service starts on 1 June 2020 and you can sign up and pay for the service on the Council website with effect from 11 May 2020 onwards.

Create or sign in to your account to subscribe to garden waste

Residents cannot subscribe to for the 2020/21 subscription year over the phone.

The charge is an annual charge and covers the 12 months period from 1 June until 31 May.

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 collections will be undertaken during the two week 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 wish to consider sharing a bin with a neighbour.

Why can I only subscribe online?

We are able to offer an online subscription garden waste service during the Coronavirus restrictions. An online subscription service does not require any additional resource from our teams who are being deployed to ensure all essential services and a vulnerable resident service can continue during the pandemic.

The majority of our garden waste subscribers subscribe online as it is the quickest and easiest way to continue your subscription.

How do I set up a self-service account?

If you don't already have a self-service account, please click here to register.

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 out Garden Waste Collections page.

I subscribed online last year, however I cannot remember my self-serve account details, what do I do?

If you still have the same email address you used to register a self-service account but have forgotten your password, please click here for the login page 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'.

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.

If your new home doesn't have a brown bin then you can buy one here for £25.      

Can I pay by direct debit?

We are looking to launch a direct debit option in the near future as a convenient way to ensure your subscription automatically renews each year unless you choose to cancel. Until this service is available you can pay securely online via debit or credit card only.

When will my collection take place?

There are no changes to current advertised collection days and the Council will continue to empty your bins every two weeks (except for the two week Christmas and New Year period when collections are suspended.)

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.

To check your collection day, put your address or postcode into the "Your West Lancashire" panel on this page.

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?

If you have requested a brown bin, once you have successfully submitted your new subscription request, you will be given an expected delivery date for your brown bin. If you are an existing subscriber, you will already have a 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 sign up and pay by debit or credit card only on the Council's website. If you are having difficulty paying the garden waste charge by credit or debit card or signing up online 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 2020/21 collection year you can sign up online from 11 May 2020, 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, 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 will have a 14 day 'cooling off' period when you can change your mind and receive a refund. You will need to do this online through the Council's website. 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 to another address within the Borough. If you move to another property within 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 you move to a property where payment has already been made, you will receive the collection service for the remainder of that 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. N.B. The HWRC's are operated by Lancashire County Council, not West Lancashire Borough Council. 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. Please check Lancashire County Councils website (external link) for opening times.

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 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 wheelie 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 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 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 do not 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 an advisory 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 via email explaining the service, the terms and conditions of service and some helpful Frequently Asked Questions.