Garden waste FAQs

Read our garden waste permit FAQs.

While there is a legal obligation for us to collect food waste, the same legal obligation doesn't apply to garden waste.

Along with many other local authorities, we're facing significant budget challenges and to ensure key frontline services are protected, we've increased this charge for residents who wish to continue to have their garden waste collected.

The price for the 2023/24 permit is £50.

Following confirmation of the 23/24 permit price, we changed the renewal date to allow residents time to purchase their new permits. From 1 May 2023 only bins with a 23/24 permit will have garden waste collected. We've also extended 22/23 permit garden waste collections until week commencing 24 April 2023.

Yes. Households can purchase an additional permit and have two bins emptied each week. The cost of the additional permit is £110 which includes £50 for the permit and £60 for a new brown bin. This will be limited to 5,000 households. While some households may have a spare brown bin, any household wishing to have a second permit must also purchase a new bin to ensure that it is in good working order and won't need replaced throughout the year. If you have any spare, unused bins, you can request that they are removed.

Your brown bin will be collected each week with the exception of the Christmas and New Year period.

2023/24 collections begin on Monday 1 May.

When your permit arrives, peel the permit from the backing paper and attach the sticker to the back of your brown bin, below the handle. The sticker must be applied to a clean dry, surface and not over an existing sticker.

2023/24 collections begin on Monday 1 May. 

If you have difficulty removing your 2022/23 permit, the manufacturer recommends using 90%+ isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.

Once you have purchased your permit it can take up to 10 working days to arrive.

If 10 working days have passed and you haven't received your permit, please email garden.waste@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0141 577 3615.

Your collections will begin when your permit is attached to your brown bin.

No. Council tax only accounts for around 20% of the funding and income we receive.

A detailed breakdown of the how your council tax is spent is available on our 'Council tax FAQs' web page.

The majority of councils in Scotland are either charging for garden waste collections, considering implementing a charge or not collecting this waste at all. 

Food waste can be put into the brown bin and this will be collected from each household every week.

If a resident only wishes for their food waste to be collected, they don't have to do anything. Food waste only brown bins will continue to be collected weekly without the need to apply for a permit.

If you don't purchase a permit and decide you don't wish to keep your brown bin for food waste only, you'll need to dispose of your food waste within your general waste bin, which may take away your useable space for other general waste items.

Should you decide that you don't wish to keep your brown bin you can email us at garden.waste@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk.

Residents who choose to purchase a permit will be issued with a sticker that must be attached to their brown bin. The permit sticker will include your address, so can't be used on bins at different addresses. When brown bins are collected by us we'll be able to quickly identify who has a permit and we'll empty that bin.  

As in the current arrangements for collection, when you present your bin for collection the lid should be closed down.  Bins that are presented that don't have the lid down will not be collected and you'll have to remove the waste and present the bin the following week for collection.

Permits for 2023/24 will be a different colour to the 2022/23 permit.

Our teams will undertake checks to ensure there is no garden waste in the brown bin if a permit sticker isn't attached. If it's found that garden waste has been put into the bin and the resident hasn't paid for this service, the bin won't be emptied. The resident will then need to dispose of the garden waste themselves such as composting it or taking it to one of our recycling centres at Greenhags or Barrhead.

Alternatively, any resident can pay a one-off fee of £35 for a single uplift of their bin. Please note, this is only if the brown bin contains garden waste and no permit is in place. If any other waste is found to be contained within the bin, the resident will need to either remove this personally or pay a special uplift charge of £50.

Residents who don't want to purchase a permit can either dispose of their garden waste at one of our recycling centres at Greenhags or Barrhead or can compost it in their garden. Visit the Zero Waste Scotland website for information on composting.

There are no discounts or exemptions available. If you can't afford a permit contact Customer Services..

The normal Assisted Collection Service will continue for food waste collections. If residents in receipt of the Assisted Collection Service still wish their garden waste to be collected they must purchase a permit. 

You can report a missed bin online.

Residents who currently share a bin for their food and/or garden waste in flats can continue to do this for garden waste as long as one of the residents applies and pays for the permit.

Please note, Neighbourhood Services won't become involved in any neighbour dispute over payment to another neighbour.

If a resident employs the services of a gardener the waste is classified as commercial waste. The gardener must take this away with them after finishing their work and dispose of this as commercially generated waste.

This would be classified as fly-tipping and the individual would be risking a fine. You can report fly-tipping online.

The introduction of the new scheme has not lead to an increase in fly tipping.

There will be no discount depending on the time of year when you sign up to the scheme. If existing residents or new residents to East Renfrewshire choose to join the scheme part way through the year the charge will still be the full cost of the permit.

The permit is issued for the household only, not to a named individual, and isn't transferable.

Thanks to our residents, East Renfrewshire has achieved one of the highest recycling rates in Scotland since 2016 and we will be disposing of all garden waste as it was before, so there will be no change in our recycling performance.

Should your brown bin get damaged by our vehicle or staff, you are entitled to a replacement free of charge.

You should also order a replacement permit. This will be free of charge.

Yes, any resident with a permit will be entitled to have their Christmas tree collected.

Those without a permit will be charged £15 per tree for collection if they request the service.

In both instances, we will only collect trees which have been broken down and placed in your brown bin. No trees will be lifted from the pavement.

Anyone who has a permit and is on our assisted collection list can have one tree lifted by staff on their brown bin collection day. The tree doesn't need to be broken down and should be left beside the brown bin.

As an alternative, we will be providing a chipping service at Rouken Glen and Cowan Park. Residents will be able to dispose of their Christmas tree free of charge and the resultant chippings will be used within parks and open space areas.

Read the latest information on Christmas tree collection.

The Contract:

1. This Contract sets out the terms and conditions of East Renfrewshire Council's Chargeable Garden Waste Collection Service Contract. By agreeing to pay for the service you will be accepting these terms and conditions

Eligibility:

2. The Chargeable Garden Waste Collection Service is available to those households who currently have a Food/Garden Waste (Brown) Bin at their premises.

3. Only containers provided by East Renfrewshire Council will be collected under the terms of the scheme. 

Charges:

4. A charge will be levied to all households participating in the garden waste scheme which will be payable in advance of the scheme in one lump sum.  Changes will be notified via the Council's Charging for Services process.

5. For residents who have secured an additional brown bin via the formal application process, there will be a charge for the cost of the new container as well as a further permit.  All additional bin costs are notified via the Council's Charging for Services process.

Nature of scheme:

6. There is no requirement for East Renfrewshire Council residents to participate in the charging for garden waste scheme.  The scheme is voluntary. 

Exemptions:

7. There are no exemptions to the scheme.

Permits:

8. Any household who wishes to place garden waste into their brown bin will require to have a garden waste permit.

9. Permits will be sent out annually prior to the commencement of the scheme. 

10. Participating households will be supplied with a permit bin sticker which will clearly identify their participation in the scheme.

11. The Customer is responsible for ensuring that the permit they are issued is applied correctly to the brown bin, as per the instructions detailed on the reverse of the permit.

12. Permits are issued detailing the individual property information; they are non-transferable and only valid when presented at the property for which they were originally purchased. If you move home the permit stays with the bin and you may have to purchase an additional permit at the property you move to if there is not one in place.

13. Additional Bins for the purpose of the scheme can be provided, up-to service limits.  The costs associated with an Additional Bin are advised via the Council's Charging for Services Scheme.  Where service limits are reached the Council has no obligation to provide an Additional Bin service to residents.

14. Only newly purchased additional bins will qualify for the scheme and this container is to be used along with the purchase of an additional permit.  Any resident who happens to have a second brown bin historically at their property cannot use this for participation in the additional bin process.

15. Should applications be made after the commencement of the scheme start date; permits/additional bin containers will be issued following payment of the appropriate fee to the Council. 

Garden waste in brown bins without a permit:

16. All brown bins without a garden waste permit will be checked for compliance with the charging scheme. 

17. Where only food waste is to be deposited within the brown bin, no permit is required.

18. Food waste will still be allowed to be placed in the bin and collected weekly but any evidence of garden waste within the bin will lead to the bin not being emptied.  The householder will be responsible for the removal of garden waste from their bin before food waste collections are re-commenced.

19. Non-compliant brown bins (i.e. with garden waste in them but not having a permit) will be collected by the Council, if requested by the customer, for a fee as advised via the Council's Charging for Services process.

Frequency of collections:

20. Permitted (garden waste allowed) and Non-Permitted (should contain only food waste) brown bins will continue to be collected on a weekly basis for 50 weeks of the year.

21. There will be no collections over the two weeks of the festive period.

22. The scheme will run 1 May to 30 April each year.

23. Bins must be available at kerbside (where applicable) from 0700 on the day of collection.  The lid of any bin must be in the closed position.

24. Should the householder fail to make there bin available for collection on their allocated day of collection , the Council will be unable to collect the container until the next designated collection date for the householder.

Contamination of recycling bins or non-permitted waste

25. No materials, other than those specified by the Council, will be accepted in brown recycling wheeled bins. Full details of accepted items are available on the council webpages at www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/brown-bin

26. The Council reserves the right not to lift wheeled bins that are: suspected of containing incorrect materials; of excessive weight; in a dangerous condition; or which may be detrimental to the health and safety of its staff.  It shall be solely for the Council to determine if any bin meets any of the above criteria.

27. The Council has no obligation under this Contract to empty bins where they do not comply with these conditions.

28. In the event that repeated contamination of recycling wheeled bins occurs the Council reserves the right to withdraw the recycling service by giving immediate written notice and arranging removal of the brown bin.

29. No refunds will be available for any collections missed while the service has been withdrawn; regardless of cause.

Contract period:

30. The Contract will run renewing on 1 May each year.

31. There will be no discount to the charge applied irrespective of when the permit is purchased during the year.

32. Collections will occur every week on the scheduled uplift day, except during the two weeks around the Christmas and New Year period.  In total 50 uplifts will be made during the year 1 May to 30 April.

33. The Council reserves the right to alter the Customers collection day if required; this information will be sent by direct mailing or published on the Council website or via Social Media.

34. The Customer will receive notice in advance of the Contract renewal date, along with details and charges payable for the following 12 month period. To ensure the continuation of service, the Customer should subscribe prior to the payment deadline detailed in the notice.

35. The Council reserves the right to vary the charge of the service, charges are set annually and the Customer will be notified of any price increase as part of the annual renewal.

Security, cleanliness, maintenance and ownership of wheeled bins:

36. The Customer is responsible for the security of their wheeled bins, and for ensuring that wheeled bins are maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.

37. On request, bins that are stolen or damaged during collection will be replaced and the Garden Waste Permit will be re-issued.

38. Bin deliveries can take a period of time, no refunds will be available for any collections missed while waiting for a new bin to be delivered.

Christmas trees:

39. Residents participating in the garden waste scheme will be entitled to a free collection of a single biodegradable Christmas tree. 

40. Non scheme members will be charged £15 per Christmas tree for collection if they request the service.  The fee will be reviewed annually.

41. There is a requirement to cut the tree into pieces and place the tree within the bin with the lid fully down in advance of collection.

Cancellation:

42. Once purchased no refund will be given should the householder choose to cancel the contract.

43. To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform The Council of your decision to cancel the Contract in writing to garden.waste@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk .

Definitions:

44. "Council" means East Renfrewshire Council.

45. "Householder" means the customer to whom Garden Waste Collection Service is provided in respect of their request for the service received by the Council.

46. "Contract" Means the contract between the Council and the Householder for the collection of chargeable garden waste.

If you have a query that hasn't been answered in these FAQs, please email garden.waste@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0141 577 3615.

Last modified on 13 March 2023

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