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Garden waste frequently asked questions 2023/24

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What time period does my subscription cover?

By subscribing to the 2023/24 service you will receive fortnightly collections of garden waste from 3 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

How much is the subscription charge?

The annual subscription price for the fortnightly collection of one standard sized brown bin is £35. The standard charge remains the same for the sixth year in a row.

How can I pay for my subscription?

Online: The quickest and easiest way to sign up is by visiting our garden waste section. We can accept payment by debit or credit card.

Telephone: You can now use our 24 hour automated payment service to pay on your telephone keypad using your debit or credit card by ringing 0345 155 0028, selecting option 7 and following the simple instructions. You will need your garden waste reference number to hand which is shown on your renewal invitation letter.

Cash: You can pay using cash by taking your renewal invitation letter to any Post Office or any shop displaying the PayPoint logo. The assistant will scan the unique barcode on your letter and take your payment. Please ensure you pay the correct amount - if you require one bin it is £35, two bins is £70, and so on in multiples of £35. If you pay the wrong amount it may delay the processing of your subscription. When given a receipt for your payment, please retain this receipt as we may not be able to deal with queries regarding your payment without it.

Please note: Payments may take 24 hours to appear on our systems. Once you have paid, if you have a query please allow at least 24 hours before contacting us.

How do I arrange a subscription for a property for a different address?

If you want to arrange a subscription for a property different to that shown on your renewal letter or on behalf of someone else and you don't have their renewal letter to hand, please call our contact centre on 01772 906905. If you need the permit to be sent to a different address than the property for which it is for, you can choose a different delivery address when using our online form.

What happens once I have paid for my subscription?

Within 10 working days you will receive a unique permit for your bin(s) to confirm you have subscribed. If you do not receive your permit(s) within this time please email

Your permit should be clearly displayed on the back of your bin so that is it is visible to our crews on collection day. We cannot guarantee collection during this delivery period.

Are there any concessions?

No. The annual charge is for a single bin and applies to all households regardless of personal circumstances.

If I subscribe after the 3 April 2023 do I get a reduced rate?

No. If you join part way through the year the full rate will still apply.

I have a small garden and do not fill my brown bin or need to put it out every fortnight, can I have a reduced rate?

No. There is no reduced rate if you do not completely fill your brown bin every fortnight. If you only have limited amounts of garden waste you may wish to share a bin and the subscription cost with a neighbour. The council does not take responsibility for such arrangements and these should be agreed and managed privately.

Can I get a refund if I decide to cancel the subscription?

Following a 14 day cooling off period the subscription charge is non-refundable.

Do I have the right to a refund if the Council fail to carry out collections?

No. Missed collections of bins are rare; it may be because it contains the wrong items or is too heavy for safe handling by the crew. If this is the case you will be notified by the collection crew.  Should we experience adverse weather conditions or access problems we will always make every effort to return and empty your bin where possible. In the unlikely event that your bin is not collected due to error please complete the online missed bin form on the council's website within 2 days of collection, and we will return as soon as is practicable to empty it.

How will the collection crew know I have subscribed to the service?

Subscribed bins must display a valid subscription permit sticker. Bins not showing a valid permit will not be emptied.

What happens after the 3 April 2023?

Only brown bins from properties that have subscribed and paid for the service will have their bin emptied.

What can I use my brown bin for?

You can use your brown bin for all compostable garden waste such as:

  • leaves
  • grass cuttings
  • hedge trimmings
  • small branches and twigs
  • dead plants
  • cut flowers
  • weeds (with the exception of Japanese Knotweed and other invasive plants)
  • wind fallen fruit

Your brown bin should not be used for:

  • soil
  • rubble
  • plant pots
  • food waste and packaging
  • cardboard
  • plastic bags
  • general waste and liquids

For full details of what can be disposed of in your brown bin please check your collection calendar or see our garden waste section.

What if my bin contains the wrong items?

We are unable to empty bins containing incorrect or prohibited items. Such bins will be reported and tagged by the collection crew and you will need to remove any contamination before your next scheduled collection. Bins that are too heavy to be safely manoeuvred may also be rejected.

Can I have additional brown bins?

Yes. You can request as many brown bins as you require, though a delivery charge will apply per bin.  Please note that the annual subscription charge is applicable to each bin. Bins remain the property of Preston City Council.

Will you take extra garden waste?

No. Only garden waste contained within your brown bin will be collected. Should you have extra garden waste on a regular basis we would recommend purchasing multiple bins and subscriptions.

I only have a small brown bin. Do I have to pay for a larger one?

No. If you currently have a small brown bin and you choose to subscribe to the scheme, we can exchange your small bin for a standard sized one free of charge upon request.

What happens if I do not have a bin or if my bin is lost or damaged?

If you do not have a bin you can request one (delivery charges apply) by completing our new bin online form. Please be aware you will need to order a subscription for each brown bin. You are responsible for any loss or damage to your wheeled bin and charges may apply. If your bin is damaged in the course of collection, this will be reported by our crews and your bin will be replaced or repaired free of charge. A replacement permit will be requested for you, but collections may not resume until you have attached the replacement permit to your new bin.

What happens if I move house?

You will need to check with us if your new property is subscribed to the service. The subscription fee is specific to the property and bins should remain at the property should you move. Bins presented without a subscription will not be emptied.

Will my collection day change?

No. If there is any change to your collection day in the future you will be informed separately. You may have a different collection day if you move house which can be checked at find your bin day.

Will my time of collection change?

It is likely that the time of day your bin is collected may vary from collection to collection. These variations may be more obvious in the winter. To ensure your bin is emptied please continue to place it out for collection at the agreed collection point by 7am on your regular collection day.

Will you suspend the service over the Christmas and New Year Period?

Yes, full details of the Christmas break in service will be publicised nearer the time. A list of your brown bin collection dates can be found at find your bin day.

If I do not want to pay for the service, how can I dispose of my garden waste?

If you choose not to subscribe to the scheme, your garden waste will not be collected and you will need to make alternative disposal arrangements. Garden waste can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres or you may wish to consider home composting. Garden waste should not be disposed of in your grey bin. The Council advises against the burning of garden waste on domestic bonfires.

If I choose not to subscribe and I want my brown bin removing, what should I do?

You can contact us to request the removal of any unwanted brown bins. Please note that if your bin is removed and you then decide to subscribe to the scheme in the future you would need to request a new bin. A delivery charge per bin would apply, in addition to the subscription charge.

Is the information I supply wholly necessary and can I be sure it is securely stored?

We only ask for information that is necessary to perform a contract with you in line with current Data Protection legislation, and to ensure that the service provided complies with the Environmental Protection Act, 1990. Your data is not shared with any third parties and you can be sure it will not be passed on for marketing purposes. For the full privacy notice see garden waste privacy policy.

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