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  5. Garden waste terms and conditions

Garden waste terms and conditions

We offer chargeable garden waste collections via an optional subscription based service. Garden waste licences are issued to individual property addresses and are non-refundable and non-transferable, charged at a flat rate and are applicable for the period 1 April to 31 March each year.

The garden waste collection is for domestic use only and must not be used by anyone operating a business and wanting to dispose off commercial garden waste.

Garden waste charge

An annual garden waste license is available at a charge of £35 per licence, per garden waste bin or for the equivalent sized garden waste paper sacks.

This payment is for one license for one bin. It is not an entitlement to a specific number of collections or a specific amount of waste to be collected, only for collections during the period 1 April to 31 March.

Additional garden waste licences and garden waste bins or paper sacks may be requested with a £35 charge for each additional licence. The provision of multiple licences will be subject to operational garden waste collection capacity.

The £35 charge for a licence is applicable for the whole 12 month period, irrespective of when a resident joins the service. If a resident who has purchased a licence moves from that address, the licence is not transferable to any different West Oxfordshire property, nor is any proportion of the fee refundable.

Payment must be made in full and in advance by debit or credit card payment either online or by telephone to the Council’s Customer services team. Anyone unable to make a card payment should contact the Customer services team.

You will not be charged for paying with a credit card. 

In a small number of cases where residents have been collecting leaf debris which falls within their domestic property from West Oxfordshire District Council owned trees, a free ‘Service Licence’ may be provided. This will only be provided if the Council assesses the quantity of leaf debris requires the provision of a free licence. A service licence is not available if the green waste is generated from trees or vegetation owned by anyone other than the Council.

Containers and licenses

Garden waste bins and paper sacks will be supplied in a clean condition and in a good state of repair. The customer is responsible for the general condition and cleaning of the garden waste containers whilst in their possession. Garden waste containers supplied by the Council remain the property of the Council and must remain at the address to which they have been delivered. Only garden waste bins supplied by the Council which have a current license placed on the lid of the garden waste bin will be emptied. Where garden waste paper sacks are provided only the appropriate disposable sacks that have been purchased for the current year by the Council will be emptied. The licence is valid for the address stated on the licence only. It is not transferable. Garden waste bins without a valid license will not be emptied and collection crews will not return until the next scheduled collection day.

All properties will have a wheeled bin for garden waste unless the Council assesses the property and agrees that a wheeled bin cannot be used and stored at the property. The decision on whether a property has garden waste bins or paper sacks is based on the design and external space at the property and the operational ability to offer the alternative service.

A replacement licence will only be issued free of charge if damage or loss occurs during handling by the Council’s waste and recycling contractor. When a householder damages or loses a licence a replacement will be delivered upon request and a charge of £10 will be made to cover administrative costs.

Accepted material and contamination

The garden waste collection service is for the collection of:

  •  grass cuttings, hedge clippings and prunings
  •  weeds (non-invasive)
  •  shrubs, flowers and houseplants
  •  leaves and plant material
  •  soil bound roots
  •  tree trunks, twigs and branches up to 150mm diameter
  •  Christmas trees cut into 300mm sections and placed inside bin
  •  hay/straw from animal bedding or vegetarian pets (eg rabbits and guinea pigs)
  •  wind fallen fruit (eg apples, pears)
  •  bark and wood shavings

Items we will not collect:

  • any household, DIY or hazardous waste
  • polystyrene
  • any food waste other than wind fallen fruit
  • any plastic including plant pots, bottles and trays
  • compost bags
  • dog waste, cat litter or dead  animals
  • invasive weeds (eg Japanese Knotweed, Ragwort, Spear Thistle, Creeping Thistle, Broad Leaf Dock and Curled Dock)
  • soil, turf, stone and rubble
  • paper and cardboard
  • timber, laminate and chipboard

Garden waste bins or paper sacks containing non-acceptable items will not be collected. Garden waste must be loose in the bins. Garden waste put in bags in the bins will not be collected as the bags may contain contaminated items and can also damage shredding equipment when the garden waste is processed.

Where containers are found to contain non-acceptable items they will be classed as contaminated. Residents will be notified by means of a sticker or hanger placed on the relevant container requiring them to remove the inappropriate material and dispose of it in a responsible manner.

Once the inappropriate material has been removed from the container it will be emptied on the next scheduled collection date but not before. 

Collection commencement and frequency 

Garden waste will be collected fortnightly. The service will be suspended for two weeks of the year during the Christmas/New Year holiday period which will be advertised on the Council’s website. This provides greater resilience for refuse, food and recycling collections during a period when collection day changes occur due to bank holidays. In addition, garden waste collections may be suspended to assist with waste and recycling collection during periods of significant service difficulty, such as severe weather conditions. The current global pandemic may result in the loss of staff resource and, on occasion, we may need to use these resources for refuse and recycling collections.

Once payment has been received from a new customer we will aim to deliver the garden waste bin or paper sacks within 10 working days. A receipt will be issued by email or where requested a receipt number can be provided verbally to those making a payment over the telephone. The licence sticker will normally be sent to customers within 10 working days of payment. Customers who purchase a licence in advance of the service year will receive their licence/s by the end of March. 

If the Council’s waste and recycling contractor fails to empty the garden waste bin or paper  sacks as a direct result of service failure, the contractor will return to empty it within two working days of the resident informing the Council that the collection has been missed, providing the resident has informed the Council of the missed collection within two working days.

If the subscription is not renewed after a year, collections will cease and the containers may be removed without prior warning. If you currently have a garden bin that you no longer require please contact Customer Services who will be able to arrange the collection of the bin for you. The bin needs to be empty and clean.

Extra or side garden waste

All garden waste must be contained within Council supplied garden waste bins or paper sacks. No excess or side garden waste will be collected during normal collections. Bin lids must be closed and the level of the garden waste in the paper sacks should not exceed the fill line. For safety reasons overfilled containers will not be collected.

Frozen garden waste bins

During times of cold weather, garden waste can become frozen in garden waste bins. When garden waste has become frozen in the bin and the waste does not empty when lifted by the vehicle mechanism the bin will be left with the contents still in it. The frozen bin will be reported by the collection crews to us. The Contractor will not return to empty containers that have not been emptied because of frozen contents. The resident should ensure that the waste is loosened within the bin when presenting it for collection on their next scheduled collection day.

Overweight garden waste bins or paper sacks

Garden waste bin

Where a crew member cannot safely manoeuvre and position a garden waste bin onto the vehicle, or where the vehicle cannot lift the garden waste bin due to the weight of it, then it will be left un-emptied and a sticker or bin hanger will be placed on the bin notifying the resident why it was not emptied. Residents will need to empty a sufficient quantity of waste before the next collection so that it can be safely loaded on the vehicle.

By law, all the vehicle bin lifts have a safe working weight limit which crews cannot override. As a guideline, the bin should be easily moved with one hand.

Garden waste paper sacks

When collecting garden waste paper sacks the collection crews will assess the weight of the paper  sacks. If a paper sack is too heavy to safely lift it will not be collected.

Where any garden waste paper sack is found to be too heavy, the householder will be required to remove sufficient material from it and dispose of it in a responsible manner. A bin hanger or sticker will be placed on the paper sack notifying the resident why it was not emptied.

Once sufficient weight has been removed, the garden waste paper sack should be presented on the next scheduled collection date. Our waste and recycling contractor will not return to empty the container before the next scheduled collection date.

All crews and contractor staff are trained in manual handling and health and safety. If they feel a garden waste bin or paper sack is unsafe to lift, their decision is final.