Council delivers first notice of opt-in charges for garden waste collection

South Glos Council chargeable green waste collection service.

Bradley Stoke residents have this week received the first detailed information about South Gloucestershire Council’s new subscription-only green bin waste collection service, with hangers being placed on bins during the weekly rounds.

Residents who wish to continue to receive the service from 31st March can subscribe now via the council’s website. The optional service costs £36 per year and includes fortnightly collections.

For residents who require only occasional garden waste collection, ad hoc waste collection sacks will be available from 14th March from council libraries. Sacks cost £2 each and users can book a collection date via the council’s website.

New measures to promote home composting as a more environment-friendly option for green waste are also being introduced.

Residents who do not wish to subscribe to the collection service, or to home compost, can continue to dispose of garden waste free of charge at their local SORT IT! household waste recycling centre.

Further information on garden waste options, including online booking for the green waste service and ad hoc sack collection, is available on the council’s website at

Details will also be found in the March edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine, out this coming weekend (1st/2nd March).

Another service change being introduced from 31st March will see kerbside recycling extended to include mixed plastics, drinks cartons (also called Tetra Paks) and small electrical items.

The changes form part of the council’s revised waste strategy for 2013-19, which was approved by councillors in 2013.

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  1. I’m not paying the green bin recycling tax. It will fit in my black bin easy enough. From an environmental point of view it makes no difference where your garden waste ends up. It needs to rot somewhere regardless of what colour your plastic bin is.

  2. Is it me, or does this appear to be the Council charging twice for the same service? Once from Council Tax and now with this supplemental charge. Is this legal?

  3. @Andy Ham:
    Q. If I don’t want my green bin, will you remove it?
    A. We don’t recommend that you decide this immediately and so we will not be collecting green bins until after October 2014.
    [From the FAQ on the SGC website]

  4. Love the way they proudly proclaim “A new garden waste collection service will begin” on the front of the leaflet. Somebody should point out to them that increasing the cost of something doesn’t make it new..!

    Anyway they’ve added a couple of things (e.g. cartons) to the list that can be recycled so there will be more room in the black bin for the garden waste.

  5. I loved the bit on the back of the bin flyer:

    “….because the council is receiving less money from the government and needs to balance income….” blah blah blah. Don’t forget this is from the same council who pays it’s CEO more than the Prime Minister and she has four directors on over £110k. They haven’t posted any salary figures since 2012 but I doubt they’ve gone down to mirror government reductions.

    I wouldn’t put it past SGC to change the rules over what can go in the black bin once they realise most householders won’t pay the £36, opting to put garden waste in there instead.

    The way around that of course will be to claim your grass cuttings are “contaminated” with little stones, lawnmower petrol etc etc and are unsuitable for recycling.

    Don’t forget, come election time, to ask any potential councillors whether they supported this council tax double whammy.

  6. Solution: Paint green bin black and continue to put garden waste in it – along with the general waste that won’t fit in the actual black bin.
    Sorted 🙂

  7. To parent b
    I would not reccomend doing this under any circumstances, the bins are the property of the council and therefore defacing them could be construed as criminal damage.

    I don’t work for the council and am not attached to them in any way, I just don’t think that comments such as yours are clever or helpful in any way.

  8. I’m sure I read somewhere that they could refuse (no pun intended) to take the black bin if it has garden waste in it. Is this true or was I just imagining it?

  9. Been using our green bin to store the paper, bottle and cardboard recycling bags for a long time now. Will keep it and continue to do so. Plastic sacks and a trip to the amenities centre every now and then for the garden waste.

  10. Extract from SGC website FAQs

    Can I put my garden waste in my black bin?

    No you cannot put garden waste in your black bin. We retain the right not to empty any bins that contain garden waste other than the green bin and the garden waste sacks.

    Be warned !!

  11. As much as I’m opposed to any rises in local rates and taxes, trying to put a positive spin on things, I look at this as an increase to pay for the cost of recycling the additional items they will be taking from March.

    I’ve always wanted them to tackle the more persistent waste types and pleased that less of it will be ending up in landfill.

    I’m sure people would have been more willing to pay for better recycling facilities (we all want to save the world, right?) than to choose whether they receive a basic, expected, garden waste service. Perhaps the council missed a trick in how they approached this?

  12. Look at it like this, BSTC are not increasing the rates for next year, but will charge you for green bin collections. But it is optional !!!!

    How many times have you ever had the option to pay more to the council for their services (or not pay and do your own thing).

    Sounds more than fair to me

  13. Before we had green bin collections, our black bin was collected every week. Does this mean we’re going back to having that service, or are we still having to shoehorn everything into the bin over a 2 week period complete with maggots?

  14. Anyone who ends up with maggots in their black bin clearly doesn’t take enough time and effort to bag their waste and keep the bin relatively clean.

    There is no reason to have maggots in a bin.

    Always gets on my nerves when people complain about that, when by taking the time to make a modicum of effort themselves the problem could be avoided.

  15. Grass in black bags straight to the black bin. I honestly doubt they will check each bin, open bags before emptying them. As someone pointed out, this would have no negative influence on environment. It’s my waste and I pay them for getting rid of it.

  16. Franky

    And how long will your black bag take to decompose….”no negative influence on environment”…. think again !!

  17. For anyone torn between paying for the green bin at £36 p.a. or PAYG sacks at £2 each, each sack has the capacity of one-third of a standard green bin (info from SGC bin hanger).

  18. Are the Sita operatives going to carry around a list of those who have paid to continue with the green bin collection, otherwise how will they know who has paid and who hasn’t?

    I’m reluctant to pay for my bin to be emptied, if people who don’t pay will still be able to put theirs out for collection until October!

  19. @Steve P

    The crews will all have a list of people who have subscribed and only those householder’s bins will be emptied.

    SGC are not collecting the bins until October to give people time to decide if they want to subscribe or not.

  20. @Patchway Bloke: So sorry about your nerves. 🙂

    However, I’m not willing to spend large amounts of time to micro-manage my rubbish.

    This is about as far as I’m willing to go:

    Non-recyclable rubbish is put into proper black plastic sacks and sealed.

    Food waste is placed into the food waste bin.

    My bin is professionally cleaned every 2 weeks.

    However, invariably black sacks are not 100% airtight, especially with being squashed down over a 2 week period and having irregular items within.

    It really doesn’t take much of a hole, rip or gap to allow maggots to form especially in hot weather.

  21. Think about it the green bin contents are grass cuttings, dead plants etc ie compost therefore biodegradable as nature intended. so why not just dump it in the park nearest your local councillor! Nature deals with millions of tons of plant waste naturally in parks and woodlands every day without the council paying the worms to collect it! As long as it is true green waste its not rubbish! (ie fly tipping – which I am totally against).
    I am sure the council just compost what they collect and either use it in their parks (or sell it somewhere as compost back to the people who donated it) so save them the hassel of collecting it! Mwahahahaha.
    #yes this is tongue in cheek before some uptight plonker (yes I cleaned that up) gets on their high horse/polo pony. I know I will not be paying any extra to fill the pockets of the over paid.

  22. @Gyre.

    Double bag your waste. Don’t leave bin lid open? (No flies can get in then and cause maggots) – maggots don’t appear magically you know.

    If you have your bin cleaned every two weeks and still get maggots, then clearly your method for disposing of your household waste is fundamentally flawed.

    “Micro managed” – lol!!!! Just put things in sturdy, tied bags and try not to “squash” the rubbish into the bin.

    I fear you’re a bit more lazy than you care to let on.

  23. @Patchway Bloke: I’m incredibly lazy as far as household stuff goes.

    Might try with the double bagging tho.

    As far as lids go… mine doesn’t shut after 2 weeks’ worth of rubbish usually, even with me jumping up and down on it. I even bought one of those rubbish-crushing devices… and it got nicked by the same folks who nicked the wheelbarrow I left on the front lawn 🙂

  24. I thought the contracted awarded to Sita was a 15 year PFI.. that means fixed costs for the duration, so, the lack of funding argument would be bull.. and as mentioned above, it suggests we are being forced to pay twice for the same service?
    What is annoying is anyone who has sat in a car behind the truck on collection day knows only too well that all the effort made in separating your refuse is pointless as they consistently dump it in the same hole anyway.. So what the point.
    It’s about time we stopped this recycling nonsense and moved towards incineration of everything and use the power generated to provide electricity or heat, like in Denmark, where households are piped hot water from the incinerator plant into their house = very very low energy bills.
    We are so backward in using available technology instead of chasing pointless headline grabbing in this country.
    Think of all the land we’ve condemned because of landfill that could be reclaimed over time by digging it up and burning it as fuel to power and heat local homes..

  25. When the green bin was introduced, the black bin became a fortnightly collection. By removing the green bin, our service has been halved. The council are trying to kid us this is an improvement?

    I urge everyone to write to communities secretary Eric Pickles and I urge this newspaper to ask how the south glos action fits with government hype on bin collections that is totally against the policy in this release

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