Garden Waste Collections

We offer a fortnightly garden waste collection service to subscribers using a wheeled bin or compostable paper sacks.

Your district council issue annual renewal notices for wheeled bins to subscribers, which start from 1 April each year (1 March in West Somerset). New subscriptions can start from any time during the year, but the full year fee will still apply for collections until renewals are due. Refunds cannot be issued for cancelling the service during the year. See ‘terms and conditions’ below.

Garden waste collections are fortnightly and usually on the alternate week to your refuse collection, although for some people the collection can be on a different day. There are no garden waste collections in the two weeks after Christmas (from Monday 25 December 2017, restarting on Monday 8 January 2018) and garden waste collections may be suspended during periods of severe weather.

Garden waste is only collected in the pre-paid 180 litre wheeled bins or 90 litre paper sacks ordered from district councils. Wheeled bin lids should be closed when put out for collection.

Please leave garden waste collections on the edge of your property by 7am (collection times can vary) and no earlier than the night before. Collections usually continue until 4pm. If they are put out correctly and your waste has been missed, contact your local council customer services  to arrange a return collection – these are usually made within two working days.

To place an order for garden waste collections click on the district name in the table below.

Orders can be placed online. Collection days can also be checked online for all districts or by contacting customer services.

DistrictWheeled BinSacks (10)
Mendip£53.50£26.50
Sedgemoor£53.50£26.50
South Somerset£53.50 (12 months) or £100.00 (24 months)£26.50
Taunton Deane£53.50£26.50
West Somerset£53.50£26.50

You can recycle the following in your garden waste bin or sack:

  • Flowers, plants and garden weeds
  • Grass cuttings, leaves and hedge trimmings
  • Small branches (less than 10cm or 4 inches in width)
  • Straw or sawdust (if bedding material, then only from vegetarian pets, such as rabbits, but not micro-pigs or racing pigeons)

Please do not put the following out with your garden waste:

  • Plastic bags,
  • Flower pots,
  • Kitchen food waste,
  • Cat litter,
  • Dog or cat waste,
  • Soil, stones and rubble
  • Large branches or logs
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • Common Ragwort – see advice on Chalara Dieback of ash trees.

The garden waste we collect is delivered to one of a number of composting sites around Somerset.

On a large-scale, composting happens quickly and reaches high temperatures. The garden waste is first shredded and then stacked in long piles, known as windrows, which are regularly turned. The process is monitored and closely managed to quality standards. The end-product is screened and sold by our contractor Viridor as Revive soil conditioner.

Composting costs less than landfill and the income from sales helps to off-set the processing costs, but it is still not enough to cover collection costs too.

Garden waste can be home composted, which is the best option with most environmental benefits, or you can take it to a recycling site for composting. It should not be put out with rubbish for refuse collections, as it will then go to landfill and give off greenhouse gases as it breaks down. We advise you not to burn garden waste, which can also cause pollution and local nuisance.

Garden waste is not collected free of charge in Somerset. It is legally classed as household waste, which a collection charge may be made for. Charging also gives people an incentive for home composting and means that people who wish to use the service pay for the collections rather than all Council Tax payers.

Collection charges are set so they are close to covering the costs of the service, but the fees income is still slightly lower than the total costs for the collections.

By subscribing to the garden waste collection service, you accept the following terms and conditions:

Fee

  • Renewal fees cover 1 April to 31 March of the year(s) indicated on the bin sticker. If you join or leave the service during the year(s), a full charge still applies. Purchase of a subscription includes acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  • Renewal notices are sent out in advance. If you do not renew, collections will stop without further notice from 31 March of the year(s) indicated on your bin sticker.

Sticker

Your proof-of-payment sticker is sent after your renewal payment is cleared. For the bin to be collected, the sticker must remain attached to the outside of the lid as instructed.

Bin

  • Garden waste bins or sacks must be put out before 7am on collection day and no earlier than the night before. Collection times can vary. Take bin back in as soon as possible after collection. Do not obstruct pavements or roads.
  • Garden waste must be within the bin with lid closed for collection. Excess waste outside the bin is not taken unless it is the paper garden waste sacks sold by the council.
  • Excessively heavy garden waste bins will not be emptied if collection staff consider there is any risk of injury to staff or damage to the bin or vehicle. Lightening the bin is the householder’s responsibility. Bins with frozen contents may not be emptied.
  • If your wheeled bin is damaged or lost, there may be a charge for a replacement, which will have a 180 litre capacity.
  • Bins remain Somerset Waste Partnership property. Tell the Council if you: move within Somerset and take the bin; move and leave the bin behind; wish to end the service.

Collection

  • We endeavour to make fortnightly garden waste collections. These may be suspended, such as in severe weather, without notice or compensation. A catch-up collection may not be possible. They are suspended for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. For revised waste collection days after bank holidays, check www.somersetwaste.gov.uk
  • Accepted for garden waste recycling: leaves, bark, grass cuttings, hedge pruning; flowers, weeds, plants; branches less than 10cm or 4 inches diameter; straw/sawdust (if bedding, only small quantities from household vegetarian pets, such as rabbits, hamsters, but not micro-pigs, pigeons, chickens).
  • Not accepted for garden waste recycling: plastic, metal, glass; food or food waste; soil, turf, compost, stone or rubble; plant pots; bedding or waste from micro-pigs, pigeons, aviary birds, chickens; pet litter, dog or cat waste; dead animals; nappies; vacuum cleaner contents; other household waste; any treated wood; branches over 10cm/4” diameter.
  • Also not accepted for garden waste recycling collections or at recycling sites: materials infected or suspected of being infected with Ash Dieback (Charala Fraxinea), or including Japanese Knotweed or Common Ragwort. Disposal advice: somersetwaste.gov.uk.
  • The Council reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions at any time without notice. For the latest version, service guidance and updates, contact the Council’s customer services or see somersetwaste.gov.uk.