Garden waste

Garden waste

Collection information and dates for garden waste.

Garden waste collections 2017

Gardeners in most (but not all) of the county can pay to join the garden waste kerbside collection service.

The 2017 season runs from early March until the end of November / beginning of December.  The final collections are scheduled to take place during the weeks commencing Nov 27th or 4th December 2017 - depending on where you live.  We can now take payments for the 2017 season, providing you know your unique property reference number (supplied in the letter of invitation to current customers). 

Current subscribers
If you already subscribe to the garden waste collection scheme, you will receive a yearly invitation in late January or early February to re-join, complete with information on collection dates. If you do not receive your letter, please let us know. You can also take garden waste to any of our household waste recovery centres free of charge, or you could also try home composting.
How to subscribe
We can now take money from customers for the 2017 season, but you will need to use your unique property reference number (GW- followed by 12 digits), supplied in your renewal letter.

Residents who received garden waste collections in 2016 will automatically receive a renewal letter during late January or early February 2017.

Potential new customers may contact us to find out if they can be added to the route, and if so to make payment and arrange delivery of a bin from February 2017.  Tel: 0345 600 6400

Our subscribers have welcomed this service as it saves them time and fuel, as well as mess in their cars and vans. 

You can also take garden waste to any of our household waste recovery centres free of charge, or perhaps you would like to try home composting.

Pay for your garden waste collection

To pay for your garden waste collection service, quote your reference number to pay:


Residents wishing to join the scheme in 2017 can get further information by calling 0345 600 6400. Residents who received garden waste collections in 2016 will automatically receive a renewal letter during late January or early February 2017.

The cost of a bin is £31 each for the 2017 season.  You can request multiple bins (subject to availability) at £31 per additional bin annual fee.  

Monthly winners of garden waste subscription

Residents choosing to pay for the service online, using a debit or credit card, will be automatically entered into a prize draw for a chance to win a refund of their yearly subscription. One customer will win per month between February and November.

Winners in 2016 were:

  • Thompson from Ponteland
  • Scott from Cramlington
  • Catchpole for Cramlington
  • Turnbull from Cramlington
  • Mark from Stocksfield
  • Howie from Seaton Delaval
  • Robinson from Blyth
  • Blair from Cramlington
  • Platts from Blyth
  • Robson from Hexham

Where can I buy Northumberland-made compost?

You can buy bags of compost from Northumberland County Council at your local household waste recovery centre.

Compost/ soil conditioner can be bought from our household waste recovery centres for about £3.30  per bag (2017 price). If there is none available at the time of your visit, bags can be ordered with expected delivery to the site between two to three days.

The compost is made from garden waste collected through our garden waste collection scheme.

Residents can buy compost in bulk from James Enderby (01434 602786 or 07500 821809).  James will quote on the basis of time and distance. 

Frequently asked questions and terms and conditions

Here we answer your frequently asked questions about garden waste.

Garden waste service terms and conditions
How do I renew this service this year?
Services are renewed annually in February. We will send you a renewal letter containing your unique 12-digit reference number that is required to pay for the scheme in late January / Early February.  You will then be able to pay online using your debit or credit card and that reference number which is unique to your property.
I’m a new customer, how do I join?
You can check online, if we collect from your area and are eligible to apply for your collection.

Our team asks for applications for garden waste collections to be submitted during February and March, though new requests will be accommodated throughout the rest of the year where possible. If we confirm we are able to collect from your area, you will be given a unique reference number that is needed to pay for the service.

We'll send existing customers a letter each year, inviting you to renew your subscription, and you will be issued with a new unique reference number.
What payment options are available?
You can pay:
  • online using a credit or debit card (you will need your unique reference number)
  • at any of our customer information centres with cash, a cheque or a credit or debit card
  • by phone on 0345 600 6400 using a credit or debit card
Upon receipt of payment you will be issued with a garden bin (if necessary) and a '2017 Garden Waste' bin sticker for you to fix on top of the bin. We can then easily identify your bin as eligible to be emptied throughout the 2017 season.

All residents who pay online will be automatically entered into a prize draw for a chance to win a refund of their 2017 subscription. One customer wins each month between February and November, so the sooner you start paying your subscription online the more draws you can qualify for.

If you want to cancel the service you must notify us in writing or by email within 14 days of payment in order for us to consider any refund.  Please see the terms and conditions on our website. 
When will my bin be collected?
For more information regarding bin collection services, please click here.

What happens if my garden waste bin is missed
If we have missed your garden bin, every effort will be made to return to collect it, providing it was missed through our fault.  However, if it has been missed due to bad weather or other circumstances beyond our control, this may not always be possible.  Unfortunately, we cannot pay refunds or part refunds for missed garden waste bins.  
What can I put in my garden waste bin?
Yes No
Leaves Kitchen waste (such as fruit and vegetables*)
Grass Soil or rubble
Weeds General household rubbish
Small branches Plant pots or fence panels
Hedge Garden equipment, fittings or furniture.
Tree cuttings  

*Fruit and vegetable peelings may have been contaminated by cooking oil, meats or plate scrapings and therefore cannot be processed in the same manner as other garden waste. The animal by-product legislation means the ‘open-air windrow’ method of composting cannot be used to process kitchen waste, following strict controls implemented to safeguard animal health and prevent any foot and mouth or swine flu outbreaks etc. But you can put fruit and vegetable peelings into your own home composting if this isn’t to be used commercially/agriculturally.

On the day, please remember:

  • Your garden collection day may not be the same day as your regular bin collection day.
  • Put your bin out before 7am.
  • Place your bin at the side of the kerb, outside of your property.
  • Take your bin back once it has been emptied.
Putting the wrong materials in your garden bin will mean we may not empty it, and no refund or partial refund will be made.
Why isn’t my bin collected all year round?
There are no collections during winter months, from December to February, because of the limited amount of garden waste produced. It is considered bad for the environment and expensive on fuel to send vehicles out during those months when the tonnage collected will be very small and most bins are not being used.  Any waste produced during those months can be taken to any of our household waste recovery centres, you could try home composting or many gardeners just fill the bin and leave it ready for the first collection of the season.
What happens to my garden waste?
Garden waste collected is delivered to one of two on-farm composting facilities near Alnwick and Hexham, or one central facility near Ashington.

There, it is shredded and turned by machinery, stored in long piles of material known as windrows, and monitored.

The compost is then bagged and sold at our household waste recovery centres, (£3.30 per bag in 2017, to be used as a soil improver on agricultural land, or sold for use in restoration projects and horticulture.  The charge made is to cover the processing, bagging and haulage costs to the companies who convert the waste into compost.
What happens if I move house or leave Northumberland?
If you leave the Northumberland area, then we cannnot permit you to take your council-owned garden bin with you.  We suggest therefore that you either agree to share the years cost with the new resident, that you leave it for the new owners to use  if they so wish at your expense, or that you let us know and cancel the service. We will then arrange for the bin to be removed.  NB. No refunds can be considered unless cancellation is within 14 days of payment date.
If you move house within the area, please contact us for more information.