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?
||Kitchen waste (such as fruit and vegetables*)
||Soil or rubble
||General household rubbish
||Plant pots or fence panels
||Garden equipment, fittings or furniture.
*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