The garden waste subscription service
Leaf mulch (bags available free of charge)
The service is a simple, convenient and cost effect way of disposing of your
garden waste, without the need to leave your home.
In return for an annual subscription fee you will:
- Receive a green wheeled bin or re-usable sacks.
- Have your garden waste collected every two weeks.
- Provide local farmers with compost made from your garden waste.
1.) Garden Waste Subscription Service: All the information you need
What is the garden waste collection service?
This is an opt-in subscription based garden waste collection service using wheeled bins. In exceptional circumstances, where households are unable to accommodate wheeled bins, subscribers will be provided with re-usable sacks. The collection service will operate all year round (including bank holidays), with the exception of two weeks over the Christmas and New Year period.
What will it cost and how can I join?
If you would like to join the Councils garden waste service, you can do so online.
The charges for the year are as follows:
Garden Waste Receptacle
Resident in receipt of certain benefits***
One wheeled bin or re-usable sack*
Each additional bin**
*For households unable to accommodate wheeled bins.
**Up to a maximum of six wheeled bins.
***Applicable for the following benefits: Housing or Tax support, Income Support, Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit (income £15,276 or less per year), Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Pension Credit. For residents in receipt of the above means tested benefits, we will need need to see all pages of your most recent award letter. This information can be brought into the Civic Offices for review and approval by a Customer Service Officer
A surcharge of 1.8% applies to all credit card payments. Debit card payments are exempt from this surcharge.
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to set up direct debit payments for this service. However, we are continually investigating ways to make it as easy as possible for our residents to use this service.
Once payment for your subscription has been made, your container(s) will be delivered to you within 28 working days. We will separately post you a Membership Pack, which will include an address sticker for your container(s) to be labelled with, a copy of our service Terms and Conditions and information about your collection day.
Please note: Our contractor will take a photograph when they deliver your container as proof of delivery.
How can I renew my subscription?
Your subscription starts on the day that the bins are delivered to your property. Around 20 days before your subscription expires, you will receive a reminder letter or email, but you can also renew online up to one month before your subscription expires. We recommend that you make a note of your renewal date in your diary to avoid forgetting to renew and leading to a cancellation.
You can renew online up to one month before your subscription expires. Your subscription charge will be based on your subscription renewal date.
Alternatively, customers can contact the Council by telephone on: 01483 755855.
Why do I have to pay for the garden waste collection service?
If the cost of providing this service was wholly funded from Council tax, this would mean that people without gardens would have to pay for a service they are unable to use. By charging for the collection service, the cost of providing the service is met by the actual users of the collection service.
How does the garden waste collection service work?
Residents can order one or more green wheeled bins (Up to a maximum of six bins per subscription). These will be delivered to your door and emptied every two weeks.
Residents can request a 240-litre (standard sized) or 140-litre (smaller sized) green wheeled bin. The cost of subscribing to for a 140-litre green wheeled bin is the same as for a 240-litre green wheeled bin.
What I can and cannot recycle through the garden waste service:
What if I am unable to store a wheeled bin?
If you only produce a small amount of garden waste, why not try sharing a bin with one or more of your neighbours?
Alternatively, re-usable sacks are available to those households which cannot have wheeled bins due to problems with access or obstacles and are on our sack collection list. The re-usable sacks will provide the same capacity as a 240-litre wheeled bin.
What are the rules of the garden waste subscription service?
Any garden waste put out for collection must be in the Council's pre-paid garden waste wheeled bins or re-usable sacks. Only garden waste in these containers will be collected.
Containers must not be overfilled or too heavy for the crew to handle.
They must only contain compostable material - no soil please.
They must be made available by 6:30am at the boundary of your property on your collection day.
We can only collect domestic garden waste. Professional gardeners and contractors cannot use this service. If you employ a gardener, check they are a Registered Waste Carrier. Garden waste can be disposed of at Slyfield Waste Transfer Station.
Containers remain the property of Woking Borough Council. Any lapsed membership will result in the non-collection of your garden waste and the removal of your garden waste containers.
Can my garden waste be collected from my door?
If you are eligible for assisted collections for refuse and recycling (because you have difficulties moving the waste) you will also receive assisted collections for garden waste. If you no longer require assisted collections please advise us.
What if I only produce a small amount of garden waste?
Residents are able to share a subscription with an immediate neighbour. One household would have the subscription registered to their property and would also be responsible for presenting the bin for collection. You can then arrange payment with your neighbour independently. The address we need is the one where the garden waste payment will be collected from, as this is where all correspondence will be sent.
What if I produce lots of garden waste?
By programming garden work the waste can be evenly spread across the fortnightly collection period. Residents can also subscribe for more than one wheeled bin.
Can I subscribe if I live in a flat development?
Yes! The Council will work with residents on an individual basis to establish a suitable collection point. Please contact us on 01483 755855 to discuss.
What happens if the material in my container freezes?
Due to the high water content of garden waste, occasionally the waste may freeze during cold spells. When water freezes it expands, so the material will be stuck fast against the sides of the container. This could prevent the container being emptied. Where possible, we will check back later in the day, but as weather is unpredictable it may not be possible to empty the container until the next scheduled collection day.
What happens if I need a replacement container?
If the container becomes worn out, lost or damaged, the subscriber will be responsible for the cost of a replacement. The cost of a replacement is currently £45 each. All containers remain the property of Woking Borough Council.
What happens if I receive a tag on my garden waste bin?
Please note: If you have received a purple tag on your garden waste bin, it means we have been unable to collect it. Please refer to the tag for more information about why we have been unable to collect the bin and for advise on what action to take next.
Can I subscribe for additional wheeled bins mid-way through my subscription year?
Residents are encouraged to subscribe for the number of wheeled bins they feel most appropriate to manage their garden waste. A maximum of six wheeled bins will be provided.
If at any point during the subscription year you feel you need another wheeled bin for your garden waste these can be provided at a cost.
Please note: each subscriber has a single renewal date. This means any additional bins added during the year will be subject to the full renewal charge at the next renewal date. For example, if your garden waste subscription is due for renewal on January 15th and on June 15th, you decide to add an additional bin to the subscription, you renewal date for all garden waste bins, including any added throughout the year will still need to be renewed on the original renewal date of January 15th.
2.) Home Composting - Subsidised home composting units
Woking Council promotes home composting to encourage residents to recycle their garden waste at home by using a home composting converter unit.
Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden.
Benefits for your garden
Your compost is a nutrient-rich food product for your garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soils pH balance in check while helping to surpress plant disease. It will have everything your plants need including: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soils condition and your plants and flowers will love it too.
Residents of the Borough are able to purchase home composting units at a subsidised rate. A description of each home composting unit available is displayed in the table below. Alternatively, for further information about these products and how to order them, please visit www.recycleforsurrey.org.uk/home-composting or call 0844 571 4444.
The Surrey Waste Partnership are continuing to subsidise Green Cones and Green Johannas. Details can be found on the Recycle for Surrey website.
3.) Leaf Mulch
Every autumn residents can be faced with the problem of disposing of fallen leaves from trees and bushes. Instead of overfilling your compost bin or your garden waste wheeled bin, they can be turned into leaf mulch.
How do I make leaf mulch?
Simply fill sacks with damp leaves, pierce a few times with a garden fork to let the air circulate and leave to mature. Alternatively, if you have lots of leaves use wooden posts and chicken wire or mesh to make a container. The top tips below should help get your leaf mulch started.
- Before adding the leaves to a sack or heap, make sure they are damp (water them if necessary).
- Chopped leaves break down more quickly - try running over them with a lawn mover.
- Adding grass cuttings (up to 25% of the mixture) can help speed the process up.
- Be patient! Leaves break down by fungal action, so leave your leaf mulch sack or heap for at least a year and your leaves should have rotted down sufficiently.
- Very fine leaf mulch will take up to two years
Free leaf mulch bags
Residents can collect free leaf mulch bags from the Civic Offices.
These will be limited to two per person.
Both Woking (Martyrs Lane) and Guildford (Slyfield Industrial Estate) Community Recycling Centres accept garden waste for recycling.