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Garden waste terms and conditions

Registrations

Properties that register by midnight Sunday 11 February 2024 will receive their:

  • permits and containers before the 2024 garden waste season
  • a total of 17 collections between the April and November

Properties that register on or after Monday 12 February 2024 and before the start of the garden waste season will receive their:

  • permits and container within 8 weeks of registration
  • first collection within 4 calendar weeks from the start of the garden waste season

Properties that register after the start of the garden waste season will receive their permit and be added to a collection round within 10 working days, and will receive any requested garden waste bins/sacks within 4 weeks.

2024 Garden Waste registrations are for the whole garden waste season at the registered property.

14 day cooling-off period

All submitted registrations have a 14 day cooling-off period. During this time you can cancel your registration for any reason and request a refund. You can contact us directly either online or, for digitally excluded residents, by phone to request a refund. You may be asked to return your unused permit before a refund can be issued.

No refunds will be given if you cancel your registration for any reason after the 14 day cooling-off period.

Garden waste season

The garden waste season will run from the first week of April for a period of 34 weeks. Unless otherwise stated. The Council (we) reserves the right to change the garden waste season with reasonable notice.

Collections

Your collection day will be available at check your bin day at least two weeks before the garden waste season begins. Collections will generally be made on the same weekday every two calendar weeks. Changes may occur due to Bank Holidays.

We reserve the right to change your collection day subject to providing you with reasonable notice, unless in an emergency or where it is impractical to provide notice.

During the 2024 garden waste season we will:

  • visit all registered properties once a fortnight on a scheduled collection day
  • collect any eligible garden waste that has been correctly presented

Presenting garden waste for collection

All garden waste must be presented in an approved garden waste container at our approved collection point for your property. In most instances your approved collection point will be the same place as you present your other domestic waste containers.

Garden waste containers must be presented no earlier than 6pm the day before collection and no later than 6am on the day of collection. Visit our Section 46 page for more information about our conditions.

We will only collect garden waste if :

  • the property is registered
  • the waste was presented in a container given by Plymouth City Council
  • a valid and legible permit is stuck to the outside of the bin with the permit number and address details clearly visible.
  • the lids on containers are completely closed
  • there is no side waste i.e. waste left next to the container(s) or placed on the lid(s)

Excess waste should be disposed of at your nearest recycling centre or stored on your property until your next scheduled collection.

We will not collect any containers that are:

  • not displaying a valid permit
  • displaying a permit where the details are damaged, obscured or otherwise illegible
  • not presented on time
  • overflowing or too heavy for our crews to safely handle

Garden waste in other container types will not be collected. You cannot present your garden waste for collection until you receive your permit and containers.

Freezing conditions

In freezing conditions containers will be emptied as thoroughly as possible. However frozen contents will be left in place if they are stuck to the inside of the container. Residents should loosen the contents of their container before the next scheduled collection.

Missed collections

A replacement collection will be provided if:

  • your container was presented correctly
  • your container was missed by the collection crew
  • you report the missed collection within 48 hours of your scheduled collection day

You will not be able to report a missed collection for a container that was not presented on time. You will need to store any waste on your property until the next scheduled collection day.

We do not offer refunds (part or full) for instances where our crews miss collections. 

Service disruption/cancellations

In the event of service disruption temporarily preventing us from visiting some (but not all) registered properties on their scheduled collection day we will attempt to revisit affected properties and collect their garden waste within the next two working days.

In the event of service-wide disruption temporarily preventing us from visiting all registered properties on a scheduled collection day we will provide extra collections to affected properties at the end of the season. If we are unable to provide extra collections we will provide pro-rata refunds to affected residents.

Serious incidents, dangerous weather or other events outside of the Council’s control could cause the service to be temporarily paused without return or refund. We will provide details of any service cancellations via our website as soon as possible.

If there is any evidence of misuse of the service, including, (but not restricted to):

  • using garden waste containers to dispose of any type of commercial waste
  • frequently presenting items that are not eligible for collection

We reserve the right to:

  • cancelling your service without notice
  • remove any containers
  • stop providing any further garden waste collections to the property

There will be no refunds in these circumstances.

Putting garden waste in your container

Garden waste should be placed loose in your container with the lid fully closed. No plastic bags or liners of any description should be used. Garden waste collected will be composted.

Accepted waste

We will only collect organic garden waste, including (but not restricted to):

  • flowers
  • grass cuttings
  • loose leaves
  • shrub and hedge trimmings
  • small branches no more than 10cm in thickness

Contaminated waste

We will not collect any containers that have been contaminated, including (but not restricted to):

  • animal waste of any description (including pet litter, bedding, straw or hay)
  • any organic matter from an invasive species (including Japanese Knotweed, Hogweed or Ragwort)
  • any other non-organic material from your garden
  • artificial grass
  • ash, charcoal or other leftover burned material
  • bricks
  • compostable packaging
  • flowerpots of any type
  • food waste of any description
  • garden furniture
  • garden toys
  • garden waste in plastic bags or liners
  • soil, compost or turf
  • stones or rubble
  • treated wood (including fencing wood or decking wood)
  • wire netting
  • any other non-organic material from your garden

It is the resident's responsibility to remove any items not eligible for collection before the next scheduled collection. 

If a property consistently presents contaminated garden waste we reserve the right to:

  • remove any containers
  • stop providing any further garden waste collections

No refunds will be given under these circumstances

Commercial waste

Your garden waste container(s) must only be used for garden waste from your domestic property. Any commercial waste is excluded. If a property is found to be using a garden waste container to dispose of any type of commercial waste we reserve the right to:

  • cancel your service without notice
  • remove any containers
  • stop providing any further garden waste collections to the property

No refund will be given under these circumstances.

Containers

Containers are allocated to the property and must not be taken away if you move house.

We reserve the right to charge the outgoing occupier for the container if the container is taken outside the Plymouth City Council area.

Any future charges for provision or delivery of waste containers will apply to garden waste containers.

All garden waste containers remain the sole property of Plymouth City Council.

Bins

You can have up to 3 garden waste bins per individual property. Each bin will need its own garden waste permit. If you do not have a garden waste container you will be offered a choice of either:

  • a 140 litre garden waste bin
  • a 240 litre garden waste bin

Bags

Where we feel it is impractical or unsafe to store or collect bins from a property, we reserve the right to provide garden waste bags as an alternative. Properties will be provided with 4 garden waste bags per permit to be used instead of bins.

Only Council-provided waste bags will be collected. Waste bags will not be provided unless the Council decides it is impractical or unsafe to offer a bin.

Damaged containers

If your garden waste container becomes damaged because of general wear and tear, you can request a repair or replacement.

If your container is damaged through neglect or misuse we reserve the right to:

  • pass any repair or replacement costs on to you
  • pause any garden waste collections until payment is made

Returning your container

If you no longer need the service and do not want your container you can return this to a designated drop off location specified by us. You can ask us to collect this from your property for a charge. No refunds will be given if you cancel your subscription to the service mid-season.

Moving house

Permits are not transferrable to another address.

If you move house or leave the Plymouth area you will need to either:

  • arrange for the return of your bin
  • leave it at the property for the next resident

We do not offer refunds (part or full) for service users who move house during the season.

Damaged permits

If your permit is damaged during normal use you can request a replacement permit. This will be issued to the registered address. Replacement permits will be issued within 14 days.

Charges

All charges must be paid in full in order for us to provide garden waste collections to the registered premise.

Where the customer owes the Council outstanding monies relating to any aspect of the garden waste collection service we reserve the right to:

  • stop providing any further garden waste collections to the property until all outstanding fees have been paid
  • Cancel the service without notice
  • remove any containers

No refunds will be given under these circumstances.