Green Bin Collections. What A Load Of Rubbish.

With summer finally upon us and the nation picking up its garden shears in force, our green waste bins are filling up fast. But what happens when our bins are full? In some areas of England, residents are paying extra charges on top of their council tax to have their green bin collected – but who’s getting the best deal?

There are 326 districts in the UK, and over half of them charge their residents additional fees to have their garden waste collected. These ‘opt-in’ schemes ask residents to fork out anything from £6 up to £96 a year.

Green bin map of the UK

Our research uncovered Harlow District Council residents as the most unfortunate, with a fortnightly green wheelie bin collection all year round at the highest charge in the UK - £96 a year. Coming in at close second is Arun District Council, charging £86.62 for the same service. Worthing Borough Council charge an annual £80 for a weekly collection of a non-reusable sack – which residents have to buy themselves. Malvern Hills District not only charge £75 to collect residents’ green bins, but those who cancel their service and fail to present the bin for collection may also be charged an additional £50.00.

Our research revealed that London is the most expensive region to be a garden fanatic, with four boroughs from this area appearing in the top 10 highest charges in the UK.

Some areas don’t have the option of all year-round collection, leaving green bins unusable for up to half the year. Sheffield City Council offer residents collection of a non-reusable sack, fortnightly, for just 7 months out of the year, but still charge £47.60. Carmarthenshire County Council provide a similar service, offering a fortnightly wheelie bin collection for £49.42, for just 8 months of the year. Worcester City Council get the worst financial deal of the areas without an all year-round service, charging £67.50 for only 9 months of fortnightly wheelie bins collections.

Torbay Council have brought in a Waste Management Company which charges those who opt in to the scheme £6 for up to 8 bags and £1 for every additional bag.

In some areas, the charges are a lot lighter. Powys County Council, for example, will collect your green waste for free, if you buy a roll of 10 non-reusable sacks for £13.56. Sunderland City Metropolitan Borough Council charges £20.00 for fortnightly bin collection, working out at 77p per collection.

But not everyone is paying the price for a well-kept garden. Of the 138 districts in the UK that don’t pay extra for green bin collections, we looked into who is getting the best deal, and paying the least council tax for frequent green bin collections. York City Council and Wrexham County Borough Council came out greener than green for their fortnightly wheelie bin collections, whilst charging one of the lowest council tax rates of £1,212.38 for the average band D.

Western Isles Council (Eilean Siar) is a gardener’s heaven, with weekly bin collections at the lowest amount of band D council tax at £1,317.78, followed closely by Milton Keynes Council at £1,341.55.

If London is where you call home, the best borough for the green fingered is Islington London Borough, who offer free weekly collections of reusable sacks at the low council tax of £1,239.98.

Why recycle green waste?

Recycling your garden waste is essential. When green waste is put in the regular bin, it is taken to a landfill site where it decomposes and releases methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more harmful than Carbon Dioxide, polluting the environment. Filling up your green bin means your garden waste will be taken to a composting facility where it is transformed into a nutrient rich soil conditioner. Check your local council’s site for guides on what rubbish goes in which bin and how often each bin is meant to be collected.

UK Green waste collection data

Here we have attached some further data on the collection of green waste in the UK.

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Contour XT
Contour XT
Power 300 W
Cutting width 25 cm
Lawn edge facility Yes
Easi Glide 330VX
Easi Glide 330VX
Power 1400 W
Cutting width 33 cm
Cable length 12 m
Mighti Mo 300 Li
Cutting Height, min-max 25-65 mm
Cutting width 30 cm