We're releasing dates for the collection of old green bins one week at a time. See next week's dates

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Garden waste subscription FAQs

What changes are you making?

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From April 2024, you'll have to pay if you want your garden waste to be collected.

You'll need to subscribe for garden waste collections, and pay an annual fee. The fee is per bin, so if you have more than one garden waste bin, you'll have to pay for each one to be emptied.

Everyone who subscribes will have their garden waste collected fortnightly between April and November.

When you subscribe, you'll get a new brown bin for your garden waste. The bin is 240 litres, which is the same size as your current (green) bin. All brown bins are microchipped.

We'll only collect garden waste from brown bins. You cannot use an old green bin, bag, or any other container.

View the terms and conditions for the garden waste subscription service.

When does the service start?

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The service starts in April 2024.

It can take up to 14 days for us to process your application. We recommend you sign up as soon as possible so you're ready when collections start.

Only people who have subscribed will have their garden waste collected from April 2024 onwards.

You'll need to pay for your subscription at the time you subscribe.

When can I subscribe?

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You can subscribe from Monday 11 March 2024. Collections will begin from April 2024.

The easiest way is to subscribe for garden waste collections online.

If you're struggling to do it online, you can call 01642 726001.

It can take up to 14 days for us to process your application. We recommend you sign up as soon as possible so you're ready when collections start.

How much does the service cost?

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Garden waste collections cost £40 per year for one bin.

If you have more than one brown bin, you'll pay an extra £20 per year for each bin. The maximum number of bins allowed per household is 5.

Everyone who subscribes will have their garden waste collected fortnightly between April and November. If you do not subscribe, we will not collect your garden waste from April 2024 onwards.

There are no discounts or concessions available.

How do you know if I've paid my subscription?

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Once you've subscribed, you'll automatically be added to the system our waste collection crews use.

We'll also provide you with a sticker which includes a permit reference. You must attach the sticker clearly to your brown bin.

If you've subscribed to get more than one bin emptied, you'll get a sticker for each bin.

Can I subscribe part way through the year?

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Yes, you can subscribe any time during the year, but the cost is the same no matter when you sign up.

If you subscribe part way through the year, you'll only get the amount of collections left in the year, but you'll still pay £40.

Are there any discounts or concessions?

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No, all households pay the same amount, regardless of personal circumstances.

This includes people who subscribe part way through the year - you'll only get the amount of collections left in the year, but you'll still pay £40.

Can I get a refund if I decide to cancel my subscription?

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If you cancel your subscription after your bin has already been delivered, you cannot get a refund.

If you cancel your subscription within 14 days of signing up, and your bin has not been delivered yet, you may be entitled to a refund.

You can call 01642 726001 to cancel your subscription.

I don't want to subscribe, but I still need to get rid of my garden waste

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If you do not sign up, we'll empty your existing bin one last time and take it away.

We're delivering leaflets to every household with an existing green bin to confirm when we'll remove their bin. You can also see a list of streets we'll be visiting to take away green bins this week.

This may not be on your normal garden waste collection day.

If you still have garden waste after this, you'll be responsible for getting rid of it. You can either compost it yourself, or you can take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Don't forget, you need to book an appointment at the Household Waste Recycling Centre, you can't just turn up.

Please do not put garden waste in your black refuse bin.

How do I opt out?

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You do not need to do anything. This is an opt-in (subscription) service.

If you do not subscribe to the garden waste collection service, we will not collect your garden waste. We will also take away your existing (green) bin.

Please remember that if you do not subscribe, you'll be responsible for legally getting rid of any garden waste you have.

You can either compost it yourself, or you can take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Don't forget, you need to book an appointment at the Household Waste Recycling Centre, you can't just turn up.

Please do not put garden waste in your black rubbish bin.

When will my old green bin be taken away?

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Our waste collection crews will gradually start taking away all existing green garden bins from April 2024. This process will take us up to 9 weeks.

You can see a list of streets we'll be visiting this week to take away green bins.

We're also delivering leaflets to every household to confirm when we'll take away their bin.

It may not be on your normal garden waste collection day.

We'll empty your bin one last time before we take it away.

If you want to keep your existing bin for composting, you can. When you leave your bin out to be emptied one last time, please leave a note on the bin lid saying 'keep', and we'll return it to you after it's been emptied.

How often is garden waste collected?

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Once you're subscribed, we'll collect your garden waste every two weeks during the collection season (April to November).

You can see your collection day on your bin calendar. It may be a different day to last year. Find out how to check your bin dates.

If you do not subscribe, we will not collect your garden waste from April 2024 onwards.

Will my collection day stay the same?

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Once you've subscribed, you'll be able to see your collection day on your bin calendar. Find out how to check your bin dates.

Your collection day might be a different day to when your other bins are emptied.

You'll still need to put your bin out by 7am on your collection day.

Once you've subscribed, we'll also provide you with a letter, a sticker for your bin which includes a permit reference, and we'll let you know about your collection day.

What if my bin is lost, stolen, or damaged?

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If your bin is broken or damaged by our waste collection crew, we'll repair or replace it for free. Please let us know as soon as possible by calling 01642 726001.

I'm moving house - can I transfer my subscription?

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Yes, you can take your bin with you and transfer your subscription.

But you must let us know, so we can update our system and make sure your bin is collected from your new address. You can contact us on 01642 726001.

Why don't you collect garden waste all year round?

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During the winter, there is less growth so less garden waste is produced.

The environmental benefit of collecting such small amounts of garden waste in the winter would be outweighed by the fuel used by our bin wagons.

If you do have garden waste during the winter, you can put it in your brown bin until collections start again in spring.

Why are you introducing a charge?

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We're making changes to bin collections as part of the savings we need to make. Like many councils across the country, we've struggled to set a balanced budget for 2024-2025, which we're legally required to do.

Introducing a charge for garden waste collections will help us to keep providing the service. Many other councils already charge residents for their garden waste collection.

Not all properties in Middlesbrough need garden waste collected. We feel that introducing a charge is fair, because the service will only be used by households who want to subscribe.

The income we get will reduce the cost of running the service. In time the service may even pay for itself, which will help to protect essential services.

Why are you changing the bins and what will happen to the old ones?

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Your current green bin has to be emptied by a different kind of bin lorry than your black bin and blue-lid bin. So if our garden waste lorries break down, we cannot empty your green bin.

The new brown bins can be emptied by the same lorry as the other bins, so if there's a breakdown, we can send another lorry.

Once we've collected all the green bins, parts will be recycled.

Can I burn my garden waste?

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Garden bonfires are not illegal, even in a smoke control area. But there are laws if the smoke from the bonfires causes a nuisance to neighbours.

Garden waste can be wet and damp, which will create a lot of smoke. This can be difficult to control when you have neighbours close by.

We're likely to receive complaints if you burn garden waste, so we recommend you do not do it.

How do you dispose of the garden waste you collect?

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We send garden waste to external garden waste composters. They turn the garden waste into compost using a process called 'open windrow composting'.

Open windrow composting is used for processing garden waste, like grass cuttings, pruning, and leaves, in either an open air environment or in large covered areas where the material can break down in the presence of oxygen.

Once composted, the material can then be sold. The compost can be used to improve soil via blending, and for land remediation, with uses in agriculture and landscaping.