Garden waste collection service
Last updated: 20 October 2021 at 1.15pm
Garden waste collections suspended
Due to the ongoing national shortage of HGV drivers, we have had to take the difficult decision to temporarily suspend garden waste collections. This is to target our driver resources to protecting our core household waste and recycling collection services.
This means that collections due from 20 September onwards will not be taking place. Therefore, garden waste customers should now take their bin in and report any additional missed collections to us by phoning 01256 844844, so that we can explore extending their garden waste collection subscription.
The missed collections will be added to customers’ accounts. To ensure that subscription records remain on the system to add this extension, it is important that customers renew their subscription quickly if they get a reminder.
In response to the national shortage, our contractor Serco has made every effort to recruit drivers in a competitive market by offering increased salaries and enhanced benefits packages. Some applicants are currently going through the recruitment and training process.
However, a number of driver vacancies are not yet filled and agencies, who are also affected by this shortage in a fast-moving market, are unable to provide staff to fill gaps.
The national shortage of HGV drivers has impacted many other businesses and services. Together with the risk of crews becoming infected with COVID-19, this has made our current staffing levels unpredictable.
Therefore, we will review the situation regularly and hope that, if the HGV driver availability improves, we will be able to resume the service in November.
We understand that this will be frustrating and inconvenient for our customers and apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Answers to some questions you may have
- When is my bin going to be collected?
No more garden waste collections will now be made as the backlog from the week of 6 September has now been cleared and we have suspended collections (including the weeks of 20 September, 4 October and 18 October) until the service can restart once we have HGV drivers to ensure a reliable service.
Therefore, garden waste customers should now take their bin in and report any additional missed collections to us, so that we can explore extending their garden waste collection subscription. We understand that this is frustrating for our customers and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Report missed bins to us.
- When is it classed as a missed collection?
If our crew emptied all the bins in your street except yours, this is a missed collection - please remember that bins should be placed out by 7am on your collection day.
If none of the bins in your street have been emptied, this is not a missed collection, and you should continue to leave your bin out.
- Will you extend my subscription?
Yes. All garden waste subscriptions will be extended.
We are unable to carry out the extensions immediately as we need to know how many extensions apply to each account once the service can resume. Applying the extensions to accounts will take some time to complete. Customers need to renew their subscriptions when reminded as the extra collections can only be added to ‘live’ subscriptions.
- When will my subscription be extended? Why do we have to renew, before the extension is applied?
We are unable to carry out the extensions immediately as we need to complete a cycle of collections to know who the extensions will apply to. Applying the extensions also takes several weeks.
- Why do we have to renew, before the extension is applied?
Customers need to renew their subscriptions when reminded as the extra collections can only be added to ‘live’ subscriptions.
- What do I have to do to get my extra collection?
If your bin was missed but the rest of your street was collected, you should fill out a missed bin form to enable the extra collection to be added to your account.
If your whole street was missed we will add your extra collection automatically and you do not need to fill out a form.
It is important that you renew your subscription when you receive your reminder as your subscription may expire before the missed collections have been applied to your account. You need to have an active account for us to add the collections.
- How will my extension work?
We will be updating all subscription records to allow for the collections that were missed due to the service suspension. This process can take several weeks. It is important that you renew your subscription when you receive your reminder as your subscription may expire before the missed collections have been applied to your account. You need to have an active account for us to add the collections
- Can I have a refund for the service?
Individual collections are not refundable, but customers will not miss out. We will extend all subscriptions to cover the suspended collections once the service resumes.
If we were to offer a refund, it is likely to cost the council more money than the estimated £2.70 cost of each collection per household and use up much-needed staff time to do that at a time when we are focusing on keeping frontline services going. We hope that affected residents will understand the current difficulties and support this decision.
- Can I take my garden waste to the local Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC)?
Yes. There is a booking system. You can find more information about HWRCs (Household Waste and Recycling Centre) on Hampshire County Council’s website.
- Why don't you just hire more staff?
Unfortunately, it is not that straightforward. There is an unprecedented national shortage of HGV drivers, and their services are in even greater demand. We hope you will appreciate, that for the security and safety of our waste teams, we must ensure we employ suitably experienced staff.
- Will other collections be disrupted?
There is a possibility that other waste and recycling collections may see disruptions or changes in frequency. During these exceptional times, staffing levels are impacting on our waste collection services. For the latest information on waste and recycling collection services in your area, please check our bins and recycling webpage before your scheduled collections are due. You can also sign up to get email updates on council services and information at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/signup and regular updates are posted on our social media on Facebook and Twitter @BasingstokeGov.
- How will I know when there are changes to the service?
For the latest information on waste and recycling collection services in your area, please check our bins and recycling webpage before your scheduled collections are due. You can also sign up to get email updates on council services and information at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/signup and regular updates are posted on our social media on Facebook and Twitter @BasingstokeGov.
- How do I get in touch with someone about this?
Our contact centre is dealing with a large volume of calls at present so unless your call is urgent, we would appreciate you not making contact.
What does the service offer?
- The service operates all year, only stopping for two weeks over Christmas/New Year.
- There are 25 fortnightly collections per year.
- The option of having a 240 litre wheeled bin (see below for pricing).
- Free collection of real Christmas trees.
- Your subscription is valid for 12 months from the date you join, you can join the service at any time of the year.
- Reminders to renew your subscription will be sent in advance of your renewal date.
How much does the service cost?
|Container type||Total capacity
|Standard annual service charge
||Concessionary annual service charge
|Annual service charge||Container cost
(one off charge)
|Total||Annual service charge||Container cost
(one off charge)
|Re-useable sacks (x2)||180||£60||Free||£60||£48.41||Free||£48.41|
|Additional sacks (each)||90||£26
The cost of this service is non-refundable.
Please note if your bin goes missing, is damaged or stolen, you will need to purchase a replacement at a cost of £35.
Customers in receipt of council tax support, housing benefit or housing element of universal credit may be entitled to a discount. Please call 01256 844844. You will need to provide proof.
On your collection day, please ensure
- your bins and/or bags are out by 7am. Please do not use bin liners in your bin.
- your bin is displaying clearly your house name and/or number, without this your bin may not be collected as crews need to identify that you subscribe to the service. We can send you bin stickers to write your property number on, just complete a bin sticker form and we'll post them to you.
Frequently asked questions
- I already have a garden waste bin/sacks, when will my collection start if I sign up?
We need to extend our process for garden waste sign ups. Your collections will start on your closest collection day, 15 working days after you sign up. We appreciate that this may be frustrating, however it has been a necessary temporary change to allow new sign ups to be taken.
- Can I change the number of bins/sacks I am currently signed up for?
You will be able to change the number of bins/sacks on your subscription. If you need to order bins/sacks please be aware that we may be experiencing high demand and therefore delivery may take longer than usual. Please call 01256 844844.
- Will you take excess garden waste?
No, we only empty the containers you have paid to use as the rounds/vehicles only have enough capacity for these.
If you currently use sacks, exchanging two sacks for a wheeled bin for garden waste will give you an extra 60 litres of capacity for the same subscription fee. You will need to purchase the bin.
- My sacks are heavy, will you still take them?
Sacks must not weigh more than 20kg. As per our health and safety guidance, collection staff will leave sacks that are too heavy.
- When is my collection day?
You will be notified by email or post.
- Where should I put my bin/sacks for collection?
Bins and/or sacks should be left for collection at the nearest point to the public highway (pavement or road) accessible by the collection vehicle. This could be at the end of your path or shared drive.
- What time do I need to put my bin/sacks out for collection?
Your bin/sacks should be ready for collection by 7am.
- Can I continue to use my sacks even if I have purchased a bin?
If you have paid for a bin only service we won't empty any sacks that are put out for collection.
- What if my collection day falls on a bank holiday?
Collection days remain the same throughout the year and will not change on bank holidays - including Good Friday and Easter Monday.
- My bin/sack was not emptied, why was this?
There are a number of reasons for this:
Collection crews will not return for bins and/or sacks that were:
- Presented for collection after 7am.
- Presented in the wrong location.
- Sacks over the specified weight of 20 kg.
- Contaminated with incorrect waste.
- Contains items other than listed in 'what can be put in my garden waste bin or sacks' below.
- Not official bins or sacks.
Your subscription may have expired, please ensure you renew your subscription when we send you a reminder.
Collection crews will only collect the number of bins and/or sacks you have paid for.
Frozen garden waste – our crews will use a tool and attempt to empty bins where contents are frozen. Failing this they will return to try and empty again. Please help our crews by making sure your garden waste is not compacted. Moving your bin to a sunny spot on the kerbside may also help.
Under exceptional circumstances (adverse weather, access issues, unplanned road closures or any other unforeseen circumstances) where garden waste cannot be collected information will be posted on our website.
- Presented for collection after 7am.
- What happens if my bin or sacks were left out by 7am, but were not collected?
If your bin or sacks are not collected, please report a missed collection online.
- I am a returning customer, do I need to pay if I still have my bin/sack?
Yes, the annual fee covers the cost of 25 fortnightly collections. Even if you are able to use last year's sacks, you will still need to pay the annual fee. If you choose to purchase a bin you will be charged for the bin plus an annual service fee the first year and the annual service fee alone for subsequent years.
- How do I prevent my empty sacks from blowing away?
Please leave a weighted object out so that it can be put on the empty sacks to stop them blowing away. Alternatively, you could buy one of the brown bins.
- How do I order a replacement bin or sack?
Replacement sacks can be ordered online if they are worn out, go missing or are stolen. Of if your bin goes missing, is damaged or stolen you can order a replacement online
- What happens to my collection service if I move home?
If you move within the borough, you can transfer the service to your new address. If you move out of the borough, you can transfer the service to another resident, please note your collection week/day may change. Please allow ten working days for us to make the change.
- What can be put in my garden waste bin/sack?
All the following can be put in your bin or sacks
- grass cuttings
- cut flowers
- hedge trimmings
- grass cuttings
- How do I recycle my real Christmas tree?
Garden waste customers can leave real Christmas trees out for collection next to their garden waste containers. Trees over 6 ft should be cut in half and all decorations should be removed.
- Can I use bin liners in my bin?
No, please do not use bin liners in your bin.