Here’s what to do with garden waste if your collection service is suspended

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 2:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 12:37 pm
What to do if your garden waste services have been suspended (Photo: Shutterstock)
What to do if your garden waste services have been suspended (Photo: Shutterstock)

With the current coronavirus outbreak continuing to keep the UK under lockdown, there has been disruption to various council services.

This is what you need to know about how your garden waste collection service has been affected, and what to do with any unwanted grass clippings, hedge trimmings and leaves.

How do I find out my garden waste collection date?

Individual councils across England will operate on different schedules when it comes to collecting your garden waste.

You can find out more information about your garden waste collection timetable by visiting the government website here.

Enter your postcode and you’ll be provided with a link to your local council website.

You’ll be able to find out more about when your garden waste will be collected by the council, or you might find out that your service has been suspended due to the ongoing virus outbreak.

What to do if your garden waste collection is suspended

Not all councils across England have suspended their garden waste collection services, so do check your individual council for the latest update.

But for many councils across England, garden waste collections have been halted until at least the summer.

This is due to a combination of staff shortages and social distancing requirements.

If you’ve found that your brown bin collection services have been suspended for the time being, you should follow the advice on your council’s website about what to do.

If your services have been halted, you are advised not to add any more garden waste to it as the contents will start to compost and the bin itself could become extremely heavy - too heavy, in fact, to empty once the service resumes.

What should I do with my garden waste?

You should try and recycle your garden waste using a compost bin.

Change Works states that composting is a great way to turn specific foods and garden waste into free fertiliser for your garden.

Change Works lists the following as suitable for composting:

  • Fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Grass clippings
  • Twig and hedge trimmings
  • Leaves
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee grains
  • Pet and human hair
  • Feathers
  • Vegetarian pet bedding, such as bedding for rabbits and guinea pigs
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Soft cardboard, like egg cartons and toilet rolls

Things like meat, dairy and cooked foods are not suitable for home composting unfortunately.

If you’re unable to make at home composting arrangements, then you should store your garden waste in a corner of your garden until the service resumes.

Can I burn garden waste?

As tempting as it might be to simply burn your garden waste to get rid of it, you are not allowed to do so.

The government website states that you cannot burn household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people’s health.

It says: “You can get rid of household or garden waste by composting or recycling it.”

If you’re found to have lit a fire and allowed the smoke to drift across the road, becoming a danger to traffic, you might find yourself with a fine.

Similarly, you can issue an “abatement notice” if your neighbours are having bonfires and are causing a nuisance - the bonfires need to be happening frequently to be considered a nuisance.

Your neighbours can be fined up to £5,000 if they don’t follow the rules of the notice.