FAQs: Additional green bin charges
Residents of our district have to pay a small annual fee to have their additional green bin collected.
From October 2019, the cost is £35 per year for each additional bin.
How long does it take to receive my permit?
It takes up to 14 days. Additional bins should not be presented for collection until the permit has arrived.
I already pay my Council Tax, why is there a charge?
We will continue to use Council Tax to provide one green bin for garden and food waste. The annual charge is for emptying additional green bins containing garden waste only.
Under the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992, garden waste is classed as household waste for which a charge for collection may be made in addition to Council Tax. This is not the case for other waste streams such as food waste, general waste or recycling. The provision of a garden waste collection is not a statutory service, but is at the discretion of the Waste Collection Authority (WCA).
How has the Council worked out how much to charge for second green bins?
We have compared charges with other Local Authorities, and £35 is the cost of administering the service.
What else can I do with my garden waste?
If your first green bin is full, then we recommend using a home compost bin or taking excess garden waste to the Household Recycling Centres at Milton or Thriplow. If this is not possible and you do not wish to subscribe to the additional green bin service, then garden waste may be placed in the black bin. This will be rotted down as part of the Mechanical Biological Treatment process (MBT) which all black bin waste goes through before it is landfilled.
When was the charge introduced?
The charge was introduced in Cambridge in 2014 and in South Cambridgeshire in 2019. Anyone with an additional green bin, or ordering one, since these dates has had to pay. If you have not subscribed to the additional green bin service, we will only empty one green bin from your property.
When is my annual renewal due?
Subscriptions will be renewed in October each year, residents that use this service will be written to in advance.
How do I pay?
Residents are being encouraged to sign up by Direct Debit. If no Direct Debit is set up, you will be invoiced.
What happens if the price changes?
You will be notified of any price changes when you are written to each year asking if you want to renew your subscription.
How is this going to help people to recycle?
We are not charging for the first green bin, only additional green bins, which are held by a small proportion of households. Whilst we want to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle, the collection of garden waste is not a statutory service but is at the discretion of the Waste Collection Authority (WCA). There are other options, like home composting, available to those that have significant quantities of garden waste.
I have subscribed to the scheme but now don’t need the bins. Are refunds available?
Refunds are not issued if you wish to unsubscribe from the service during the year.
I am joining half way though the year, do I have to pay the full amount?
There are no concessions and the annual charge is for the full year irrespective of when you join the service. If you joined in July, you would pay the full amount to see you through to September and then pay the annual charge again on 1 October.
As there are fewer green bin collections in the winter can I get a discount?
There are no discounts and the charge set reflects the established collection regime.
How many additional bins am I allowed?
You can pay for up to three additional bins, meaning there would be four bins at the property in total.
I am moving to a new house, what happens then?
If you move within or between Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire districts then you can transfer the bin, if you need this at your new address, but you must notify us of your change of address. Please contact customer services. If you move out of the area, then the charge is non-refundable and you must contact us to have the bin removed.
I have more than one green bin but don’t want to join the scheme, what happens to the bin?
If you do not subscribe and the bins do not display the relevant sticker then we will not empty these bins if they are presented for collection. Please keep the additional bin(s) or contact us to request their removal.
Can I cancel my Direct Debit?
You can unsubscribe and cancel the direct debit at any time, but refunds are not given. Alternatively, you can choose not to renew your Direct Debit when you are written to each year.
I don’t want to join the scheme but I would like an additional bin to store my extra garden waste in, can I get one for free?
No. We will not be issuing new additional green bins free of charge. Storage bins are available from other suppliers.
I do not want to pay and join the scheme; what should I do with all my garden waste?
I have a permit on my extra green bin, but my neighbour doesn’t have one on theirs, and it still got emptied. How come they didn’t have to pay?
Your neighbour may have paid for a permit but not received it yet. Please email us with the address you think needs a permit and we will investigate.
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