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.

It takes up to 14 days. Additional bins should not be presented for collection until the permit has arrived.

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).

We have compared charges with other Local Authorities, and £35 is the cost of administering the service.

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.

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. 

Subscriptions will be renewed in October each year, residents that use this service will be written to in advance.

Residents are being encouraged to sign up by Direct Debit. If no Direct Debit is set up, you will be invoiced.

You will be notified of any price changes when you are written to each year asking if you want to renew your subscription.

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.

Refunds are not issued if you wish to unsubscribe from the service during the year.

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.

There are no discounts and the charge set reflects the established collection regime.

You can pay for up to three additional bins, meaning there would be four bins at the property in total.

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.

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.

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.

No. We will not be issuing new additional green bins free of charge. Storage bins are available from other suppliers.

We recommend that garden waste is composted at home. Bins can be purchased online using our online form.

Alternatively garden waste can be taken to the Household Recycling Centers.

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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