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Garden Waste Service FAQs

Why is the Council charging residents for garden waste collections when it didn't before?

The free collection of garden waste was a discretionary service provided by the council but we are no longer able to provide the service free of charge in the face of significant cuts to funding.

Are other Councils charging for this service?

Yes, most councils charge for the collection of garden waste.

How does the new service work?

The service runs fortnightly for 50 weeks of the year with no collection over the Christmas period. 

The service will be an annual subscription for 4 garden waste sacks, each sack will be issued with a permit which should be attached to one handle of each sack put out for collection. Once attached, the permits should be left on the sacks as this will indicate to the collection crews the property has joined the scheme.

Although a subscription is for 4 sacks, you may wish to present less if you do not have enough garden waste to fill 4.

You can purchase more than one subscription, so for example 2 subscriptions will entitle you to 8 sacks and 8 permits. 

Without the permit, your garden waste will not be removed. 

How do I apply for the garden waste service?

Subscribe to our Garden Waste Collections

Can I put garden waste in my black sacks?

No, garden waste is recyclable and if you join the scheme we will recycle it on your behalf. You can also compost at home or you can take it to one of the recycling centres such as Crowndale.

Refuse sacks containing garden waste will not be removed.

Can garden waste be collected from my white sacks?

No, garden waste will only be collected from the green, West Devon Borough Council  garden sacks with the orange permits attached.

The orange permits must have the registered address written on them and place outside of this property or collection point.

Your collection point will remain the same under the new service.

What happens if lose a sack?

You can report a lost, stolen or damaged sack or permit online via  Request a Replacement Garden Waste Sack or Permit

How will I be able to pay?

Residents will have a choice of four ways to pay for the service which are shown below in order of preferred priority to reduce impact on administration:

  • Online
  • By phone
  • In person 
  • By cheque - (please send to: Garden Waste at Follaton House, Plymouth Road, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5NE
     with your name and address.)

Can I pay monthly?

Currently we are only able to take the charge in a one off annual payment.

Can I end my subscription?

Yes, however the subscription is non refundable.

Will there be an increase in fly tipping?

Across England, when other councils have introduced a subscribed service there has been no noticeable increase in fly-tipping. We will continue to monitor the number of fly-tipping incidents and take action where necessary. Fly-tipping is a criminal offence with a maximum fine of £50,000 under the Environment Protection Act 1990.

What if I don't want to join, how can I dispose of my garden waste?

Home composting is a great way to turn your garden waste into usable compost for your garden. You can find details on how to purchase a subsidised composting bin at Composting at Home.

You can also dispose of garden waste free of charge at Devon County Council's Household Recycling Centres in either Tavistock or Okehampton: Recycling Centres.

If I choose not to join, will you take away my old white sacks?

You will be able to keep these and we would encourage you to reuse them.

When does the new service start?

The new service begins on Monday 31 July 2017 but you can sign up now. You will shortly receive a postcard detailing the timetable and where to find further information about joining the scheme. We will also publish information in local press and on social media.

I used to be able to put cardboard in my garden sacks, why can't I do that anymore and what should I do with it?

To improve the quality of the compost, we have been obliged to remove cardboard from garden collections.  You can place small amounts of most types of cardboard in your recycling box, except thick brown card, this can still be taken to household recycling centres. 

Why should I subscribe to this service now?

Join by the end of July 2017 to receive 2 free months, join by the end of August you will receive 1 free month. If you choose to join during or after this period, your next subscription payment would be due before 30 September 2018. This is in time for the new subscription year starting 1 October 2018.  Remember, if you join part way through the year the full cost will still apply.

How much will it cost and how do I pay?

The annual subscription fee is £40 per year, you can join online at Subscribe to our Garden Waste Collections.

Can I join at any time i.e. half way through the year?

Yes, it's up to you when you join the scheme, you just need to be aware that the scheme is charged in full as an annual subscription, if you join part way through the year the full cost will still apply. 

Are there any concessions or discounts for people on benefits or senior citizens?

We consider the scheme to offer value for money. You may wish to share the service with a neighbour (the collection point should be outside the registered property), compost at home, or take your waste to one of the household recycling centres.

What happens to my garden waste?

It is composted on a local farm site to enrich the soil. Unfortunately, the resultant compost is not suitable for use on domestic gardens.