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Glasgow City Council

Garden Waste Permit FAQ's

Why has the charge been introduced?

Following the Council's annual budget meeting for 2023 to 2024 on Thursday 16 February 2023, a decision was made to introduce a charge for the collection of garden waste within the brown bin.

The collection of garden waste is not a statutory service, and with reducing budgets and increasing costs, the Council can no longer afford to operate this type of collection as a free service.

Until now, Glasgow has chosen to offer a free service, however, this has been subsidised from Council Tax paid by all households, including those who do not use it and do not have gardens. Introducing a permit system for those who do wish to have a kerbside collection of garden waste will support and protect the delivery of other core services across the city.

To retain a garden waste collection service, it was therefore necessary to introduce a charge to contribute towards the cost of its provision. There is no obligation to make use of the chargeable service and residents can continue to dispose of garden waste free of charge at the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC).

Is the council allowed to charge for this service?

Yes. The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 (Schedule 2) specify garden waste as a type of household waste for which a collection charge may be applied. In addition, garden waste is not one of the materials that local authorities are required to collect for recycling, as specified in the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012.

Do other councils charge for this service?

Yes. Many councils in Scotland charge for this service, including East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Edinburgh City, Falkirk, Inverclyde, Aberdeen, Dundee, Highland, Midlothian, Moray and Perth and Kinross.

What will the charge be?

The garden waste permit charge will cost £50 per brown bin.  This will cover the period 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024.

What are the registration arrangements?

All properties who currently have a brown bin will receive a letter informing them of the proposed service change and a form will be available on the Council website to apply for the permit.  You can make your application using our online form.  Updates and reminders will also feature on the Council's social media channels.

Residents can order a garden waste permit if they have a brown bin at their property.   If you do not have a brown bin, you can order one online (kerbside properties only). Once you have received your brown bin, you can apply for a permit. 

How do I purchase a brown bin permit?

Participating householders will be required to make a one-off annual payment. You can apply using our online form.

The current model does not offer the facility for people to pay this charge in instalments; this is consistent with existing arrangements for similar charges.

What if I cannot order a permit online?

Residents can contact the customer care centre, 0141 287 9700. The phone line is available every Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 until 16:00.

The quickest method to order the permit is via the online form.

What if I have more than one brown bin at my address?

A permit will be required for each brown used for the storage of garden waste.  A separate application will need to be made via the online form for each individual brown bin.

Will this result in more fly tipping?

Councils who have already introduced this charge have found no evidence to suggest that fly tipping of garden waste has increased as a result. The disposal of garden waste is the householder's responsibility and residents can continue to dispose of this free of charge at any of our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC).

Are elderly and disabled residents required to pay for the garden waste service?

No concessions are possible, and all residents are required to pay the charge, if they wish to participate in the service.

How will the council identify residents who have paid for brown bin collections?

Residents will receive their permit within 21 days of payment being received. Registration documentation will include a permit sticker to be applied to their bin; this sticker will display the address and permit reference number for the registered property as well as the expiry date of the permit.  Collection crews will only empty bins, containing garden waste, that are presented with this valid sticker clearly displayed, ensuring that the sticker details match the property address.

What are the terms and conditions?

You can view our full terms and conditions relating to this service online.

What happens if I sign up for less than the full year?

Please apply for the permit early to ensure the maximum number of collections throughout the year. The brown bin is collected every two weeks.  Residents who sign up for the service after the introduction of the charge will still be charged the full annual fee but will receive fewer collections. The fee covers the 12-month period from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024.

What happens if I move house?

Purchased permits relate to the property address and not the householder, so if you move house the permit will remain at your old address and cannot be transferred or refunded.  If you have moved property, you can apply at your new address using our online form.

Will I be refunded for missed collections?

No. Refunds will not be given for missed collections. If a collection is missed due to unforeseen circumstances (eg, vehicle breakdown, industrial action or due to a genuine error), the collection will be completed as soon as possible. If the bin has been presented late or in the incorrect location, the householder may be required to wait until the next scheduled collection before it is emptied.

What happens if my bin goes missing? How do I get a replacement permit for a replacement bin?

You can tell us your bin is missing on our request a bin form.   To tell us you need a replacement permit, please complete our enquiry form.  Both will be provided free of charge.

Are large garden waste bins available?

No. Due to the weight which may be collected in a larger bin, these are not provided.  Standard sized wheeled bins are 240 litre capacity. Additional bins can be provided, however, an additional £50 permit will have to be purchased for each bin.

What can I recycle in my brown bin?

Garden waste including grass cuttings, leaves, bark, flowers/plants, hedge trimmings, weeds, twigs/small branches are all accepted materials in household brown bins.  Food waste is also accepted within the brown bin.   Further information on what can be recycled within each bin is provided on the Council website.

What can't be recycled in my brown bin?

Please don't dispose of pet waste, soil, turf, stones, plant pots, garden furniture, plastic bags, or any general waste in the brown bin.  The presence of other waste, other than targeted waste, as highlighted in question above, can negatively impact the quality of the compost produced at the re-processing site.  Bins 'contaminated' with other waste will not be uplifted by collection crews.  Additionally, please don't put any materials into your brown bin which are targeted for collection within one of your other recycling bins. 

Can I dispose of food waste in the brown bin if I don't have a permit?

Yes, food waste can be put into the brown bin, and this will be collected from each household every 2 weeks. 

If a resident only wishes for their food waste to be collected, they don't have to do anything. Food waste only brown bins will continue to be collected without the need to apply for a permit.

What happens if residents don't purchase a permit and continue to place garden waste in their brown bin?

Our collection crews will undertake checks to ensure there is no garden waste in the brown bin if presented to the kerbside for collection and no permit is attached.  If garden waste is present within the bin and the resident hasn't paid for this service, the bin won't be emptied. Residents can still dispose of garden waste, free of charge, at any of the Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres.

What happens if I have a permit and my bin is missed?

You can report a missed bin using our online form.

What happens if my brown bin needs replaced?

If our vehicle or staff damage your bin, you can order a replacement via our online form.  To tell us you need a new permit, please complete our enquiry form.  Both will be provided free of charge.

What happens to my brown bin if I don't opt into the service?

Should you not wish to buy a permit for the garden waste collection service, you will still be required to retain your brown bin for food waste collections at the property.  The brown bin belongs to your property and should not be removed. 

What if I want to cancel my request for a permit?

As per the pdf icon Terms and Conditions of service [301kb], you can cancel you application within 14 days of your request.  After this period, cancellation and refunds are not permitted.   If you want to cancel, and are within 14 days of your request, you can do this via the myGlasgow portal

To do this, you will have to sign into your account,

  1. Select "myRequests"
  2. Select your "Garden Waste Permit Request".  
  3. From your request, select "Continue",
  4. Where it says "Cancel".  From there, you can cancel your request. 

We will process your refund within 14 days of your cancellation.

Any permits in transit at the time of cancellation should be returned unused within 2 weeks of receipt, before a refund will be initiated.  Permits should be returned to:

Glasgow City Council
Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability
727 London Road
G40 3AQ

My permit is lost or stolen

Please complete our online enquiry form, providing as much information as possible, and we will investigate this problem.

My permit was not delivered

It can take up to 21 days for your permit to be delivered, please allow us this for your permit to arrive at your property.    If you don't receive the permit within 21 days, please complete an online enquiry form and we will investigate and respond.

If 14 days have elapsed since your request, these options are not available, as per our pdf icon Terms and Conditions of service [301kb].

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