Toggle menu

Garden waste - FAQs

Why are you charging for these collections?

We have a reduced budget from central government and can no longer subsidise the cost of collecting green waste - council tax has increased but it doesn't cover the scale of government cuts to our borough. Considerable financial challenges require savings to invest in priority areas, protecting those who are vulnerable and boosting the local economy.

Doesn't my council tax already pay for garden waste collections? 

No, this is an additional service provided by the council. There's no legal requirement to provide a kerbside collection for garden waste. The income from charging for garden waste collections will make the service self-financing.

Can I pay the subscription monthly?

Unfortunately, the council is unable to offer payment by instalments. In order to minimise the cost of the scheme and keep subscription fees to a minimum, the subscription must be made as a one-off payment.

What happens if I sign up part way through the subscription period? Will I have to pay the full amount?

You can sign up to receive the service at any point. The charge runs from Monday 4 March 2024 until Friday 6 December 2024. If you sign up part way through, you will be charged £42.50 but will only receive the service up until 6 December 2024.

Can I have more green bins?

You can have as many green bins as you like for domestic garden waste, if you need to order an additional bin the cost is £34.50 per bin. You'll be charged a £42.50 subscription per bin for collections between Monday 4 March 2024 until Friday 6 December 2024.

How will you know I have subscribed to the service?

We will have an electronic record of which residents have subscribed. You will also be sent a permit sticker through the post.

Please allow up to 10 working days for your permit to arrive. 

Where should I place my permit sticker?

Attach the permit sticker under the handles at the back of the bin. This allows the collection crew to make a quick check and ensure the stickers aren't damaged by the lifting equipment. The collection crews will not collect any garden waste bins that don't display a sticker.

What happens if I move house?

If you move house during the period of your subscription, you can transfer this subscription to your new address in St Helens. Refunds are not available if you move out of the St Helens area or if you no longer require the service.

Can I get a refund if I decide to cancel my subscription?

You have the right to cancel your subscription and obtain a full refund within 14 days of the day of purchase. No refunds will be issued after 14 days.

Do I get a refund if you fail to empty my green bin?

No. Genuine missed collections are rare. Your bin may not be emptied if it contains the wrong items or it's too heavy. A non-collection card will be left explaining why. All bins must be put out for collection by 6.30am on your collection day. We may have to cancel collections due to circumstances beyond our control e.g. severe weather.

Can residents share a bin?

Yes, you can share your bin with a neighbour if you wish. The bin will be charged to one resident and will be collected from that property only.

What if my green bin or subscription sticker is stolen?

Please check with your neighbours to make sure they have not taken the subscription sticker by mistake. If not, then contact us and we will investigate the circumstances and advise you accordingly.

Stolen green bin replacements can be purchased but we would advise residents to wait until their next collection date and see if the green bin turns up. 

If I have a green bin but do not want to pay for subscription, what do I do with the bin?

Choosing not to subscribe means your green bin (s) will not be emptied. You should leave your green bin at your property.

We will not be removing unwanted green bins at this time as they are relevant to the property and need to be present should there be a change of occupier who may wish to subscribe to the service in the future. If you choose to subscribe to the service in the future and you don't have a green bin there would be an additional delivery charge. Bins not in use can be used for storage at your property or taken to the local Household Waste Recycling Centre for disposal.

If I don't sign up, how can I dispose of any garden waste?

We encourage you to either home compost your garden waste or take it for free to one of the three household waste recycling centres across St Helens: 

  • Ravenhead Household Waste Recycling Centre, Burtonhead Road, St Helens WA9 5EA
  • Rainhill Household Waste Recycling Centre, Tasker Terrace, Rainhill L35 4NX
  • Newton-le-Willows Household Waste Recycling Centre, Junction Lane, Newton-le-Willows, St Helens WA12 8DN

If you have a van, permits are available from Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority:

Will the charge discourage residents from recycling?

We hope that residents will understand the financial pressure we face and the reasons for introducing this charge. It's hoped that the subscription service, the free-of-charge household waste recycling centres and home composting will provide sufficient alternatives for those who wish to recycle.

Do you expect to see more fly-tipping of garden waste?

There's no evidence to suggest that we'll see any increase in fly-tipping. We have spoken to other councils that have similar schemes and they've seen no increase. We'll monitor this issue closely and any reports of fly-tipping will be looked into.