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Your questions answered

The Council's garden waste collection service provides an easy and convenient way of disposing of your garden waste. However, due to drastic government cuts, and like many other neighbouring local authorities, the Council now makes a small charge for this extra service.

There will be a charge of £37 for collections between 1st March 2021 and 3rd December 2021, if you sign up online or via the Contact Centre using a debit/credit card.

The subscription means you'll receive a fortnightly collection service.

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.

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.

The cost of the service is £37 per bin for collections between 1st March 2021 and 3rd December 2021. You can sign up online or via the Contact Centre using a debit/credit card. 

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.

The new subscription period starts on Monday 1st March 2021 and only households that have subscribed to the service will have their green bin(s) emptied after this date. Residents should allow at least 10 working days for a permit sticker to be posted out. 

The charge will cover residents from 1st March 2021 to 3rd December 2021. Please note, the garden waste service is a seasonal service and collections are suspended over the winter period. 

You can sign up to receive the service at any point. The charge runs from 1st March 2021 to 3rd December 2021. If you sign up part way through, you will be charged £37 but will only receive the service up until 3rd December 2021.

Your collection day will stay the same and you will be notified if there are any changes in the future. Please have your bin out for 6.30am on your scheduled day of collection.

You can have as many green bins as you like for domestic garden waste. You'll be charged a £37 subscription per bin for collections between 1st March 2021 and 3rd December 2021. 

Yes. The cost of the service is £37 per bin for collections between 1st March 2021 and 3rd December 2021.

If you choose not to subscribe to the service, any green bin(s) you currently have will not be emptied from 1st March 2021. Unused green bins can be used for storage or as a water butt. 

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:

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

It may take a little while to process your request (up to 10 working days), so please subscribe early. The service commences on 1st March 2021. 

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.

Your new permit can be attached to your bin when you receive it through the post. Collections for 2021 commence on Monday 1st March.

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. 

This is something that you would need to discuss with your landlord in order to decide who would need to make payment if you wish to subscribe to the scheme.

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.

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 might have to cancel collections due to circumstances beyond our control e.g. severe weather.

Grass cuttings/leaves    Cardboard
Flowers/plants/weeds Food waste
Privet/hedge clippings Plastic
Small branches and twigs Soil

We don't provide additional brown bins for garden waste. Garden waste should not be placed in brown bins for disposal. Residents should subscribe to the kerbside garden waste service or take the extra garden waste to the household waste recycling centres across St Helens.

Home composting is also a good way to dispose of garden waste.

The scheme is a self-funding service and, given the current financial constraints of the council, we're unable to provide concessions.

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.

Yes. The garden waste collection will be suspended over the winter period. 

Yes. If you subscribe to the new service and you already have an assisted collection, this will continue. If you don't already have an assisted collection, please call the Contact Centre on (01744) 676789 and a form will be sent out for you to complete.

Please check with your neighbours to make sure they have not taken the bin by mistake. If not, then report it to the council and we will investigate the circumstances and advise you accordingly.

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.

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.

If the garden waste materials are placed into your green wheelie bin, then you will still need to subscribe to the kerbside collection service. Alternatively, you can ask your gardener or the person who carries out the work for you to take the garden waste away and dispose of it responsibly – but they may charge you to do so. If you pay your gardener, they cannot take the waste to one of our community recycling centres as the waste will be classed as trade waste when they remove it from your property.

Remember, householders are required by law to check that anyone removing waste from their property is authorised to do so. Householders who do not take reasonable measures to check that operators are legitimate waste carriers could be liable to a fine.

No. The only way to subscribe to the service is online at www.sthelens.gov.uk/gardenwaste or by calling the Contact Centre (01744) 676789.

No. Garden waste should never be placed in your brown bin. Brown bins found to contain garden waste may not be emptied.

No. We will only collect garden waste contained within the green bin.

Yes. You will be charged £37 per bin for collections between 1st March 2021 and 3rd December 2021. You can sign up online or via the Contact Centre using a debit/credit card. 

There will be a one-off charge of £25.00 for any additional bins purchased, plus the subscription fee. 

No. If you join part way through the subscription period or only need a few collections, the charge will still remain at £37. We offer no reduced rates.