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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 28 February 2022 until Friday 2 December 2022. If you sign up part way through, you will be charged £39 but will only receive the service up until 2 December 2022.

Can I have more green bins?

You can have as many green bins as you like for domestic garden waste. You'll be charged a £39 subscription per bin for collections between Monday 28 February 2022 and Friday 2 December 2022.

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.

For permits purchased between 26 January and 14 February 2022, they were posted out to you by 21 February 2022. Permits purchased from 15 February 2022 will be posted within 10 working days. Please put your permit sticker on the rear of your green bin, under the handle.

If your garden waste is due to be collected before the permit arrives, please attach a note where your permit should be, stating the property address and your unique 10-digit permit reference number; this will allow the operational team to identify bins eligible for collection.

If on your confirmation email your property has been identified as not having a round allocated, your permit will be posted within two to three weeks together with notification of your collection day. Please put your permit sticker on the rear of your green bin, under the handle.

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 bin by mistake. If not, then report it to us and we will investigate the circumstances and advise you accordingly.

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

If you choose not to subscribe to the service, any green bin(s) you currently have will not be emptied from 1 March 2022. Unused green bins can be used for storage or as a water butt.

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.