FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
When can I sign up?
The Half Year Garden Waste Subscription Service for 2023/24 is open. Sign-ups will close for the year on 17th November 2023. These will reopen for 2024/25 year in February.
We no longer offer Garden Waste sacks to new subscribers; you will now receive a 240-litre brown bin. Sacks will only be available if a property is exempt from having a wheeled bin or if there is a specific reason. In this circumstance, please call our contact centre on 020 8583 5555 to discuss.
We will deliver your bin(s) or two sacks within ten working days, however at peak times this may be delayed. You can start using the service after 10 working days.
How long does the service last for?
The annual subscription runs from 1 April to 31 March each year. You will need to sign up by 1 April each year to get your full 12-month subscription. If you sign up after 1 April, the subscription will continue to end on 31 March. The half year subscription runs from September 29 to March 31.
Has the price increased this year?
Yes, we have made the difficult decision to increase the cost of the Garden Waste service this year in line with the rising costs of inflation. We are aware that this is an unwelcome increase at a time when making ends meet is difficult for many Hounslow residents. We have continued to benchmark our service and have remained competitively priced with neighbouring authorities. Year on year, the Council is determined to provide a low cost and convenient service for our residents, and this year is no different. There will be a 40p increase in each collection from £2.20 (last year at £55.00) to £2.60 (this year at £65.00). We are proud that we have been able to keep this cost low for our residents given the increased costs we have to deal with, particularly fuel.
Are Garden Waste collections recycled?
Yes, all Garden Waste in Hounslow is collected and taken to purpose-built sites where it is turned into a compost through a process called open windrow composting. The six-week process allows the green waste to breakdown naturally in the presence of oxygen. This creates a high-quality compost that is certified to the PAS100 quality standard.
How does the renewal process work?
The person registered as the subscriber will be contacted directly to remind them that their annual subscription is due to end. They will be provided with instructions on how to renew or cancel their subscription.
How can I pay for this service?
New subscribers can pay with all major credit and debit cards except for American Express.
Can I buy more than one bin or additional sacks?
Yes, if you require additional capacity you can subscribe to more than one 240-litre brown bin. For more than one subscription at your address you will need to call our Customer Service team on 0208 583 5555. If you are using sacks and require more capacity, you will need to swap to a wheeled bin collection as we do not offer additional sack subscriptions. The bin or sacks need to be easily accessible by the crew and must not block the public highway. Please note, this service is not available for use for commercial premises.
Why can't I have two sack subscriptions?
We no longer offer Garden Waste sacks to new subscribers. We previously offered sacks as an alternative for households that did not have sufficient space to store a 240-litre brown bin. We believe that if you have space to store more than two sacks you should have space to store a 240-litre bin, for Health and Safety reasons this is our preferred collection type.
If I have lost my sacks, can I order more sacks?
- Yes, if you have lost your Garden Waste sacks you should email firstname.lastname@example.org. We only permit a maximum of two sacks per household.
- If you require more capacity, you may need to swap to a bin collection.
How frequent will the collections be?
Garden Waste collections will be made fortnightly across the whole year, with a two week break over the Christmas period. These specific dates will be provided closer to the time. In total you will receive 25 collections a year if you subscribe from 1 April, this works out at just £2.60 per collection.
When is my collection day?
Your Garden Waste is collected fortnightly on the same day as your recycling but on the alternate week to your general rubbish collection. You can check your collection day using the 'Collection Day Finder'
Will my collection day change?
No, your collection day will stay the same. If there ever is a change, we will give you plenty of notice for this.
How many sacks can I place out for collection?
You can place out one or two sacks as you wish on your collection day. No more than two sacks will be emptied on your collection day.
How soon will I receive my bin or sacks?
We aim to deliver your bin(s) or sacks within ten working days. This may take longer during peak times. If you have ordered a bin, please ensure you have enough space within your property boundary for it to be safely delivered. We will not leave a bin on the public highway. If there is no room within your property boundary to leave the bin, it will not be delivered to you.
Do I need to be at home for the delivery of the bin or sacks?
No, you do not need to be at home for the delivery of your bin or sacks. The delivery crew will leave the bin or sacks in your front garden or driveway.
What can go in my bin or sack?
You can put the following items into your brown Garden Waste bin or sacks:
- Leaves and prunings
- Small branches (diameter no thicker than 2cm)
- Flowers and plants
- Grass cuttings
- Hedge clippings
- Most weeds (except Japanese Knotweed and noxious weeds)
- Windfall fruit from own garden
- Bedding shavings (hay, straw and sawdust) for vegetarian pets only – more info on pet bedding and waste
What cannot go in my bin or sack?
Please do not put any of the following items into your brown Garden Waste bin or sacks:
- General waste
- Food waste
- Soil or turf
- Large branches (diameter thicker than 2cm)
- Plastic flowerpots and trays
- Sharp objects
- Japanese Knotweed or noxious weeds
- Animal bedding
- Pet faeces - more info on pet bedding and waste
- Other recyclable materials
Can I leave additional waste next to my bin?
No - please do not leave any waste next to or on top of your bin or sacks as this will not be collected. Your bin should be presented with the lid closed, we will not collect your bin if the lid is open for health and safety reasons. If you are regularly generating more Garden Waste than you have capacity for, you may wish to order an additional bin.
Sacks should not have hedge trimmings or branches preventing the safe handling or safe carrying of the sack to the collection vehicle. If this does happen, we will not collect your Garden Waste.
What if my bin or sacks get lost, damaged or stolen?
You will need to email email@example.com and we will arrange for a new bin or sacks to be delivered. Charges may apply to have your bin or sacks replaced. Please ensure the old, damaged bin or sack(s) are presented at the front of your property and clearly visible from the road for collection.
What if your crew has lost/damaged my bin - will you replace it?
The collection crew will report any instances of bins being damaged or falling into the waste truck. We will then replace your lost or damaged bin free of charge within ten working days.
I have steps leading up to my property, can I still receive a bin?
Yes, we allow residents to sign up for a 240-litre bin if the bin can be placed at the bottom of the stairs for collection. Our collection team will not collect your bin if they must take it up and down steps due to health and safety reasons. Sacks will be available if a property is exempt from having a wheeled bin or if there is a specific reason. In this circumstance, please call our contact centre on 020 8583 5555 to discuss.
Can I spray/sticker/paint my door number on my bin?
Yes, you can personalise your bin in this way for it to be identifiable to your address.
My bin / sacks have not been collected, why?
There are several reasons why your bin or sacks may not have been collected:
- Your first collection will take place after 10 working days from subscribing to the service.
- You may not have presented your bin or sacks correctly. Your bin or sacks should be presented within your property boundary and clearly visible from the road by 7am on your collection day.
- Your bin or sacks may contain material that is not accepted as part of the Garden Waste service, or the bin itself might be too heavy to move - please check the website for more information about material that can be put into your Garden Waste bin or sacks.
- We may have missed your collection - you should report this online after 5pm on your collection day. This needs to be reported within 24 hours for us to be able to organise a remedial collection.
What happens if I decide not to renew my bin / sacks?
If you choose not to renew your subscription, your bin or sacks will remain at your property but will no longer be collected. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a collection of your unwanted Garden Waste bin. We will not collect Garden Waste sacks and we ask that you either repurpose these or dispose of them yourself. If you change your mind at a later date and wish to reinstate the service, you can resubscribe.
If I pay for the service then change my mind, can I get a refund?
If you choose to cancel the service within 14 days of subscribing (cooling off period) to the service, you will receive a full refund. After this 14-day cooling off period we do not offer refunds.
If I need extra or less capacity once my service has commenced, how I can arrange this?
If you require additional capacity, you can sign up for an additional subscription for a Garden Waste bin. However, we cannot give refunds on bins or sacks that are no longer wanted (unless it is within the 14-day cooling off period). For any questions on this please email email@example.com
Can I share my bin or sacks with my neighbour?
Yes, this is possible however the bin(s) or sacks need to be kept and presented at the premises of the property that has paid for the service. Our collection team will not be able to collect from another address. We will also only be able to correspond with the individual registered as the subscriber.
I live in a flat, can I subscribe to the service?
Yes, if the garden is managed and maintained by you (or a group of residents) and you have access to a front Garden where the bin will be presented for collection, you should be able to sign up for the Garden Waste Service. Please contact our call centre to discuss and to find out whether your property is eligible on 020 8583 5555.
Can a school subscribe to the service?
Yes, schools can now sign up for a Garden Waste service. They will be expected to present their Garden Waste Bin at the boundary of the school on collection day. Please contact our call centre to discuss on 020 8583 5555.
Do I need to present my bin or sacks for collection every fortnight?
No, you can present your Garden Waste for collection on your assigned collection day as frequently or infrequently as desired, however the annual cost of the service is the same.
Can I take my bin or sacks with me if I move within the Borough?
Yes, you can if it is within the geographical area of the Borough. You will need to contact us to notify us of the new property address so that we can update our collection schedules. If you cannot take the bin to the new property, we will then deliver a new bin for you if you are still subscribed to the service.
Is there a weight limit for waste I can place in my bin?
Yes, the weight of your bin must not exceed 50kg. Please do not overload your bin or sacks, if they are deemed too heavy they will not be collected. Please refer to the list of items that can and cannot be placed in your bin or sacks. If you are still regularly producing too much waste, you may wish to consider purchasing an additional bin.
Where should I present my Garden Waste bin or sacks for collection?
Please present your bin or sacks as close to the edge of your property (by the gate) as is safely practical, i.e., the nearest point to the collection vehicle. You must not leave your bin or sacks on the public highway - they must remain within your property boundary but clearly visible from the road.
Residents can report a problem with their collection by:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Phone: 020 8583 5555
A missed collection report will not be accepted until after 5pm on the day of collection - once drivers' reports have been checked. This is to avoid sending vehicles back unnecessarily or taking reports when crews may still be working.