Ryedale District Council

Household garden waste

Quick tips and links to help you get the most out of home composting.

If you are not going to subscribe to the garden waste service, the brown bins remain the property of the Council and at some point in the future will be collected from your property with prior notice. However, if your brown bin is causing an obstruction and you would like it removed, please complete the online form to arrange for it to be collected.

Brown Wheelie Bin

Please note: the garden waste service is not affected by bank holidays, your collection day will stay the same.

Brown bin resizedYou can put garden waste material in your brown bin for recycling. This can include grass cuttings, windfalls, flowers and plants,hedge clippings, leaves and bark, weeds, turf, hay, straw (but nothing that may be contaminated with dog or cat waste), small branches and prunings.

All the garden waste etc. collected from your home, goes to local farmers to be composted, so it's important that there is no plastic or any other contamination in the bin.

If we miss collection of recyclable or non-recyclable waste and it's our fault, a crew will return within five working days (usually much sooner) to rectify the situation. Report a missed waste collection via our online form.

Large Quantities

If you have large quantities of garden waste to dispose of there are a number of options available.

  • Garden waste can gradually be disposed of using the brown wheeled bin over a number of weeks
  • The waste may be taken to any Household Waste and Recycling Site, where separate recycling facilities are available for garden waste

See our Household Waste Disposal Sites page for more information.

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Home Composting

Emptying compostHome composting is the best method to dispose of garden waste. See our Composters page for useful hints and tips for successful composting.

The Recycle Now website has loads of information on successful home composting including how to set up your composter, make your compost and how to use your compost (telephone 0845 600 0323).

Most garden and raw vegetable waste can be composted, including your vegetable peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds and grass cuttings. More advice is available on the Recycle Now website.

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No Winter collections of garden waste - frequently asked questions

Why are you suspending garden waste collections in winter? .

For which months are garden waste collections suspended? .

Why are collections suspended for three months? .

What are the benefits of suspending the service during winter months? .

How do I find out when my garden waste collections start and finish? .

I still produce garden waste over winter, what should I do with it? .

Will taking waste to a Household Waste Recycling Centre increase carbon emissions? .

How do I dispose of my old Christmas tree? .

Why are you suspending garden waste collections in winter?

The continued and unprecedented scale of cuts in government funding means that increasingly difficult decisions now have to be taken by the Council regarding delivery of services to achieve financial savings to balance the budget.

Stopping the garden waste collection service in winter is one of the Council's efficiency measures as part of its corporate efficiency programme, as the amounts of garden waste presented for collection significantly reduce at this time of year. One collection cycle of garden waste costs approximately £4,000 in fuel and it is not cost effective to operate the vehicle fleet when demand for the service falls.

It is essential for all council tax payers that the Council utilises its resources efficiently and effectively to safeguard as many other services as possible, which are important to the community we serve.

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For which months are garden waste collections suspended?

Garden waste collections will stop for 3 months in December, January and February.

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Why are collections suspended for three months?

While some people do produce garden waste in the winter, tonnages significantly decrease and very small amounts are collected across the District during these months.

Almost 70% of garden waste tonnages are collected between April and September, with the remaining 30% between October and March. In December, January and February volumes reduce significantly and it is simply not cost effective to operate large waste collection vehicles across a district of 575 square miles, when demand for the service reduces to this extent.

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What are the benefits of suspending the service during winter months?

Reduction of carbon emissions through reduced use of large vehicles will be realised. Garden waste collection vehicles only do around 4 miles to a gallon of diesel. Using a web based mapping system the Council has been able to accurately monitor fuel use of all of its vehicles on each collection round, to give a cost benefit analysis for all months of the year. Garden waste collections in winter months showed the least benefit to Council Tax payers.

During very cold winter periods, garden waste freezes in bins due to its high moisture content. When shaken against the vehicle to try to free the material, a significant number of containers split as they are very brittle. These containers are obviously expensive to replace.

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I still produce garden waste over winter, what should I do with it?

You could try home composting. Containers can be purchased at a reduced price through the Council's dedicated waste management website, Let's Talk Less Rubbish, then enter your postcode to see latest offers.

Residents will still have the option to use their brown wheeled bin, as typically, smaller volumes of garden waste will compost down over winter and this will be collected again when collections begin again in March.

If you already compost at home, but still generate more garden waste than you can manage, please take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. Further details can be found on North Yorkshire County Council's website.

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Will taking waste to a Household Waste Recycling Centre increase carbon emissions?

Ideally residents should home compost where possible, or try to incorporate a visit to the HWRC in with regular routines, rather than a separate trip. Average fuel consumption for a car is around 35 mpg compared to garden waste collection vehicles, which only do about 4 mpg.

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How do I dispose of my old Christmas tree?

Old Christmas trees can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre for recycling. If you only have small amounts of garden waste during winter months, Christmas trees can be chopped up and left in the garden waste bin until collections start again in March.

Alternatively, why not buy a Christmas tree with roots attached, which could be planted in the garden, or perhaps think about an artificial tree that could be re-used each year.

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Garden waste collections – your questions answered

These can be downloaded as a pdf at the bottom of this page.

Why is the Council introducing a chargeable service?

Garden waste collections have been costing the Council over £285,000 per year. To protect this service and ensure its continued provision, the Council has agreed to introduce a subscription (opt-in) service to offset part of the cost of providing it.

By introducing a charge for this discretionary service it means that the Council will be better placed to maintain delivery of both its essential, as well as other valued services.

All local authorities are now facing significant financial pressures when it comes to finding ways of maintaining delivery of front line services. This is due to increased year on year funding cuts by the Government. Nationwide austerity measures affecting all public finances seem set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Are there any exemptions or concessions?

There are no exemptions or concessions, regardless of those in receipt of benefits or for senior citizens.

What happens if the bin is at a village hall, place of religious worship or other charity?

The service will be chargeable for all these types of organisations, as with domestic properties.

Why are charges not included in Council Tax?

Collecting garden waste is not a service that local authorities are under a duty to provide. As with other discretionary services provided by the Council, a separate charge is made if residents choose to opt in.

Do other local authorities charge for garden waste collections?

Yes, over recent years an increasing number of Councils have introduced a fee, with over a third now charging for this service. In North Yorkshire, Craven and Richmondshire currently charge.

How do I subscribe to the garden waste collection service?

It's quick and easy online or call our 24 hour Freephone on 0800 035 1566. Alternatively, see the leaflet - 'Your garden frequently asked questions' below.

Can I have more than one bin?

Yes, you can subscribe to more than one bin. However, you will need to buy a separate licence for each bin.

How will the collection crew know to empty my bin?

Once your payment has been received you will receive a plastic licence (this will be a tag about the size of a credit card) through the post which will need to be affixed to your wheeled bin. This will be used to confirm that the bin is registered to your address. Bins without licences will not be emptied. You will need a licence for each wheeled bin you present for emptying.

Will my collection day change?

Some collection days may change. You will be notified in advance.

How long will it take to get my licence?

You will receive your licence within 14 days of making your payment.

What if my licence is lost, stolen or damaged?

Contact the Council as soon as possible for a replacement.

Can I join the scheme midway through the year?

To guarantee your garden waste collections you must subscribe by 31 May 2016. Collections cannot be guaranteed for subscriptions received after this time. Unfortunately the charge is a fixed annual cost and reductions cannot be made for fewer collections.

I share my brown bin with my neighbour, can we share the service charge?

Yes, though full payment is still required and the bin will need to be registered and collected at one address.

What do I do if I use compostable bags instead of a brown bin?

If you are registered as being eligible for an assisted collection (or if your property is not suitable to accommodate a wheeled bin) you will be issued with a year's supply of compostable liners instead of a licence when you subscribe. These can be put out on collection day (or collected from an agreed point, for those on assisted collections)

What happens if I move house?

It is intended that the licence is non-transferable and only valid for the property for which it was originally purchased. The preferred, cost effective option, is for residents who are moving to leave the licence for the new occupants. If this does not meet your individual circumstances please contact us and arrangements (currently being trialled) will be made to cancel your current licence and issue a new licence. Unfortunately no refunds can be given.

What will happen to my brown bin if I choose not to subscribe to the scheme?

Your wheeled bin remains the property of Ryedale District Council. If you are not going to sub scribe it is recommended that you retain your brown bin in case you change your mind in the future. However, if you would like your brown bin removing please contact the Council and arrange for its collection. Garden waste must not be put in your bin for general (non-recyclable) waste.

Will there be an increase in fly-tipping due to charging for this service?

There are a significant number of local authorities that already charge for garden waste but so far there is no evidence of increased incidences of fly-tipped material as a result.

What are my other options if I don't want to subscribe?

Low cost compost bins can be purchased online at Let's Talk Less Rubbish or phone 0844 571 4444. Additionally, the Council holds occasional one-day sales of subsidised compost bins. Look out for details on the Council's website and in the local press. If you already compost at home, but still generate more garden waste than you can manage, material can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre (skip site).

Has the Council consulted on charging for garden waste?

A consultation exercise carried out as part of setting the 2013-15 Budget showed that the majority were not in favour of being charged for this service. However, charging for garden waste was the "least worst option", enabling the Council to continue to provide other valued community services

For more information on recycling, or to request a brown bin or bio bags, please email us or telephone 01653 600666.


Attachments (downloads)
FileNo of pagesFile sizeCreated
Download this file (Garden_waste_FAQs_2016.pdf)Garden waste frequently asked questions222 kB02-2016
Download this file (Garden_waste_recycling_guide_2015.pdf)Garden waste recycling guide21097 kB03-2015

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Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House, Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

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