FAQs – Garden Waste Scheme

Why are we changing the garden waste scheme?

We like many councils across Derbyshire and throughout the country are dealing with large increases in costs and reduced funding from central government to deliver services. This, alongside, increased demand for statutory services (ones we must legally provide) is putting further pressure on the council’s finances.

The funding from government and the share of council tax we receive does not cover all the costs. We are facing the most challenging financial position experienced in many years. Difficult decisions are having to be made to reduce or change the way services are delivered to make savings and to try to generate income to balance the budget for 2024/25.

The introduction of the chargeable garden waste service is part of this. Residents will now only pay for the service if they opt-in to the scheme and it remains free for residents to dispose of garden waste at the household waste recycling centres or to compost at home.

How often will garden waste be collected?

A maximum of 20 collections will be made during the garden waste year which runs from 1 April to the 31 March of the following year. Collections will be every fortnight and will continue to take place on the same day as recycling collections. 

Collections will be suspended over the winter months. Ilkeston & Surrounding Area - last collections during week commencing 11 November 2024, starting again week commencing 17 February 2025. Long Eaton & Surrounding Area - last collections during week commencing 18 November 2024, starting again week commencing 24 February 2025.


If you don’t have an account, it is easy to open one and use the Garden Waste Subscription form. If residents struggle with the online form:

  • Family and friends can sign up on their behalf via their My Erewash account – multiple subscriptions for different addresses can be registered.
  • Customer contact centre (0115 907 2244) support is available to subscribe online.
  • There will be Town Hall drop-in sessions for dedicated support to subscribe online.  Details and dates to be publicised.
  • You can also watch a step-by-step guide on completing the form on YouTube.

The prices are:

  • Online: £32 first bin, additional bins £16 per bin.
  • By Telephone - 0115 907 2244: £32 first bin, additional bins £16 per bin.
  • In Person: £37 first bin, additional bins £18.50 per bin.

When and how can I sign up?

You can sign up using the following ways:

  • Online through My Erewash, find out how to set up an account.
  • Calling our Customer Services Team on 0115 9072244
  • Visiting Ilkeston or Long Eaton Town Halls (please check opening times before travel).

What can be placed in the garden waste brown bins?

See our list of what you can and can’t put in your garden waste bin. All garden waste should put in the brown bin loose, not in bags or wrapped up.

I would like to have more than one garden waste bin collected, is that possible?

Yes, when you sign up you can select how many bins you would like to subscribe for. A reduced rate is available for additional garden waste subscriptions. You will receive a sticker to go on each bin (up to a maximum of 5 brown bins). If you require additional brown bins these can be purchased at the same time.

How will you know which houses have subscribed to the garden waste service?

Each subscribing household will receive a tamper-proof sticker to fix under the handle on the back of each brown bin. The sticker shows the address the subscription is for. The crews also use electronic tablets which tell them which properties have signed up.

How and when will I get my bin sticker?

After your application has been processed a welcome letter will be posted out, including your tamper-proof bin sticker(s).  It can take 10 days to receive your sticker but it is generally quicker. Replacement stickers can be provided if necessary.  

Isn't the Council legally obliged to collect garden waste?

The Council must legally collect household waste and recycling, but not garden waste.

Do other councils also charge for garden waste collections?

Over half of all UK councils now charge residents for garden waste collections.

Can brown bins be used for household recycling instead if a subscription for garden waste is not taken?

No, from the 1 April 2024 the brown bins will only be able to be used for garden waste if a subscription has been paid for.

Will the charge made for replacing a brown bin be refunded if the bin is no longer to be used?

We are unable to refund any payments made for the delivery and provision of brown bins. 

What will happen if I don’t need my brown bin?

We are asking residents to hold onto their brown bins and for these to be retained at the property. If a subscription is taken out later there will be a charge for providing a bin.

Will I still be able to use my brown bin for recycling during the winter months?

After the 1 April 2024, when the new garden waste scheme starts, brown bins over the winter months will no longer be able to be used for extra recycling.  If you regularly have extra recycling, an additional blue bin can be purchased, or extra recycling presented at the side of the blue bin.

Can I pay online on behalf of other people who don’t have access to the Internet?

Payment for a garden waste subscription can be made online on behalf of a relative or friend. The name of the resident and their address where the garden waste collection is requested will be required.

Do you have more detailed terms and conditions if I am considering a garden waste subscription?

Yes, you can view our service terms and conditions for more information.

Are any concessionary discounts available?

The Council is offering a great value early bird saver price for residents signing up online before 31 March 2024.

If I decide to subscribe halfway through the year will the price be reduced?

No, the price will be the annual charge regardless of when you sign up during the year.

Do I have to pay for the garden waste collections?

No, the service is entirely optional. If you don't want to sign up, then you do not need to do anything. If you have not paid by 31 March 2024, we will not collect your brown bin if it is left out for collection. Garden waste can be deposited free of charge at the local household waste recycling centre or composted at home. Keeping hold of your brown bin is important in case you change your mind and wish to join the scheme later on.

What if I haven’t got a brown bin at my property?

If you do not have a brown bin, you can purchase a bin when you sign up. However, please be aware that there are properties with restricted access or some communal properties that may not be eligible for the service.

Can I put out garden waste in other containers for you to collect?

You can only use the brown bins supplied by the council for garden waste. We will not empty any other type of containers or take loose garden waste.

Can a subscription be shared?

No, a subscription cannot be shared.

If I have a smaller brown bin, can I swap it for a bigger bin?

Properties who have a smaller brown bin (140 litre bin) will be able to request an exchange for a standard size brown bin (240 litre bin) at no charge.

How will I know what day my garden waste will be collected?

You can check online for your collection day. Garden waste will be collected on the same day as your recycling collections.

What if I move house?

If you move house in the Borough, the subscription is not transferable to your new address. If you are moving out of the Borough, you will not be entitled to a refund.

Won’t fly-tipping increase?

Fly-tipping garden waste is a criminal offence. Other councils who have introduced similar garden waste schemes have not reported a real increase in fly-tipping. Garden waste can be deposited free of charge at the local household waste recycling centre or composted at home.

What happens to the garden waste collected?

The garden waste from the brown bins is delivered to a waste transfer station in Ilkeston where Derbyshire County Council arrange for it to be loaded onto larger vehicles and taken to a composting site near Doncaster. Here the garden waste is shredded and placed in large rows called ‘windrows’ in the open air. The material naturally breakdowns and is turned over regularly to add in air. It takes around 16 weeks for the compost to be made. The final stage removes any large or wrong items ensuring the material meets the British Standard for compost. The compost is then used as a nutrient rich soil improver in the horticultural industry.

Do you promote home composting?

Yes, composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It's easy to make and use. We have advice on home composting and how to buy a compost bin.