Garden waste collection FAQs

Answers to questions you may have about our chargeable garden waste collection service

1. Why did the price of the service go up from April 2024?

We have had to increase the price of the optional garden collection service to £60 due to inflation and other associated service cost rises. The new charge is now in line with many other authorities.

2. How can I cancel my service?

As garden waste permits are done on a yearly basis, rather than a roll-over basis, there will be no need to cancel the service. Simply do not renew when it expires.

3. Why do you charge for garden waste collections?

We estimate that, before we introduced an annual charge, only around a third of the district (15,000 homes) actually used their green bins for garden waste, so we had bin lorries driving around North Devon to pick them up when two out of three homes either hadn't put them out, or had put them out practically empty.

We do not have a statutory duty to collect garden waste. Many other councils either make a charge or do not offer the service at all. Charging to have garden waste collected helps to keep our council tax charges down, and only those people who request the service will need to pay for it.

4. How much does it cost?

A garden bin service costs £60.

You can sign up any time during the year and will receive the service for a period of 12 months.

5. How often is garden waste collected?

We collect garden waste every two weeks, however, during December and January you may only receive a collection every four weeks. As our collections run on a two week cycle, it depends where Christmas and New Year fall each year. Please ensure you check your collection calendar for confirmation on which applies to you.

6. I do not want to pay for the garden waste service. What should I do with my garden waste?

You can take your garden waste to one of the Devon County Council’s Recycling Centres. These are at Seven Brethren in Barnstaple, Killacleave in Ilfracombe and Maclins in South Molton.

7. Can I put food waste in my green wheelie bin or does it have to go in a kerbside caddy?

You cannot place food waste in your green wheelie bin, whether you have paid for the service or not. Instead, all your food waste should be placed in your kerbside caddy. Your caddy can then be placed outside with the rest of your recycling ready for collection every week. 

8. How do you know who has paid for garden waste and who hasn't?

People who have paid for the service receive a special permit to stick on the bin lid so our crews can quickly identify if the service has been paid for. Also, our in-cab technology advises our crews who has paid.

9. Can I purchase more than one green bin?

Yes, more than one green bin per household can be purchased.

10. Can I share a green bin with my neighbour?

Yes, as long as it is put out for collection outside the property of the householder who has subscribed to this service. We will request that there is only one billing address and customer name.

11. I do not want to pay for the garden waste service - will you be removing my green bin?

You can keep your bins if you wish to so that you can opt in and out of the service as you require. Alternatively you can use your green bin for storage or as a water butt. If you don't want your green bin please contact us to request its removal.

12. Can I pay the £60 in instalments?

Unfortunately, we are currently only able to take the charge in one payment.

13. How do I pay for the new garden waste collection service?

You can pay online or by phone on 01271 388360. If you prefer, you can pay in person by cheque and card at any of our community offices (The Ilfracombe Centre, The Amory Centre in South Molton and Lynton House in Barnstaple), and also by cash at Lynton House.

14. Can I leave my green bin out straight after registering for the service?

You should only leave your green bin out for collection once you have received the permit and stuck it on your bin lid. Our aim is that you receive the permit within 5 working days.

15. What happens if I move house?

If you have signed up for the service, you are able to transfer your green bin if moving house within North Devon Council's boundaries and we will provide you with a new permit.