Domestic garden waste collection procedures

Procedures relating to our domestic recycling collections.

Domestic garden waste is made up of grass, leaves, twigs, weeds, hedge clippings, flowers and plants. The council will not collect garden waste from allotments, cemeteries or non-residential properties.

Garden waste collected in the district is currently taken to Deep Moor in-vessel composter.

North Devon Council only accepts garden waste that is presented in a registered green wheelie bin with a valid permit displayed.

Collection frequency

We will collect green bins fortnightly between February and November. In December and January a revised service will operate and this will differ from year to year. Please check the website current details.

Collection day and time

We will notify residents of their collection days and of any required changes to accommodate Bank Holidays. We will aim to make all collections between 6am and 4pm. In exceptional circumstances, such as severe weather conditions or council vehicle breakdowns, this may vary. 

We reserve the right to change the collection schedule for operational reasons. We will give customers adequate advance notice of any changes ie. a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice.

Bin allocation

If a householder does not already have one, we have been providing all eligible households with one green wheelie bin of 240 litre capacity per collection once a permit has been paid for.

Where householders already have a green wheelie bin but have no garden, their garden produces little waste or home composting utilises all garden waste, they may request to have the green wheelie bin removed. However residents are permitted to retain the bin for an alternative use, should they wish to do so.

It is the householder’s responsibility to keep the green wheelie bin in a clean condition after emptying.

We will only collect and empty green wheelie bins we have provided.

Assisted collections for green wheelie bins

If you think that you will need an assisted collection for your green wheelie bin garden waste collection, please contact our Customer Services Team 01271 327711 before buying the permit. The team will be able to advise if an assisted collection is possible, we are unable to guarantee we will be able to collect via the assisted collection service without discussing it with you first. 

Please note we are unable to offer assisted collections to residents who live on a transit route and wheel their green bin to a main road. 

Request an additional green bin

To order an additional green bin, fill in our online form or call our Customer Services Team on 01271 327711. Please note, it can take up to three weeks to deliver your bin.


Garden waste is currently £55 per year.

Once a household has subscribed to this service they will be sent a permit within 10 working days to place on the green bin lid.

Householders can share a bin, however we will not split the payment. One customer will need to subscribe to the service and we will only make collections from that address.

Where a householder decides not to subscribe to this service they can dispose of their garden waste at any of the recycling centres, consider home composting or share a bin with someone.


A refund will not be provided for customers who cancel their garden waste collection service part way through a year 


If a householder moves house within North Devon Council’s boundaries after signing up for the service, they can take their green bin with them. They will then be provided with a new permit for the remainder of the period.

Community heroes

We recognise that within the North Devon area, there are formal and informal groups that are keen on keeping parts of the district tidy, and voluntarily maintain common green areas.

In order to support this valuable work, we may waive the normal charge for collecting garden waste in certain cases.

In order to qualify for this concession, the group or persons involved should apply annually to the District Council through their parish council. There is a standard application form available.

We will consider each application on its merits, but will not approve applications where the work is being carried out on behalf of another local authority. We will consider issues such as:

  • who carries out the work
  • whether payment is received for the work
  • who owns the land on which the work takes place
  • the value of the work to the wider local community
  • any other relevant issues

If a concession is granted, the wheelie bin issued must only be used for green waste arising from the community activity and not for domestic green waste and must be presented for collection from a designated location.

We reserve the right to withdraw the concession in the future.

Container overloading

Overloading containers can cause damage to our vehicles or cause manual handling injuries. For this reason, we ask that the weight of a green wheelie bin should not be in excess of 100kg.

We will charge householders £25 for a replacement bin for any damage caused to containers by overloading.

It is a householder’s responsibility to reduce the weight of the bin to 100kg before we will empty it.

Contaminated bins

We will not empty garden wheelie bins if they contain any waste other than garden waste, which specifically excludes normal household waste, dry recyclables to include cardboard, large bulky items, non-domestic waste including inert wastes such as soil, bricks, rubble, cement, plaster, concrete or sand. This is because the green waste would become contaminated.

Since 5 June 2017 no food waste has been accepted in a green wheelie bin.

Side waste - closed lid

We define ‘side waste’ as additional waste material placed for our collection which does not fit into the green wheelie bin, or as waste left on top or at the side of a green wheelie bin container.

We define a ‘closed lid’ as a lid of a green wheelie bin, which can be fully closed.

We will only collect domestic garden waste contained within the green wheelie bin, with the bin lid fully closed and will not collect waste left outside the green wheelie bin, whether on the ground or on top, except in exceptional circumstances eg. missed collection over 5 working days, parked cars affecting several properties, or for one collection after the Christmas holidays and Easter holidays, when we will collect all side waste generated from these festivities.

Our collection crews will leave a sticker on an emptied bin on the first two occasions that the wheelie bin lid will not close. On a third occasion the bin will not be emptied and a red sticker will be placed on the bin. 

We will resume our collection service on the next scheduled date. Where this process fails to resolve the issue, we will visit in order to identify any particular problems associated with the household.

Trapped garden waste

We empty all wheelie bins mechanically into our garden collection vehicles; any garden waste trapped or frozen in the wheelie bin that does not fall out, is the responsibility of the householder. They should loosen this and our collection crew will empty it during the next scheduled collection.

Bins left out

We reserve the right to remove, without prior notice, green wheelie bins that are reported as left out on a public highway on non-collection days. There will be a fee for re-delivery.

Home composting

Home composting benefits the environment by reducing carbon footprint and preventing garden and kitchen waste from being thrown away in black wheelie bins. For more information on home composting, how to do it and it's importance, please visit Recycle Devon's website.

We sell 200-litre composters at a charge of £15. Householders can collect these from Lynton House, after phoning and paying for them via Customer Services Centre.