From January 2024, if you would like us to continue collecting your garden bin, you will need to be signed up to our garden waste recycling scheme.
By opting-in to the service, you can continue using your garden bin to recycle your garden waste and will pay an annual subscription fee of £56 for it to be collected.
Your garden waste will be taken away to our state-of-the-art facility, in Crewe, where it will be turned into compost for use in agriculture and horticulture.
The latest information about how the subscription service will work has been added to this page.
The council continues to face significant financial pressures. For example, national inflation of 10% has added £35m to our service delivery costs, but a 4.99% increase in council tax raises just £15m in income – so we have a £20m funding gap to fill.
It is therefore essential that the council looks to alternative sources of revenue generation – the alternative would be to cut essential frontline services.
The collection of garden waste is not a core service that councils are required to provide and more than 65% of local authorities across England are already charging for this service and many have been doing so for several years.
Following public consultation, on 22 February 2023, the council agreed its medium-term financial strategy for 2023/24 to 2026/27, which contains the agreed proposal to introduce a subscription service for the collection of green waste in Cheshire East.
See details of the strategy and links to the minutes of the council decision and the supporting business case information behind the subscription charge.
On 27 July 2023, the council’s environment and communities committee approved the implementation details of the scheme.
Residents will only pay for the service if they opt-in to the scheme and it remains free for residents to dispose of their garden waste at our household waste recycling centres.
You will be able to subscribe from 2 October 2023 and the scheme will go live from 15 January 2024.
Subscriptions cost £56 for 2024 and you will need one for each garden bin that you would like us to collect. Payment for the subscription will be taken in full at the point of placing your order.
For residents who receive qualifying benefits, a 25% reduction in the fee will be applicable, reducing the usual £56 charge to £42 per bin for the year.
Qualifying benefits are:
- Child tax credit
- Council tax support
- Guaranteed pension credit
- Housing benefit
- Income based and support allowance
- Income based job seekers allowance
- Income support
- Maximum level of working families tax credit
- Universal credit
Once you have a subscription, we will empty your garden bin(s) from January to December.
You will be able to pay for the service at any time of year. The charge covers you for that collection year and is the same whether you join at the beginning, part way through the year or only need a few collections.
By signing up by January, you can be sure that you will benefit from the full year of collections and get the best value for money out of the service.
Once you subscribe, a welcome pack will be posted out to you.
This pack will contain your subscription sticker and details of where this sticker should be attached to your bin so that it can be easily seen by our collection crews.
The garden waste service is a seasonal service and there are no collections between mid-December and mid-January each year. Find your next collection date.
Once you subscribe, we will post a welcome pack to you. This will include a specialist sticker for you to attach to your garden bin so that it can be easily seen by our collection crews.
The stickers are designed to fray and tear when removed from the bins, this prevents them being reused by other residents. Your sticker will have your address and unique reference number on it which allows the waste teams to check that the bin is at the relevant location.
Place the sticker on your bin as soon as you get it – instructions about how to do this will be in the welcome pack.
We will post a collection sticker to subscribers each year they subscribe.
Signing up to the garden waste recycling scheme will not affect your usual collection day. Collections are fortnightly and you can check your next collection day.
Sometimes we need to change the order of collections on the day, so please have your bin out by 6.30am on your scheduled day.
The garden waste service is a seasonal service and there are no collections between mid-December and mid-January each year.
Missed bin collections
Genuine missed bin collections are rare but we don't refund or partially refund your subscription fee if your bin is missed.
See our missed bins page to report a missed bin collection or find details of when we can't empty bins.
Sharing your subscription with someone else
If one bin can meet the needs of you and your neighbour, you are able to share a garden bin. The charge applies per bin, so if you wish to share then one of you will need to be the named subscriber and pay the fee.
For operational reasons, not all properties are suitable for us to collect from. If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible, you’ll be able to check during the subscription process.
From January 2024, you can put the following garden waste materials in your garden bin:
- grass cuttings, lawn edgings and weeds
- twigs and small branches
- hedge clippings
- cut flowers
- windfalls from fruit trees
- hay, straw and wood shavings
You must not put non-garden waste in your garden bin, for example:
- don't put in soil, stone, rubble or large amounts of turf
- don’t put in coffee filters
- don't put in any type of animal waste
- don't put in paper, plastic, glass, metals, leather, plant pots/containers, porcelain, plaster, disposable nappies, ash, vacuum cleaner contents, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, batteries, dyestuffs, textiles, feathers household or garden chemicals.
This is not an exhaustive list.
Those subscribing to the scheme may choose to continue to recycle their food waste by putting it in their garden bin.
Those subscribing to the Garden Waste Recycling Scheme may choose to continue to recycle their food waste by putting it in their garden bin.
If you choose not to subscribe to the scheme, we encourage you to reduce, reuse and recycle your food waste as much as you possibly can so that less waste needs to be disposed of, and this includes trying home composting.
Home composting is an excellent and environmentally-friendly way of transforming garden waste and fruit and vegetable peelings into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden.
If home composting isn’t possible, from January 2024, you can put food waste into your black bin – we hope that this will be a temporary measure.
We are awaiting the outcome of central government proposals which may mean that all councils need to provide a separate food waste collection service to all properties.
If you subscribe, your garden waste will be taken to our state-of-the-art facility, in Crewe, where it will be turned into compost for use in agriculture and horticulture.
We encourage residents to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste as much as they possibly can so that less waste needs to be disposed of - this includes encouraging people to try home composting.
Home composting is an excellent and environmentally-friendly way of transforming garden waste and fruit and vegetable peelings into a valuable and nutrient rich food for people’s gardens.
If home composting isn’t an option, it remains free for residents to dispose of garden waste at our household waste recycling centres.
Garden waste should never be placed in your black household waste bin or silver recycling bin. Black or silver bins found to contain garden waste will not be emptied.
What to do with your garden bin if you don’t subscribe
Not subscribing means your garden bin(s) will not be emptied from January 2024.
You should keep your garden bin at your property as it is assigned to the property and not a person – bins will not be taken away by the council.
You will be able to subscribe to the garden waste recycling scheme at any time throughout the year.
There is a charge for the delivery of new or replacement garden bins.
You will need to pay for a subscription to the garden waste recycling scheme for each individual garden bin you would like us to empty.
If you have subscribed and your bin is damaged during the collection process – and we can verify this – we will replace your bin free of charge.
You will need to contact us to order a replacement subscription sticker.
If your bin is lost or you think it has been stolen, please check with your neighbours in case they have taken your bin by mistake.
We will replace a lost or stolen bin free of charge, but we will charge you for any further requests for replacement bins in the next three years. You will also need to request a new subscription sticker.
You can pay to have an additional garden waste bin collected on the same day as your first garden bin.
We charge per additional bin, and you can order up to six additional garden bins per property.
For each garden bin you would like us to empty, you will also need a separate subscription to the garden waste recycling scheme.
We offer two different sizes of garden bin – a slimline 140ltr bin and a standard 240ltr bin.
If you already have a garden bin but would like a different size, you can contact us to request one and will need to pay for the delivery of this.
If you currently use a larger communal bin to dispose of your garden waste (for example, you live in a flat), your housing provider or letting agent will need to arrange the garden waste subscription and the management of this.
If you move within the borough and the property is eligible for the garden waste recycling scheme, you can transfer your subscription to your new address.
Do not take your garden bin with you to your new property. You should remove your subscription sticker before you leave.
You will need to ask for a new subscription sticker for your new address in Cheshire East. Refunds cannot be provided if you move out of the Cheshire East area or if the service is not offered at your new property.
A refund is not available if you move to a new property and require fewer bins than you have subscribed for at your previous address.
If there is not a garden bin at your new address, you will need to pay for the delivery of a new one.
If you have difficulty moving your bins, you can apply online if you would like us to help you put your bins out.
If you already have an assisted bin collection and you subscribe to the new garden waste recycling scheme we will continue to help in emptying your bins.
You will need to pay each year to renew your subscription. You will be able to do this on our website. We will send you a reminder before the service starts each year.
We remain committed to protecting and enhancing Cheshire East’s environment and delivering on the aims and priorities as set out in our corporate plan.
This includes continuing to encourage people to think about the impact of their actions on the environment and to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ their waste.
The council continues to work with Get Composting to provide home composting products. You can also find lots of information and advice about getting started with home composting.
There is no evidence to suggest that we will see any increase in fly-tipping as a result of a subscription service being introduced.
We have spoken to other councils that have introduced similar schemes and they have not seen an increase. Importantly, fly-tipping is a crime and anyone caught doing it could be prosecuted and face a large fine.