Briefing – Mid-Year Garden Waste Collection Registration

Below is a briefing from the Council on the mid-year garden waste collection registration. This is essentially for people who missed the registration period last year. Registration opens tomorrow.

BRIEFING NOTE: GARDEN WASTE REGISTRATION – MID YEAR 2021

What’s happening?

  • The next registration window for the garden waste service opens on Tuesday 02 February at 10am and will close at 2pm on Tuesday 16 February. 
  • Residents can sign up to receive fortnightly garden waste collections for £25 per brown bin. 
  • Residents who sign up in February will be sent their permit(s) between 15-26 March and the service will run from 30 March until 07 November 2021 (date of first and last collection will vary depending on calendar for their address however they will be within this date range).
  • Residents will need to renew their permit again in the summer to continue receiving collections after 07 November. 
  • Information on the start and end dates of the garden waste service and when residents will receive their permit sticker(s) with a garden waste calendar is available at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/gardenwaste.  Residents should keep an eye on this page for updates.
  • Due to current safety measures in place because of Coronavirus, residents will only be able to register online or by telephone. It won’t be possible to register in person at any of our locality offices as they’re being used as community resilience centres during the pandemic. This is a change from previous registration windows and means cash or cheque payments will not be possible.
  • A communications campaign is also planned to raise awareness of permit extensions, renewals, any changes to the way people can register and to encourage sign up.

How to register

  • The quickest and easiest way to register and pay is on our website at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/gardenwaste.  We’ve simplified the online sign up process by making it optional to register using the MyGov account. If a resident chooses not to use their MyGov account, the process will be quicker, but it means that they won’t be able to see the history of their garden waste permit on their MyGov account.
  • Anyone without access to the internet can call us on 0131 357 2800. We may have reduced staffing due to Coronavirus and phone lines may be busy. Telephone lines are open Monday – Thursday, 10am – 4pm and Friday 10am – 3.40pm. 
  • Residents can ask a family member or friend to register and pay on their behalf online if they’re unable to do it themselves. 
  • A one-off payment of £25 (per brown bin) will be taken by debit or credit card.
  • It’s not possible for a resident to register in person at one of our locality offices.  If they usually register and pay this way, then they will need to register online or by telephone instead. 
  • We don’t accept cheques or cash payments. 
  • Once a resident has signed up and payment has been received, they’ll be sent a garden waste calendar along with a permit sticker(s) between 15-26 March to put on their brown bin(s). If they don’t receive these at their registered address by 29 March, they should email waste@edinburgh.gov.uk. If the resident has not received their permit within 28 days of the service start date they should email waste@edinburgh.gov.uk – for this registration window that would mean customers must report this by 26 April.
  • The service is available to a limited number of other organisations, such as lawn sport clubs. Bowling, tennis and croquet clubs must register for the service over the phone and not online and it is their responsibility to ensure that they have a waste transfer note in place.

Does everyone need to pay?

  • Signing up to receive the garden waste service is optional. If a resident chooses not to sign up, then they won’t receive garden waste collections.
  • Residents who receive Council Tax Reduction (formerly called Council Tax Benefit) or are classed, or live with someone who has been classed as, severely mentally impaired, do not need to pay for the service, but they do need to register to receive it. Other council tax discounts, such as single occupancy or disabled person discount, don’t qualify for this reduction. Households that pay for garden aid are not exempt from paying for the service.
  • A small number of residents in the Colinton area have their garden waste collected by Tiphereth (Colinton Compost) and they also need to register and pay to continue receiving the service. Tiphereth customers receive weekly collections of their bagged garden waste.

How does the service work?

  • We’ll empty brown bins once every two weeks until this service year ends on 07 November 2021
  • Permits are not prorated for residents who sign up in February 2021.  It is the same service year end for residents signing up in February 2021 even if they didn’t sign up at the start of the service year in Summer 2020.
  • Residents need to renew their permits every year before they expire to continue receiving the service. 
  • We’ll only empty brown bins with valid permit stickers.
  • Permits are sent to the house the registered garden waste address; permits cannot be sent to another property.
  • There is no limit to how many garden waste bins a property can have but there will be a charge of £25 per bin.
  • Residents can share a bin with their neighbours, but they’ll need to agree on one resident acting as the lead for booking and paying for the service against their property. If there are any service issues with the shared bin (e.g. a missed collection), then this must be reported against the property with the permit.
  • If a resident moves to a new house they can transfer their permit to their new address. They’ll need to give us six weeks’ notice to update our system and will need to take their brown bin and permit sticker to their new address.
  • Terms and conditions are available on our website www.edinburgh.gov.uk/gardenwasteterms 


Budget proposal to increase the charge

  • A budget proposal around garden waste has been put forward for consideration as part of the Council’s budget setting process.
  • This proposal is to ensure we achieve full cost recovery for the garden waste subscription and collection service (note this does not include the disposal costs due to legislation on what can be charges)
  • Should this proposal be agreed it will take effect in the summer registration, for the 2021/22 collection year. This will not affect registrations made in this mid-year window and the charge will continue at £25
  • The reasons for the increase are to ensure we are fully recovering our costs, and investment in administration support and system development to allow the mid-year sign up window to be greatly expanded addressing the high levels of complaints from residents and Councillors on the restriction of the current window timescales and the inability to join if these are missed

Key Points 

  • Service provision may need to be reviewed depending on the future impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
  • Residents cannot register in person at one of our locality offices. If they usually register and pay this way, then they’ll be required to register online or by telephone instead. 
  • Cheques or cash payment will not be accepted.
  • The deadline for residents to register for garden waste is 2pm on Tuesday 16 February.  Registrations after this time will not be processed.
  • Residents who register in this window will be joining the service mid-year and the permit will expire 7 November 2021, the cost isn’t pro-rated.

Further information

If a resident needs further information, or has a question to ask, direct them to waste@edinburgh.gov.uk who will assist or log their enquiry.

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