Garden waste

Garden waste terms and conditions

North Northamptonshire Council (‘the Council’) is not under a statutory obligation to collect garden waste, however, the council is able and willing to offer residents a garden waste collection service under a registration and subscription service (the ‘Service’) for a fee to its residents. The service is optional.

This document provides the terms and conditions under which the Service shall be provided to householders and residents alike and which the householder or resident is required to accept for the delivery of the service. These terms and conditions should be read in conjunction with the council’s Waste and Recycling policy.

1 The service

1.1 The council will provide a fortnightly kerbside garden waste collection service to residents who subscribe and pay an annual fee.

1.2 The service will provide a 240-litre wheeled bin (‘the container’) per subscription for the purposes of use by the resident for garden waste storage and collection by the Council.

1.3 The subscription is for a period of 12 calendar months. Residents are not able to subscribe for a part year.

1.4 This service is for household garden waste only. Commercial properties and activities are not covered by the service. All residential premises and properties assessed as suitable will be eligible for the service.

1.5 The service covers the entire area of the council consisting of the former borough councils of Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough and the district council of East Northamptonshire.

2 The subscription and conditions of subscription

2.1 Residents will be required to subscribe to the service for which there is a yearly charge as set out in the council’s Fees and Charges.

2.2 Full payment, including the payment for any additional containers, will be taken at the point of the contract being entered into and before the Service is provided.

2.3 The council requires that payment shall be made by credit or debit card. For existing subscribers who reside within the boundaries of the former East Northamptonshire Council area, payment may continue to be made by Direct Debit.

2.4 There is a limit of four subscriptions or containers per property.

2.5 Neighbours can share the service, but, the container must be registered at one property for collections and the subscription. The agreement to share the container is between the resident and neighbour only.

2.6 Communal properties wishing to subscribe to the service must register through their housing association or letting agent or formal residents' group.

2.7 Once an annual subscription has expired, the council may recover its containers from the property. If the householder re-subscribes within a six-month period, a one-off delivery fee will be charged to the subscriber to cover the cost of redelivering the container.

2.8 The council will send a renewal notice to the resident at least one month prior to the subscription expiring and that correspondence will detail the charges set by the council for the forthcoming year.

2.9 The council has the right to withdraw the service and to remove containers if the resident fails to make payment for the service or if containers are repeatedly misused. The council will give written notice of this.

2.10 During periods of exceptionally extreme or adverse weather the council may temporarily suspend collections. No subscription money will be refunded. Notice of this will be posted on our website.

2.11 The council reserves the right to make minor amendments to these terms and conditions.

3 Fees and charges

3.1 Fees and charges are reviewed annually and are set out in the council’s Fees and Charges.

3.2 Additional containers will be charged in line with the council’s Fees and Charges.

4 The council’s obligations

4.1 Garden waste container stickers

4.1.1 When full payment has been received for the service a welcome pack containing self-adhesive stickers will be issued.

4.1.2 The self-adhesive stickers provide a visual identification of payment which will allow the collections teams to identify which garden waste bins are to be emptied.

4.1.3 The container must clearly display the sticker that is issued by the council upon payment of the annual charge. It is the responsibility of the householder to ensure the sticker is visible to the collection crew from the roadside without the crew having to move the container. Normally the lid would be the best place for this.

4.1.4 Householders who subscribe for more than one container will be provided with stickers for each container.

4.1.5 A renewal sticker, bearing the subscription expiry date, for each container will be supplied each year upon renewal.

4.2 Collection periods

4.2.1 The council will collect garden waste from the Householder on a scheduled day fortnightly. Details of the scheduled dates can be found on the council's website. Further details relating to Christmas arrangements will be published on the council’s website closer to the time.

4.2.2 The council will carry out a maximum of 25 scheduled garden waste collections per household during the year.

4.2.3 The collection service runs for one year from the first date of the month following receipt of payment.

4.2.4 The council may occasionally need to alter collections, but, will notify the resident, where reasonably practicable, in advance using the council’s usual communication channels. Where there is a change due to unexpected operational reasons or a temporary disruption, the council will use its social media channels and other media releases. Where changes are planned, or likely to be longer term, the council will use a mix of written communications, messages affixed to containers and social media.

5 General terms

5.1 Acceptable use of the containers and collection periods

In using the service, the resident accepts that:

5.1.1 Garden waste must be placed loose in the container. Containers containing bagged material will not be emptied.

5.1.2 Garden waste will only be collected from the containers supplied by the Council. No bags or liners (including compostable liners) should be placed inside the garden waste containers.

5.1.3 Only compostable plant material may be placed in the containers. For example, grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, weeds, prunings, dead plants, flowers, twigs and small branches.

5.1.4 The following items are not included in the service and must not be placed in the containers – wood and wood products, rubble, soil, plastic, food or kitchen waste (including vegetable peelings), or pet bedding and faeces. Further information on what materials are acceptable is provided in the information pack, sent when joining.

5.1.5. A contaminated container (one with any items other than those listed as acceptable) will not be emptied. The householder must remove the contamination and present the container for the next scheduled collection.

5.1.6 If a container is regularly contaminated, the council will contact the resident to offer advice. If the contamination continues, the council will remove the container and stop collections. No subscription money will be refunded.

5.1.7 Garden waste containers must be left at the agreed collection point for your refuse and recycling. Usually, this will be at the boundary between your property and the highway. They must be placed in a safe position and minimise obstruction. The lid must be closed without any contents protruding from the container.

5.1.8 Containers should be presented by 6:30am on the day of collection. If the container is not presented when the crew attend, we will not return until the next scheduled collection day.

5.1.9 During extended periods of exceptionally cold weather, garden waste may freeze into the container preventing us from completely emptying it. If this happens it may not be possible to empty your container until the next scheduled collection day and when the material has defrosted.

5.1.10 An assisted collection service is available for residents who are unable to safely move the container to the required collection point. Residents can complete an application form, which is approved by a council officer. Bins will be collected from your property, emptied and returned. More information about this service can be found in the council’s Waste and Recycling policy.

5.1.11 Residents use the collection containers at their own risk.

5.1.12 To ensure that all collections are properly undertaken, the council may make a visual record of incorrectly presented, non-presented containers or contaminated containers to demonstrate the reason for any missed collection.

5.1.13 The council does not tolerate violent, aggressive or abusive verbal or non-verbal behaviour towards our staff. Any incidents reported by our staff will be investigated and, where the behaviour is deemed to be unacceptable, may result in the cancellation of the service. No refunds or part-refunds will be made when the service is cancelled for this reason and the perpetrator may be reported to the relevant authority.

5.1.14 Containers that are overflowing so the lid cannot be closed or are too heavy for the crew to handle will not be emptied. The householder must remove the additional material and present the container for the next scheduled collection.

5.1.15 Natural Christmas trees can be cut into pieces and placed in the container for collection. All decorations must be removed in advance of disposal.

5.1.16 Where the council provides a resident with garden sacks instead of a garden waste wheeled bin, all other clauses relating to the use, presentation and storage of the containers apply.

5.2 Storage of the garden waste container

5.2.1 Containers shall be kept at the property stated when the householder subscribed to the Service and may only be removed with the prior permission of the council.

5.2.2 The containers remain the property of the council at all times.

5.2.3 The resident will be responsible for any loss (including theft) or damage to the garden waste container, delivery and administration costs arising from such loss, theft or damage. The council publishes its charges for replacement containers on its Fees and Charges.

5.2.4 Damaged and stolen bins must be reported to the council immediately. If a container has been wilfully damaged whilst, on the householder's property, the resident may incur a charge for the repair or replacement. Damage caused by normal wear and tear will be the responsibility of the council. If the container is stolen, the council will provide a replacement at no cost to the resident.

5.2.5 Throughout the subscription period the resident shall be responsible for the safekeeping and cleanliness of the garden waste container, and for the cleanliness of any location where garden waste containers are presented and stored.

5.2.6 Replacement garden waste containers provided by the council may be previously used. The householder should expect the previously used bin to be clean and free of writing and without faults at the time of delivery.

5.2.7 If the householder decides not to pay for a replacement garden waste container, they will be unable to present garden waste for collection and by default, choose to opt out of the service. They will not, however, receive a refund.

5.3 Moving house

5.3.1 Residents may request for a transfer of the Service to another property if they are moving house within North Northamptonshire. The Council requires 14 days' notice so the service can continue from the new address. Householders will be sent their new bin stickers to their new address.

5.3.2 Residents are responsible for informing the Council that they are moving house.

5.3.3 Residents shall leave the container at their current address.  If there is not a garden waste container at their new address then the householder can request one online or by contacting the council on 0300 126 3000.

5.3.4 Where residents are moving outside of North Northamptonshire, no refunds will be given.

5.4 Events outside of the council’s control

5.4.1 The council and its contractor will not be responsible for any failure to perform or delay in performance of any of the council’s obligations under these terms and conditions that is caused by an ‘event outside the council’s control’. If an ‘event outside the council’s control’ affects the council’s or the contractor’s ability to deliver the service, it will resume normal service as soon as reasonably practicable after the ‘event outside the council’s control’ is over.

5.4.2 ‘Event outside the council’s control’ means any act or event beyond the council’s or their contractor’s reasonable control, including without limitation: strikes or other industrial action, riot, terrorist attack, war, fire, explosion, storm, flood, earthquake, subsidence, epidemic, pandemic, extreme weather or other natural disaster, power failure, internet service provider failure, technological failure, breakdown in machinery or collection vehicles.

5.4.3 The council will not be liable for any loss of profit or any direct or indirect, special or consequential loss, damage, costs, expenses or other claims (whether caused by the council’s employees, contractors, agents or otherwise) in connection with its provision of the service or the performance of any of its other obligations under these terms and conditions or with the use by the householder of the service supplied whether as a result of breach of contract, breach of statutory duty, tort (including negligence), or their contents being presented by the householder in an unsafe manner or otherwise howsoever arising.

5.5 Refunds

Refunds for the service will only be considered in the following circumstances:

5.5.1 where there has been a service failure as detailed in clause 5.5.3 below (except where due to events outside the council’s control)


5.5.2 where the resident is exercising their statutory right or cancellation under the 2013 Regulations.

5.5.3 The following circumstances will be deemed as service failure:

5.5.4 If the council fails to deliver a garden waste container within 6 weeks of the date on which the resident should have had their first collection in any service year


5.5.5 If the council fails to replace a garden waste container within 6 weeks of the date on which the resident reports that the Council has damaged a container


5.5.6 If the council or its contractor fails to rectify within 48 hours of receiving a report of a missed collection of garden waste on 3 consecutive nominated collection days. The resident must report a missed collection on each occasion online within 24 hours of the scheduled collection or by calling the council’s Customer Service team on 0300 126 3000.

5.5.7 Not including clause 5.1.9, suspends the service collection of garden waste for 3 or more consecutive nominated collection days.

5.5.8 In accordance with clause 5.5.1, if the resident is due a refund, the refund will be calculated on a pro-rata basis for any service failures or where the householder is exercising their rights under clause 5.2.2 for the remainder of the service year.

6 Termination

6.1 The resident may leave the service at any time by notifying the council. Unless terminating under clause 6.3, no refunds will be made by the council for the remainder of the subscription period. Upon leaving the service containers will usually not be removed from the property. Should you require a container to be removed there will be a charge for this service. The council publishes its charges for retrieval of containers on its Fees and Charges.

6.2 If the resident has paid by Direct Debit, the council may automatically renew the annual subscription, unless cancelled by receiving written notice no later than one month prior to the anniversary of the subscription start date. If cancellation is not received by this date, then the full-year charge will be due.

6.3 The resident is entitled to cancel within 14 days under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (“2013 Regulations”) upon which a refund will be provided.

6.4 Cancellation of the contract must be made either by completing the Contact Us form on the council’s website, telephoning the council Customer Services team or by making any other clear statement setting out the decision to cancel the contract.

7 Data Protection and privacy

7.1 The council shall record and maintain the personal data of the Householder in accordance with and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR. 

8 Complaints

8.1 Any initial complaints regarding the Service, the Householder should contact the Council via email at [email protected].

8.2 If the resident is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint they may use the council’s complaints procedure.

Last updated 03 April 2023