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Wellingborough area

Some collections in the Wellingborough area will be delayed this week due to limited crews.

Garden waste

Garden waste - Charging for the future service

Different charges

The charge is proposed at varying levels based on the actual cost to deliver the services, councils are not allowed to make a profit from delivery of these services, so the charges are designed to cover the full cost of delivering the service.

The charge in future years will reflect the costs and could go up or down as contributing factors like fuel costs and energy prices fluctuate, as well as being affected by the overall number of people who use and pay for the service.

Paying Council Tax already

North Northamptonshire Council harmonised Council Tax across the area in April 2021 and now seeks to harmonise the garden waste service.

The council does not have to provide free garden waste collections as this is material for which the Council may make a charge for collections. The service costs the Council approximately £3,000,000 a year.

Currently many households in the area have their garden waste collected by the council without a subscription charge. This means the council funds the service from its wider budget, such as monies from within the Highways budget. So, every household, even those who do not use the service still have to contribute to its running costs through their Council Tax.

Residents of former East Northamptonshire who wish to use the service pay an annual subscription charge. This means only users of the service pay for it. So if you live in a flat, or you have paid to have a low-maintenance garden, you are not required to contribute to an additional service you do not need.

Since April 2021 residents have been asking North Northamptonshire Council to harmonise the garden waste collection across the area, so all residents receive the same service.

No reduction in Council Tax

Council Tax is collected and distributed to the Council, Fire and Police Services and others. The proportion that is allocated to the Council is used to fund core services. Any income generated from an opt-in kerbside garden waste collection subscription service will go towards funding this service.

Council Tax legislation does not create a service contract, it is a way of funding local authorities and therefore there is, under the Council Tax legislation, no requirement to provide any service in return for payment.

Reduced charge with no service in the winter

At present, legislation requires the council to provide a garden waste service. The legislation does not specify the frequency of the collections or whether they need to operate all year.

Unless future legislation prevents the council from doing so, we may consider reducing the garden waste service during the winter months depending on the outcome of the consultation.


The Executive will consider whether it thinks it appropriate to offer any discounts if a subscription charge for garden waste is introduced (e.g. for those without the means to pay or in receipt of benefits).

Last updated 12 July 2022