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Durham County Council

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Step by step guide to garden waste collections

Follow the step by step guide to find out what you need to do to arrange your garden waste collection service. You can subscribe to the service at any time during the year but to receive all 17 collections in 2017 you must have signed up by 14 February.

Step 1 - Check your property's eligibility and subscribe to garden waste collections

Subscribe to the garden waste collection scheme online - it's the quickest and easiest way.

Please make sure you have read our terms and conditions first. The terms and conditions have been updated for 2017.

Please note: if you subscribed by 14 February you'll get all 17 collections in 2017.  You can still subscribe to the service and we'll arrange for your collections to start as soon as possible and you'll receive the remaining collections before the scheme ends for the year in November.


  • The annual subscription fee is £25 for collections between March/ April and November in 2017. 

The fees are for collections from one garden waste bin. If your property has not previously received the garden waste collection service and you do not have a garden waste bin, we will provide your first bin free of charge.

If you would like more than one garden waste bin, each additional bin will cost £20. You will also need to pay the subscription fee to empty each additional bin.

Other ways to sign up and pay

All eligible properties will receive an email or letter from us giving details of how to subscribe. If you're not paying online, find out about other other ways to sign up and pay.

Step 2 - A garden waste collection calendar, bin sticker and any new or additional bins will be delivered to your property

Once you've subscribed, we'll send you a green sticker for your garden waste bin (to prove you have paid for the service in 2017) and a collection calendar. We will also add your details to our electronic system which is available in our collection vehicles.

If you subscribed before 14 February 2017, we will issue your sticker, calendar and any new or additional bins in time for the first collections in March/ April. If you subscribe now this date has passed we'll issue your sticker, calendar and any new or additional bins as soon as we can, ready for the next available collection.

Write your address on the self-adhesive green bin sticker and fix it to the bin, directly underneath the handle. If your sticker gets damaged or lost, we'll replace it free of charge. Just contact us for a replacement.

Keep your calendar of collection days to refer to throughout the year. It also tells you what you can put in the garden waste bin. Please note: your garden waste collection day in 2017 may not be on the same day as it was in 2016 and it may also be on a different day from your rubbish and recycling collections.

Step 3 - Using your garden waste bin

It is important you only put garden waste in your bin to ensure your garden waste can be made into good quality compost.

Things like grass cuttings, shrubs, leaves, weeds, flowers and plants, hedge clippings, prunings and small branches can all make great compost.

Please don't put them in a plastic bag first, just put them directly into the bin and make sure things like plant pots, stones and rocks don't get mixed in with your garden waste.

See the information on our What goes in which bin? web page to find out what you can and can't put in your garden waste bin.

Step 4 - Putting the garden waste bin out for collection

Put your garden waste bin at your usual bin collection point by 7.00am on your allocated garden waste collection day.

Please position the bin with the handle facing the road so the collection crew can easily see the sticker on the bin.

If you receive assisted bin collections please make sure we have unrestricted access to your garden waste bin from 7.00am on the collection day. The collection crew will pull out, empty and return your bin from / to the agreed location.

Step 5 - Renewing your subscription

If you subscribe to the annual collection service, you will need to renew your payment for each year you would like to receive the service. 

If you have subscribed in 2015 for three years, we will automatically send you a new sticker and collection calendar for 2017 collections. 

Garden Waste 2017