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Waste Management Strategy your questions answered

Garden waste

The garden waste collection service charge will be £40 per year. There will be 20 collections during the growing season, so it will be £2 per collection.

This is the fairest way to fund the service. Due to increasing financial pressures, we must make some tough decisions to sustain the overall waste management service. One of these decisions is to charge for collecting garden waste.

Most councils already charge to cover the costs of providing this service. A charge for the new opt-in chargeable service would give people the choice whether or not to use it. At the moment, the costs fall on all residents, whether they have a garden or not.

No, this is not a tax. It is a voluntary charge for a service which people can choose to use or not. It is fair to charge the people who use the service for the costs of delivering it. Otherwise, the costs fall on all Council Tax payers, whether they have a garden or not, or reduce funds that are needed for other critical local services.

People will have a choice about whether to have their own garden waste bin. People who have just occasional need may want to share with a neighbour to reduce the costs. Garden waste can also be recycled at our recycling centres. Many residents compost their garden waste rather than have it collected.

This is an ‘opt in’ service. If you choose not to opt in and use the service, you will not pay.

There are various things that you can do to dispose of your garden waste if you chose not to opt in;

  • you can home compost; we will continue to work with residents to support them to do this
  • you can take your garden waste to one of our recycling centres free of charge

If you are in receipt of full Council Tax reduction (this does not include single person discount) you will be offered a reduction of 25% (£10) on your first bin subscription. This will not apply to additional bins you may wish to subscribe for.

Please have a copy of your Council Tax bill ready when you subscribe for the service to provide proof of eligibility.

You can apply for this reduction without your Council Tax bill but please be aware that this will delay confirmation of your subscription as we will need to manually check eligibility.

Council Tax is not a direct payment for a service, it is a property-based form of local taxation which raised revenue to fund a wide range of services including police and fire.

The proportion of the payment for Council Tax that is allocated for all the waste services is a small percentage. This figure includes the provision of the kerbside collection service, household waste recycling centres and the disposal costs. These services combined costs us around £22.4m each year to manage the waste produced from approx. 158,850 households in the borough (2019/2020 Council Tax data).

The charge to subscribe for each collection year will be £40, regardless of when you decide to join.  Subscriptions for the next collection year will open each December once the previous collection period has finished. It is worthwhile subscribing before collections start each year (e.g. before 28 February 2022 for the 2022 collection year) to ensure you receive all the 2022 collections.

This is in line with charging arrangements in many other Councils – this simplifies permitting, service planning and subscription reminder arrangements.

There is no evidence to suggest that is the case. Councils who have introduced charges elsewhere also report no evidence of an increase in fly tipping. Fly-tipping is a criminal offence that will be not be tolerated by us and our communities.

If there is evidence to identify those responsible, then it will be investigated, and we will prosecute those responsible wherever possible.

Yes. We currently provide residents with the option to pay for an additional garden waste bin and collection at a charge of £40 per bin per year. We will continue to provide this option as part of the new service. There will be no limit on the number of bins you can subscribe and pay for, the cost will be £40 per year per bin.

You can arrange to share the cost of a garden waste collection with a neighbour. All you need to do is decide who is going to apply and pay for the service and then divide the cost between yourselves.

Please keep hold of your current bin for your garden collections.

There are various things that you can do to dispose of your garden waste if you chose not to opt in;

  • you can home compost; we will continue to work with residents to support them to do this. Leafmould is a great soil conditioner for your garden and is easy to make.
  • you can take your garden waste to one of our recycling centres

Tougher prunings can be composted at home, they can be used to make a wildlife habitat or as plant supports around your garden.

Alternatively, you can take these to one of our recycling centres free of charge. 

Due to increasing financial pressures, we have made some tough decisions in order to sustain the overall waste management service going forwards.

One of these decisions was to offer the new chargeable garden waste collection service over the growing season (March to November). This will avoid making unnecessary collection journeys during the winter months - ensuring best use of resources and supporting a reduction in the carbon emissions from the fleet.

There are alternatives to putting garden waste into your garden bin. You can take garden waste to your nearest recycling centre for free or you can compost at home. Leafmould is a great soil conditioner for your garden and is easy to make.

We will continue to empty garden bins until the end of the current service on 3 December 2021. Missed bins reported up until 8 December will be emptied but we will not return to any reported missed bins after this date.

If your missed collection is genuinely our fault, then we will always make every effort to collect your bin as soon as possible.

We will not issue refunds on any fees paid for garden waste collection services. In the event of any prolonged periods of unplanned suspension due to circumstances beyond our or Cheshire West Recycling’s control (for example in cases such as the Covid pandemic), we may consider a course of action deemed appropriate. Equally we may refuse a collection if your bin contains the wrong items or is too heavy.

If your bin was not out by the scheduled time on the collection day you may also have missed the collection time.

If your bin contains the wrong materials or is too heavy for us to move, you will need to make sure that this is rectified to receive the collection on your next scheduled day.

Don’t forget to check the contents of your bin and ensure that this is not too heavy before reporting a missed collection.

Report a missed collection 

If you are currently receiving an assisted garden waste collection you will not need to organise a new one if you choose to subscribe to the new garden waste collection service.

If you have subscribed and your garden waste collection is missed please report it and we will return as soon as possible.

Apply for an assisted collection

We are unable to accommodate ‘on demand’ collections as we need to make sure that the new service as simple as possible. Residents who subscribe will pay £40 per bin per year regardless of how many times the bin is presented for collection. 

If you are subscribing to the new garden waste collection service, your Christmas tree can still be recycled in your green bin. Please make sure that they tree is cut into manageable pieces and fully contained in the bin.

New garden waste collections start from 28 February 2022. Your real Christmas tree will be collected on your first scheduled collection.

If you would like to dispose of your Christmas tree sooner, you can take it for free to your nearest recycling centre or it can be taken for reuse at:

  • Hooton Golf Club Chester Road, Hooton, Ellesmere Port, CH66 1QF
  • Whitby Park Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, CH65 9AQ
  • Stanney Fields Park Hinderton Road, Neston, CH64 9PE
  • Westminster Park Hough Green, Chester, CH4 8JW
  • Alexandra Park Canadian Avenue, Chester, CH2 3HH
  • Castle Park Fountain Lane, Frodsham, WA6 6SA
  • Knights Grange Sports Complex Winsford, CW7 2PT

Trees will be mulched for use throughout the year in your parks and gardens Alternatively, you can arrange a Charity collection through Just Helping.

The Waste Strategy

The Council is committed to improving the environment and called a Climate Emergency in 2019. How we manage our waste is crucial so that future generations are protected from climate change.

Our current Waste Strategy was developed in 2002, so we wanted to prepare a new strategy to ensure that our vision and priorities; to recycle more, waste less and deliver efficient services, reflect the current needs of our communities. We also need to align with national plans and policies. These changes are part of our journey to a greener borough.

The service is changing to meet the three priorities of:

  • reducing overall waste
  • maximising recycling
  • delivering an efficient and cost-effective waste collection, recycling and processing service.

Our residents are really engaged in recycling and west Cheshire residents have amongst the best recycling rates in the country. But more needs to be done if we are to reduce the waste that cannot be re-used or recycled.

We asked residents their views on the service. In January – March 2021, the Council consulted residents on the future of the waste and recycling service. Almost 15,000 residents and groups responded.

73 per cent of respondents said they agreed with the principles of reducing overall waste, boosting recycling and delivering an efficient and cost-effective service.

There is a clear enthusiasm for recycling in the borough, which makes Cheshire West and Chester one of the best recyclers.

This is thanks to our residents’ strong track record in recycling.

We also need to balance the individual needs and preferences of residents, with our duty to provide an efficient and cost-effective service, address our climate emergency and meet national legislation and requirements.

Our ambition is to maintain our position as one of the best recycling communities in the country, which requires a continued evolution of the service to meet the ever-changing context and challenges.

We are continuing to review all aspects of the Waste and Recycling Service in a bid to provide a more environmentally-sustainable, cost-effective model that responds to the needs of our residents.

Any decisions taken about the future of the HWRCs will be done so through engagement with our residents.

No. In the light of the new waste strategy, and our commitment to review the future needs of the borough for recycling sites, we will be seeking to extend the existing temporary planning permission for the Frodsham HWRC site. But we recognise that the site causes problems with access and traffic, so its long-term future will be part of the borough-wide review. We will ensure full engagement with residents and councillors.

The new service

Under the new collection system, the available capacity for recyclables would increase from 220L per fortnight under the current box scheme to up to 480L per fortnight, more than doubling the space available and making it easier to recycle more.

We will work with residents to make sure that they have enough capacity to contain their recycling.

Any changes to the collection service will be communicated with residents well in advance and appropriate information will be provided informing of any changes to the service.

The new strategy aims to enable us to recycle more, waste less and deliver efficient services. It will also help us to address our climate emergency challenges.

The proposed changes are predicted to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the number of collection vehicles on the roads, and those vehicles will be more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The new kerbside collection service is predicted to reduce carbon emissions by around 220,000KG of CO2.

The strategy was approved by Full Council on Thursday 15 July. The changes to the collection service will be implemented from 2022 onwards. We will continue to keep residents informed throughout the process.

Yes. Residents who require an assisted collection will continue to receive this service. This service will be reviewed to ensure that this is supporting all those residents who need it.

We will work closely with our collection provider, Cheshire West Recycling, to identify the affected properties and design an appropriate alternative.

We will speak with affected residents as the plans are produced - ensuring clear communications. Support will be provided where needed.

We are exploring a mixture of waste collection vehicle options to help reduce emissions and help tackle our climate change emergency. This includes a mixture of hybrid vehicles, fully electric vehicles and the most carbon efficient diesel vehicles that are available with a view to repower these as the technology and infrastructure allows.


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