Green waste bin
We provide a green wheeled bin to houses for the storage and collection of garden waste.
A standard bin is 180 litres. Smaller households can ask for a 140 litre bin.
As with all waste collections, it is vital that you do not put the wrong items in your garden waste bin. Your garden waste is turned into compost, which must not contain more than 1% of the wrong items. If our contractors see too much other waste in a vehicle load they might send it all to landfill.
You can find out what happens to your garden waste and more on the Birch Composting website.
Individual households who regularly contaminate their green bin risk having their garden waste collections suspended.
What can go in your green waste bin
You can put most garden waste in your green bin, such as:
- grass cuttings
- shrub prunings and hedge trimmings
- garden weeds, plants and leaves
- tree branches that are less than 30 centimetres in circumference and 1 metre in length
What can't go in your green waste bin
We can't empty your green bin if you put in:
- food of any kind (including raw fruit and vegetables or peelings)
- plastic bags of any kind (including bio-degradable and degradable ones)
- compostable containers and cutlery
- plant pots, garden tools and ornaments
- metal, glass and plastic
- cat litter or dog mess
- excessive soil or turf
- coal ash
- Japanese knotweed
- rubble or gravel
If your bin contains any of these items we will not empty it, as it will contaminate the whole load of green waste. We also cannot take additional bags of waste placed by your bins.
You can search and find more details on what can and cannot go in your green waste bin or check your collections calendar.
If you have lost or damaged your bin, you can ask for a new one online.
To complete this form, you will need to tell us:
- your name, address and contact details
- what bin you need replaced
How we deal with your garden waste
We use an open windrow method to compost your garden waste. A windrow is a long line of compostable material, put out to dry naturally. The process is relatively simple and similar to a garden compost heap.
Windrow composting is ideal for pure garden waste such as grass cuttings, prunings and leaves, but cannot process food waste.
Using windrow composting, our contractor:
- shreds the garden waste before piling into long windrows
- turns the windrows on a regular basis during the composting process. This improves oxygen content and distributes heat and moisture
- screens and grades the resulting material for use in landscaping and horticulture
Second green wheeled bins
You can complete our online form for a second green 180 litre bin.
There is a one-off charge for a second green bin and we charge an annual subscription fee to empty it.
If you are moving to another home within our district and have a second green bin, you should take this with you when you move.
If you are moving outside of our district, you should still take this bin with you, as it is your property. However, you may not be able to use it for garden waste collections provided by a different local authority.
If you are living in a newly built property and do not have bins, you can request for bins to be delivered to you by completing our request new bins form.
You can also recycle your garden waste by:
- home composting
- taking it to one of Essex County Council's Recycling Centres for Household Waste
Compost bin special discount
You can contact Essex County Council to apply for their special discount compost bin offer.
We understand that not everyone is able to bring their bins to the collection point.
We offer assistance where there is a genuine need. Find out more about requesting an assisted collection.
Storing your bins
You should store your green wheeled bin within the boundary of your property between collections. You should only put your bin out for by 7am on the day of your collection.
Leaving bins or waste outside the boundary of your property between collections is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.