Dorset Council offers an optional, chargeable fortnightly collection of household garden waste to Dorset residents. These terms and conditions formalise the arrangement between Dorset Council and the customer in regards to this garden waste service.


  1. The garden waste service is provided all year round, except for the Christmas and New Year period. All subscriptions are renewed annually with effect from 1st April.
  2. Dorset Council (DC) reserve the right to change customers' day/week of collection or collection point for operational reasons. DC will notify customers of any changes in advance. DC will ensure that the customer received the proportionate number of collections to their subscription payment.
  3. Customers may pay to receive one or more wheeled bins to use for the garden waste service. Containers are provided for use by the customer but remain the property of DC. Any garden waste bins provided by DC will be new or clean, refurbished bins.
  4. Where a property is assessed as unsuitable for wheeled bins, a compostable sack service may be offered. However, if an alternative collection point can be agreed with DC and the customer is willing to present a bin at this location, they are entitled to receive a wheeled bin.
  5. If a suitable container and/or collection point cannot be agreed due to operational reasons (for example, health and safety, access issues), DC reserve the right to refuse or terminate the service. Where the garden waste service has been terminated a refund for the collections not received will be provided.
  6. After subscribing, the customer will receive their first collection calendar electronically if an email address is provided. Otherwise, the calendar will be sent by post.  For subsequent years of the service, collection calendars will not be provided but these can be accessed and printed from our website if required.
  7. There is no limit to the number of garden waste containers a customer can have at their property. Discounts will not be provided for multiple bins or bags.
  8. Containers should be presented for collection on the kerbside at the boundary of the registered property, adjacent to the public road (adopted highway), unless alternative arrangements have been agreed with DC. Garden waste containers will only be collected from the registered address.
  9. Garden waste containers must be presented for collection by 6am on the correct collection day. If containers are not presented by this time, DC will not return to collect them until the next scheduled collection day.
  10. After the containers have been emptied, the crew will return them to the place from which they were collected. It is the customer's responsibility to take their containers back within the boundary of their property no later than the evening of their collection day.
  11. Where a container has been presented correctly but has been genuinely missed by the crew, the customer should report a missed collection to DC. A recollection of the missed container will be arranged, and the missed container should be left at the collection point so DC can easily access. It Recollection of missed containers could take up to five working days and DC will not provide a specific time when the recollection will take place.
  12. If access to the container(s) for the collection vehicle or crew is blocked (e.g. access is blocked by parked cars), DC will endeavour to attempt to recollect at different times on the same collection day. If the container is not accessible on the collection day DC will not return to recollect the container until the next scheduled collection. In exceptional circumstances, if a collection vehicle is repeatedly restricted from accessing containers, residents may be asked to present their containers to a new collection point. This will be subject to clause 5.
  13. In exceptional weather conditions, particularly snow and ice, the garden waste service may be suspended temporarily for safety reasons until conditions improve enough to allow collections to be carried out safely. During cold spells, the contents of garden waste containers may freeze, preventing DC from fully emptying the container(s) without damaging them. It may not be possible to fully empty container(s) until the next scheduled collection day when conditions have improved. Information about changes to services as a result of winter weather will be kept up to date on the website.
  14. No refunds will be provided if collections cannot be carried out for reasons beyond DC's control.
  15. Garden waste collections for some properties may be collected with the general waste. This is because it is more economically and environmentally viable to do so. The garden waste material that is collected with the general waste will be sent to a treatment facility. Any organic material is separated and composted as part of this treatment process.
  16. An assisted collection for the garden waste service may be provided where a customer is physically unable to move their containers and where there is no one else who can move them on their behalf. In such circumstances, the customer may apply for an assisted collection and an assessment will be carried out by DC. If an assisted collection cannot be safely provided DC reserves the right to change the container provided or remove and refund the service.
  17. The garden waste service applies to domestic households only. If a garden waste service is required as a result of a commercial activity, the customer should contact DC's commercial waste team to discuss arrangements.

Use of containers (wheeled bins / bags)

18. All garden waste containers provided remain the property of DC at all times.

19. DC reserves the right to remove containers should the householder fail to make payment for the service or if DC withdraws the service for any reason. Customers are encouraged to identify their property’s bins, however any personal stickers applied to the container will be non-returnable.

20. Only garden waste should be placed in the containers provided and all material must be put in the containers loose. No bags or liners (including compostable liners) should be placed inside the garden waste containers.

21. Only containers supplied by DC will be emptied. No other bins, bags, boxes or loose waste will be collected.

22. Containers that are overflowing or too heavy for the crew or collection vehicle to handle will not be collected. Wheeled bins must be presented with closed lids. If waste is too compacted and will not come out of the container when tipped, it will be left in the container and it will be the customer's responsibility to remove the waste before the next scheduled collection.

23. Where authorised compostable garden waste sacks are provided as an alternative to a wheeled bin, the customer should present these sacks for collection with the tops folded or tied according to the instructions printed on the bags. For each set of bags purchased, DC will collect two bags of garden waste per household per fortnight.

24. The following garden waste material can be placed loose in the containers:

  • grass cuttings;
  • hedge and shrub cuttings;
  • plants and non-invasive weeds;
  • small branches with a diameter of less than 15cm;
  • bark;
  • cut flowers and houseplants;
  • leaves and twigs.

25. The following materials cannot be placed in the containers:

  • any non-organic waste;
  • plant pots;
  • seed trays;
  • branches with a diameter of more than 15cm;
  • logs;
  • tree stumps;
  • invasive weeds (e.g. Japanese Knotweed, Ragwort);
  • soil;
  • bricks;
  • rubble;
  • waste resulting from commercial activity;
  • liquids;
  • paint;
  • oil;
  • plastics, such as compost bags;
  • ashes;
  • animal faeces;
  • animal bedding.

26. Real Christmas trees can be placed in garden waste containers for collection if they have been cut up into small pieces and do not include logs or branches more than 15cm in diameter.

27. A contaminated container (bins or sacks containing incorrect material) will not be emptied. If incorrect materials are found in the container, the customer will be informed at the point of reporting a missed collection, and it is the customers responsibility to remove the item(s) of contamination prior to the next collection. DC will not return to recollect contaminated containers until the next scheduled collection.

28. If a container is regularly contaminated and advice has been offered, DC reserves the right to remove the container and cease the collection service. No refunds will be provided if a service is removed due to persistent contamination.

29. Customers are responsible for keeping their containers safe and clean, and reporting any containers that are damaged. DC will replace containers that become faulty through reasonable wear and tear or are damaged during the collection process, free of charge within 20 working days. DC reserves the right to make a charge to replace any containers damaged because of misuse by the customer.

30. If a container appears to have been lost or stolen, the customer must report a lost container to DC, so that a replacement can be delivered free of charge within 20 working days.

31. DC reserves the right to remove any containers that are identified as unauthorised or have previously been reported as lost or stolen from another address.

32. Customers use the containers at their own risk.


33. Customers who subscribe to the garden waste service will be charged a fee for collections from each container. The cost of the service is reviewed annually and the garden waste charges are published online.

34. New customers who subscribe to the service will start their service as below;

Garden waste dates and for service and renewal
Sign up date Service start date Renewal date
1 November – 28 February

 1 April

1 April (the following year)
1 March – 31 March  1 May 1 April
1 April – 30 April  1 June 1 April 
1 May – 31 May  1 July 1 April
1 June – 30 June  1 August 1 April
1 July – 31 July  1 September 1 April
1 August – 31 August  1 October 1 April
1 September – 31 October  1 December 1 April

35. The cost of the service is non-refundable. However, customers have the right to cancel within 14 days of payment and receive a full refund. Refunds will be issued within 28 working days of cancellation. Customers cancelling their service after this time will not receive a refund.

36. Customers can subscribe to the garden waste service online or by calling 01305 221040 at any point during the year. Payment can be made by credit/debit card or Direct Debit.

37. Card payments for the service will be taken at the point of subscription. Accepted methods of payment are by valid debit or credit card (excluding American Express).  A third-party company (DC merchant bank – GovPay) will process debit and credit card payments.  Once payment has been received from a new customer, DC will provide a collection calendar and deliver the containers to the customer before the first scheduled collection.

38. Direct Debit payments for new customers can be set up at the point of subscription, from a valid bank account. A confirmation will be sent by email or post within 3 working days. A notification of the charge will also be sent at least 14 days prior to the payment being taken on the first day of service.

39. Subscriptions are renewed annually with effect from 1 April. Customers paying by credit/debit card will receive a renewal notice, for the following years’ service, in advance of the payment deadline each year. The renewal notice will be sent to the payer where a subscription is paid on behalf of the resident. Payment is required no later than 28 February for April renewals to ensure the service continues uninterrupted. Renewal payments can be made by credit/debit card (payment taken immediately) or by Direct Debit (payment taken 1 April). Direct Debit customers will receive notification of the annual fee and date of payment before any money is debited from their accounts.

40. Transfer of subscription to a new address - Customers moving to a property within an area covered by the garden waste service must take their container(s) to their new address but need to notify DC. The customer will receive details of their new collection day within 20 working days of notifying DC. Failure to notify DC of the move will mean that the containers will not be collected at the new address. If the customer fails to transfer their bin to the new address, they will have to wait until the next bin delivery period during two weeks prior to a start of service date. No refunds will be provided for any gap in the service. DC reserves the right to charge for re-delivery of the bin.

41. Customers are responsible for informing DC of any changes to their personal contact details.

42. DC reserves the right to suspend collections and remove containers should the customer fail to make payment for the service. DC may charge a late payment fee to cover additional administrative costs. No refunds will be provided for any gap in the service due to late payment.

Cancellation of the service

43. If a customer does not renew their service by the deadline stated in their renewal notice, their service will be automatically cancelled and DC will recover its container(s) from the property using any/all reasonable means of access.

44. If a customer wishes to discontinue their garden waste service or is moving to an area not covered by the service, they must contact DC to cancel the service and request the removal of their container(s).

45. If a customer pays for their service by Direct Debit, this can be cancelled at any time by the customer contacting their bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. The customer must also notify DC that they have cancelled their Direct Debit. Failure to notify DC may result in the customer incurring additional charges.

46. If a customer changes their mind once the container has been removed from the property, there will be an additional £20 charge payable to re-deliver the container and reinstate the service.

47. No refunds or part-refunds will be made when the customer cancels the garden waste service.

Removal of containers

48. When required/justified, DC will remove container(s) at its earliest convenience.

49. DC will not contact residents to arrange/inform them when container(s) will be removed.

50. In the event DC has justification to remove container(s) from a property (for example, as a result of cancellation of the service or repeated contamination), DC will recover its container(s) from the property using any/all reasonable means of access.

Data Protection Statement

The information you provide will be used by DC to assist with your service. Your information will only be retained for as long as required for these purposes. Your information will not be passed to any third parties. By providing this information you are consenting to its use as detailed. You can read more about the use of your personal information or contact Dorset Council’s Data Protection Officer.

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