Southwark Council Garden Waste Collection subscriptions

The following information about Garden Waste collection is available in London Borough of Southwark Official website and it’s replicated here for information purpose only. Please, visit the council’s website for the latest updates or further enquiries.

Wheelie Bins

From 1 June 2019, Southwark council will provide garden waste collections as an optional service to properties with gardens for a small charge. The charge is £25 per garden waste bin collected for the period from June 2019 until 31 March 2020 with a weekly collection service.  If you use a brown garden waste bin now, we will only continue to provide a collection service for it after June if you pay the subscription fee.

You cannot use your garden waste bin for any food waste after June, but you will still receive a free separate collection of food waste if you have the organic waste collection service now.

How to use the bin?

You can use your garden waste bin for:

  • grass cuttings, leaves, flowers
  • plants, twigs and branches (no more than 10cm diameter)

You can’t use it for:

  • food waste
  • fencing or other waste wood
  • soil, rubble, stones or gravel
  • non compostable materials, including plastic bags, flower pots or trays

You can still compost your garden waste at home, and residents of Southwark can still bring garden waste to our household waste recycling and reuse centre.

If your home has a garden, you will be eligible for the new service. 

Southwark Chargeable Garden Waste Service FAQs:

What is the garden waste collection service?

The council currently operates a weekly collection service for garden waste and food waste from all of the borough’s kerbside properties.  Collecting this waste separately helps reduce the impact it would otherwise have on the environment. 

From 1 June, the Council will be introducing a subscription fee of £30 a year for continued use of the weekly collection of garden waste.  Food waste collections will continue to be delivered as they are now with no additional charge. 

Why is the council introducing charges for collecting my garden waste?

We have seen over time that not everyone who receives garden waste collections is actually making use of the service.  We believe that it is fairer that only those using the service contribute towards the running of it. 

As a result, from June this year, we will be asking for a small annual contribution fee from those residents who want to continue having their garden waste collected. 

This will help us to protect the essential services we deliver across the borough.

How much will it cost?

The fee will be £30 for a 12 month subscription, which runs from April to March.  As we are launching the scheme on 1 June this year, the initial subscription through to March 2020 will be lower – £25.

Will my collection day change?

Possibly.  At the same time as introducing this subscription service we are reviewing our collection rounds.  In order to improve the route efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of our operations a small number of day changes may be needed.  We will advise everyone of any changes via a leaflet in May.

How frequent will collections be?

Collections will still be weekly as they are now.

What can I put in my garden waste bin?

The following types of green waste are acceptable for collection:

  • Grass cuttings
  • Garden weeds
  • Plants and flowers
  • Leaves and prunings
  • Twigs and small branches

Please do not put in:

  • Food waste
  • Plastic bags or liners
  • Flower pots or trays
  • Soil or turf
  • Stones, gravel or bricks
  • Large tree branches
  • Fencing, MDF or treated wood
  • Garden furniture
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • Recyclable materials

What about the food waste I currently put in my garden waste bin?

Food waste will continue to be collected, without additional charge, on a weekly basis as it is now. 

From 1 June we will be asking residents to present their garden waste and food waste for collection in separate designated containers.

If you require one of the council’s secure food waste boxes for your property, please go to  where you can order one.  When ordering, you will also receive a smaller kitchen caddy for storing your food waste indoors before putting it out for collection.

Can I put garden waste in my green rubbish bin?

No.  As with our other collections, no recyclable items can be put in your green rubbish bin.  If you place any items in there that should go in the blue recycling bin or which should go in a garden waste bin, your rubbish bin will not be collected that week.

Will you collect extra garden waste if I put it next to my brown bin?

No, only garden waste placed within your brown bin with the lid closed will be collected by our crews.

I currently receive assisted collections for my bins; will I still receive this if I sign up to the garden waste service?

Yes, all assisted collections, current or new, will continue as on all our other regular collection services.

How do I sign up for the garden waste service?

From early May, you will be able to sign up and pay for subscription to the garden waste service via the dedicated webpage at

How long does the subscription last for?

In the first year, the subscription service is for ten months from 1 June 2019 to 31 March 2020 (at the discounted rate of £25).  In following years, the subscription service will run from 1 April to 31 March each year.  Please note that whilst you can subscribe to the service at any point in the year, you will pay the full fee but the subscription will only last until 31 March, at which point you will need to renew for another year if you want to continue using the service.

We therefore recommend that if you are intending to use the service you either sign up before 1 June this year, or by 1 April in subsequent years to get the full benefit of the subscription.

Can I sign up at any time in the year?

You will be able to sign up at any time in the year, though please note that any subscription will only last until the end of the following March, and you will still be charged the full amount.  We therefore recommend that you sign up to the service prior to its start date of 1 June this year, and renew prior to 1 April in subsequent years.

How can I pay for the garden waste service?

You will be able to sign up and pay for your subscription via the dedicated webpage  The payment form accepts all major credit and debit cards.  American Express card details will not be accepted.

Why can’t I set up a direct debit?

We are working on setting up a Direct Debit payment system for this service, and hope to introduce it in time for subscription renewals in March/April 2020.

Are there any concessions on the garden waste service?

There will not be any concessions available for the annual subscriptions.  The council has ensured that at £30, the annual charge for the service is amongst the cheapest anywhere for similar offerings.

I don’t have the ability to get online to arrange a subscription, how can I sign up?

In the first instance we recommend seeing if there is a family member or friend who can either provide you with access to the internet or who can guide you through the online subscription process.  If this is not available, we invite you to attend your local library, where one of our staff will be happy to help you sign up to the service.

Can I get a refund if I no longer require the garden waste bin during my year’s subscription?

No, the scheme will not be offering refunds for part-use of a year’s subscription.

What happens next after I sign up?

Soon after signing up you will receive an information pack through your door including a coloured adhesive sticker to attach to your garden waste bin.

Can I request more than one garden waste bin?

You can order additional bins, but please be aware that each extra bin will incur another separate annual subscription fee.  We are confident that a brown bin provides enough capacity for most households.  If you are producing more than this, you may wish to invest in a compost bin for your garden, or you can take any excess garden waste to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre at Devon Street SE15.

Can I share a garden waste bin with my neighbour?

You can do this if you wish, though please note we will only collect from households with an active subscription.

Will I get a new bin?

No, collections will still be made from your existing brown garden waste bin.  Soon after signing up to the scheme, you will receive a large adhesive sticker which you should place on your bin to identify it as being eligible for collection.

Will I own my brown bin if I sign up?

No.  As is currently the case with all regular collection services, the bins provided to you remain the property of the council.

What happens if I move house?

If you move house during your subscription, please contact the council and we will arrange for your subscription to follow you to your new address, provided that the new property is also served by our current garden waste collection service.

Who is responsible for maintenance and cleaning of my bin?

As with all of the other regular collection services we provide, you are responsible for cleaning your bins.  If your bin breaks or is lost during the course of collections, please contact the council via so that we can arrange for delivery of a replacement.

What will happen to my brown garden waste bin if I don’t sign up?

The new subscription service will start on 1 June 2019.  After a few weeks grace period, we will be withdrawing all garden waste bins from those properties that have not signed up to the service.

What if I want to sign up but don’t have space for a brown wheeled bin?

If your property does not have space for a garden waste bin, but you do still have a garden and wish to dispose of your waste, you will be able to purchase a pack of 20 garden waste bags for £15 from  These are not a direct alternative to having the garden waste wheeled bin – you will need to book a collection, via the website, each time you wish to leave a bag or bags out for collection. 

You may also take your garden waste to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre at Devon Street SE15.  You may also want to invest in a compost bin for your garden, available, at a subsidised rate via our website.