Additional Winter Garden Waste Service - FAQs | Colchester Borough Council

Winter support

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents, businesses and communities throughout winter.

Additional Winter Garden Waste Service - FAQs


You can purchase one extra tagged wheelie bin or up to four extra tagged sacks for garden waste collections between 5 December and 9 March.


  • Why we have introduced the additional Winter Garden Waste Service.
  • How much the extra containers are.
  • How often your garden waste will be collected in this period.
  • Other questions you may have about this service.

Why have you introduced this additional Winter Garden Waste Service? 

We have a small amount of extra capacity in the system this year therefore we can offer a limited number of households additional garden waste capacity from 5 December to 9 March. This limited offer will enable households to buy an additional garden waste wheelie bin or up to an additional four garden sacks. There is no guarantee that we will be able to offer this service next year. 


Do I have to buy special garden waste sacks/bin and how much are they? 

Yes. You cannot use your own sacks/bin. They must be purchased from Colchester Borough Council at or by calling 01206 282700 (lines open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). 

If you are on a bag collection route you must buy sacks. If you are on a wheelie bin collection route you must buy a wheelie bin. We cannot collect sacks on wheelie bin route or a bin on a sack route due to the vehicles used. 

They will cost: 

  • £20 garden waste 240 litre wheelie bin (maximum of 1 per household) 
  • £5 per garden waste sack (maximum of 4 per household) 

No more than one order per household. Please ensure you buy your containers at least 7 days before your next collection.  


How often will my sacks/bin be emptied? 

These additional containers will be collected once every two weeks on a Green Week, alongside your normal garden waste sacks/bin; between 5 December and 9 March only. To check your collection day please refer to your Recycling Calendar or use our online postcode lookup facility here 


What should I do if my additional garden waste collection is missed? 

If your collection is missed we will arrange to return to collect your additional garden waste within two working days wherever possible. 

Report your missed collection 

Our collection crew record which bins are not out for collection and we will not be able to return if your bin was not out at the front of your property by 7am on your day of collection. 


How will your collection crews know I have paid for the Additional Winter Garden Waste collection service? 

Your sacks/bin will be clearly tagged to show that it has been paid for.   


Can I buy more than one additional bin or four additional sacks? 

No, a maximum of one wheelie bin or four sacks can be purchased per household for this additional winter garden waste service. Only one order per household. 


What can I do with my excess garden waste or if I don’t join the scheme? 

Please note: We can only collect garden waste contained within our wheeled bins or sacks. 

  • Home composting is an environmentally friendly way of dealing with garden waste. Visit the get compositing website for details on compost bin offers. 
  • Essex County Council Recycling Centres (tips) accept garden waste for composting.


If I buy extra garden waste sacks/bin and don’t use them, can I get a refund? 

No, we are unable to refund any payments of the bin/sacks you purchase. 


Do I own the sacks/bin purchased? 

Yes. The paid for containers will be tagged to show that they have been purchased. 

All other containers for recycling and rubbish remain the property of Colchester Borough Council. 


Will you replace my paid for lost or stolen garden waste bin/sacks? 

No, you are responsible for the security of your bin/sacks purchased as part of this service. We will not empty the bin if it is moved to another property (unless you advise us that you have moved to another property within the borough). We strongly advise you to clearly write your house number and road name on your wheelie bin or sacks with a permeant marker pen. 


Can I buy my own sacks/bin instead of the Colchester Borough Council ones? 

No, we know the 240 litre bins and sacks supplied are good quality and can withstand the pressure of lifting and emptying into our vehicles. We cannot risk the safety of our operatives by asking them to empty other bins/containers. Our bins and sacks with the council logo enable us to identify who is entitled to receive a collection service. 


I currently have help with my collection service, will I get help with my paid for sacks/bin? 

Yes, if you are registered with us as having an Assisted Collection our crews will help you in the same way as they do for your current garden waste. 


What can I put in my garden waste sacks/bin? 

Visit our Putting Your Rubbish Out webpage for more information on what you can and can’t put in your garden waste. It also has tips on how to reduce and reuse your rubbish, including composting.