Garden waste service - your questions answered
Last year I had permits - why are you not using permits this year?
To improve how the scheme is run you will not recieve a permit and calendar this year when you renew. This means that once you have paid, your service will be activated in seven working days meaning you are less likely to miss a collection.
Garden waste crews will instead work from an address list. This is a system they are used to and will take no longer to make collections.
How does the garden waste service work?
If you want us to collect your garden waste we offer a garden waste collection service which you have to pay for.
If you want to use the service you will need to register and pay a subscription fee. We will then collect your bags once every two weeks from the pavement outside your property. The collection may be on a different day to your other waste collections.
Are my permits valid for one year from the date I register for the service?
No, all subscriptions are valid from 1 April until 31 March the following year. The six-month subscription is valid from 1 October until 31 March and will be available to register for from September.
Will the service run all year?
The service runs all year from Monday to Friday. This includes all bank holidays except 25 December and 1 January.
Why can't I pay for the annual service in October?
All subscriptions expire on the 31 March as we do not run the scheme on a rolling basis. The reason for this is to keep the collection routes as settled as possible.
The six-month service has been introduced to reduce the cost for people who only want a service from September through the winter. You can register for an annual service from March the following year.
What happens if I move house after I subscribe?
If you move to another property within Lambeth you should contact the Lambeth Service Centre on 020 7926 9000 to arrange the transfer of the subscription to your new address.
If you are moving outside of Lambeth the Service Centre will cancel your subscription. We cannot provide refunds for cancelled subscriptions.
How do I cancel my subscription and do I get a refund?
You can stop using the service at any time by contacting the Lambeth Service Centre on 020 7926 9000.
We cannot offer any refunds if you stop using the service.
I live in a flat and have a garden. Can I join the garden waste service?
You can join the service if the garden you are collecting waste from is for your own private use and the garden is maintained by you.
Can commercial properties take part in the garden waste collection service?
No, we cannot include commercial properties or activities in the scheme. If you would like advice on commercial waste and recycling, please call 020 7926 9000 and we can arrange for an officer to visit your business to discuss your arrangements.
Reusable garden waste bags
Do I get my own bags?
The collection fee does not include the green reusable garden waste bags that you need to use to have your garden waste collected. If you already have reusable bags, these should be used. Households who need reusable garden waste bags will need to buy the bags for £5 each. We will only collect garden waste presented for collection in reusable bags supplied by the council.
How many garden waste bags can I have?
There is no limit to the number of bags we will issue per household but each bag has to be registered for it to be collected. If you are registered to use the service you can also purchase biodegradable bags at £15 per roll of ten if you have additional garden waste to remove.
Can I write my address on my garden waste bags?
We would encourage you to write your house number on your reusable garden waste bags. This will help the collection crews to know where to return the bags to.
What size are the garden waste bags?
Each garden waste bag has a capacity of around 120 litres. The bags are 450mm width x 450mm depth x 600mm height.
What happens to my bags after they are emptied?
Our collection crews will put your garden waste bags back inside the boundary of your property and will secure them, for example, under a bin or hooked onto a fence.
My garden waste bags have gone missing or have been damaged. Will you replace them?
No. We do not offer replacement garden waste bags free of charge.
Garden waste bags cost £5 to replace. Replacement garden waste bags can be bought by card by calling the Service Centre or in person with cash or cheque at Shakespeare Road.
My garden waste hasn’t been collected, what should I do?
Please check that your bag does not contain any items that we do not accept in the garden waste collection such as large branches or soil. If there is anything we cannot collect in your bag, please remove it and we will be able to collect your garden waste on your next collection day.
If you have put your garden waste bag out for collection at the right time and there are no items we cannot collect in it, contact the Lambeth Service Centre on 020 7926 9000 to report a missed collection.
My garden waste has been collected, but there is still some material in the bottom
Sometimes material compacted at the bottom of the bag may not come out when it is tipped into the collection vehicle. Using a few small twigs as the first deposits at the bottom of the bag each time will make it easier for all the garden waste in the bag to be emptied.
What happens to my garden waste after it is collected?
Garden waste is taken to a large composting facility a few miles outside of London. After three months it will have been transformed into nutrient rich compost which is sold to farmers and horticulturists as a soil improver.
Can I buy the compost produced from the garden waste service?
The compost produced is not currently available to buy back from this service.
I'm interested in home composting. How do I find out more?
To compost garden waste at home and make home made soil improver, you can buy a home composter at subsidised rates. For information on composting please go to our home composting page.
I don't want to pay for this service, how can I get rid of my garden waste for free?
To compost garden waste at home and make homemade soil improver, you can buy a home composter, available at subsidised rates. For information on composting please go to our home composting page.
Garden waste can also be taken free of charge to Lambeth's Reuse and Recycling Centres at Vale Street, Southwark Reuse and recycling Centre, or Smugglers Way. More information on the locations and opening times can be found on the Reuse and Recycling Centres page.