Frequently asked questions - brown bins

What can I put in my brown bin?

  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Weeds 
  • Flowers and plants
  • Hedge clippings
  • Branches (not more than 10cm thick)
  • Prunings and twigs
  • Windfall fruit
  • Hay / Straw / Sawdust (soiled animal bedding from non-meat eating animals only eg rabbits)
  • Vegetable waste from the garden only eg potato tops (not kitchen waste) 

What can’t I put in my brown bin?

What happens if my bin contains items it shouldn’t?

If your bin contains items it shouldn’t we will leave a note on your bin explaining this. We will empty it on your next scheduled garden waste collection if the items have been removed.

Will extra waste be collected if left next to the bin?

We will only collect waste inside the bin except in January when we’ll collect Christmas trees. There is also a day in the Spring and a day in the Autumn when we will collect extra garden waste (capacity of an extra 240 litre bins worth); we’ll publicise nearer the time through our website and newsletter. Please note that boxes and bags left on the extra garden waste days are at the residents own discretion and the council will not replace them if missing or damaged.

Can I line my bin to keep it clean or put bags of garden waste in it?

Sorry! You can’t line the bin as it contaminates the waste and can damage shredding equipment. For the same reason you cannot put bags in the bin. Garden waste must be loose.

Do not overload your bin

Our crews must be able to safely manoeuvre the bin to the vehicle for emptying and be safely lifted by the vehicle. The driver’s decision is final.

How do I know when to put my bin out for emptying?

We will collect garden waste on the same day as your recycling (unless we advise / have advised you otherwise). We will notify residents in advance of any changes including Bank Holiday changes, through the press, our website and council publications.

Where do I put my bin for emptying?

Just within the boundary of your property by 6am on the day of collection. The bin must be clearly visible.

Arrangements over Christmas and New Year?

We will suspend collections for two weeks over the Christmas period to manage the extra household waste generated over this period and will notify residents through our website and council publications. We will however collect extra side waste on a date in the spring and a date in the autumn, which we will publicise as above.

Adverse weather conditions?

We may suspend collections in exceptional circumstances, for example adverse weather conditions. In very cold weather, garden waste can freeze and get jammed in your garden waste bin. If this happens to your bin please contact Biffa and, if the crew have recorded that they couldn’t empty your bin because it was frozen we won’t return to empty it. Instead up to three sacks of garden waste can be put out next to your bin on the next collection day.

I need help moving my bin

If you are physically unable to put your bin out for collection and there is nobody you can call on to help, please ring us on 01235 422406 to chat through your options.

Can I have extra bins?

Each bin costs £43 per year and you can have as many as you need.

What happens if my bin goes missing? 

If your bin has gone missing and you need a replacement please email

What must I do if I move house?

If you move house within the Vale of White Horse district you can take the bin with you, but not if you move to another district. You must notify us immediately if you change address or wish to cancel the service, or risk further charges.

What must I do if my bin has not been emptied?

If your brown bin has not been collected, please check you have the correct collection day before reporting this to us by 5pm the following working day:

What if my property is not suitable for a brown bin?

In exceptional circumstances we can offer biodegradable sacks. We would however need to visit the property to confirm a bin is not suitable.  To request this service call 01235 422406. The service costs £43 and includes a year’s supply of sacks (50 sacks).

Last reviewed: 01 - 04 - 2019

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