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Garden Waste Permits

From Monday 15 July 2024, households that want their brown bin to be emptied must purchase a garden waste permit for each bin.

You can buy your garden waste permit from Monday 3 June.

A garden waste permit costs £50 per brown bin and will be valid for 12 months. Once you have purchased a permit, we'll send you a permit sticker(s) in the post. Permit sticker(s) should be attached to the back of your brown bin(s).

Your brown bin will continue to be collected every four weeks as per your normal bin collection calendar. Bins should be placed out the night before collection day, however in some town centre areas bins may require to be placed out on the day of collection.

Please note that brown bins are not collected during the winter months of December, January, and February. You can still arrange an individual collection during these months (1 per month) using theonline brown bin winter collection form.

A list of helpful FAQs is available further down this page.

What goes in my brown bin?

Please use your brown bin to dispose of:

  • Bark
  • Branches and twigs
  • Flowers and plants
  • Grass cutting
  • Hedge trimmings
  • Leaves
  • Shrub prunings
  • Weeds and dead plants

Please DO NOT put the following materials in your brown bin. We have included where these materials can be disposed of:

  • Animal faeces (use your non-recyclable bin)
  • Blocks of wood (typically accepted as 'Wood Waste' at Recycling Centres)
  • Bricks or stones (typically accepted as 'Rubble' at Recycling Centres)
  • Garden furniture (you can donate to charity or Recycling Centres for reuse, recycling or disposal)
  • Hosepipes (you can donate to charity or Recycling Centres for reuse, recycling or disposal)
  • Large quantities of soil (typically accepted as 'Garden Waste' at Recycling Centres)
  • Large rootballs (typically accepted as 'Garden Waste' at Recycling Centres)
  • Plant pots and trays (use your non-recyclable bin)
  • Plastic bags (use your non-recyclable bin)
  • Rubble (typically accepted as 'Rubble' at Recycling Centres)
  • Turfs of grass (typically accepted as 'Garden' Recycling Centres)

If any of the above materials are placed in your brown bin, it may not be emptied. This is because it may not be possible to compost the green waste at the composting plant.

 

Garden Waste Permits - Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I being charged for my brown bin to be emptied?

Like many local authorities, our funding from the Scottish Government has reduced in real terms. Introducing a charge for emptying brown bins will help us to reduce our funding gap and continue to maintain the service delivery of the statutory functions we need to deliver.

When will this service begin?

The service will begin on Monday 15 July and will follow your normal collection schedule. Your brown bin will continue to be emptied for free until then.

How much does it cost?

Garden waste permits cost £50. Each garden waste permit covers one brown bin.

When can I purchase a permit and how do I pay? 

You'll be able to apply for and pay for a permit from Monday 3 June using the link at the top of this page, or by calling 01292 559342. Once you have purchased a permit, you will receive a permit sticker in the post.  

What will the permit cover?

Each garden waste permit covers one brown bin. If you have more than one brown bin that you would like to be emptied, you will need to purchase a permit for each bin. The maximum number of bins that we will empty from any property is six.

How does the permit work?

Once you have purchased a permit, you will receive a permit sticker in the post. This sticker should be attached to the back of your bin by peeling the sticker from the backing paper. Please put your bin out with the handle facing outwards to allow our collection crews to see your sticker clearly.

How long will the permit last for?

The permit will cover a 12-month period.

How many collections do I get with a permit?

You get the same number of collections, and your scheduled collection date will remain the same. We empty brown bins every four weeks between March and November, and by request from December to February.

If you're not sure when your bin is due to be emptied, you can download the SAC MyBins app or view your calendar at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/bin-days   

What if I don't want to pay for my brown bin to be emptied?

You can take your garden waste free of charge to any of our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC). Please remember before you visit, you'll need to book a slot using our Household Waste Recycling Centre Booking System at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/recycling-centres     

You can also try home composting if this interests you. You can find lots of information to get you started on Zero Waste Scotland's website www.zerowastescotland.org.uk   

How soon after paying will my permit arrive?  

Please allow up to 28 days from the date of purchase for your sticker to arrive.

How will the collection crew know to collect my bin?  

Once you have purchased a permit, you will receive a permit sticker in the post. This sticker should be attached to the back of your bin under the handle by peeling the sticker from the backing paper. Please put your bin(s) out for collection with the handle facing outwards to allow our collection crews to see your sticker clearly. 

What if I don't want to pay for my brown bin to be emptied, will you take my brown bin away?

No. If you want to keep your brown bin, you can. If you don't want to keep your brown bin, we'll make arrangements later in the year to remove it. We'll let you know when more information about this is available.

What if I've paid for my permit sticker and it hasn't arrived by collection day?  

If you have paid and not received your sticker prior to your collection day, don't panic. You can still put your bin out and our in-cab information system will highlight that you are a new customer, and the crew will know to uplift your bin. 

Please note it can take 24 hours for our in-cab information system to update, so bear this in mind if you plan to purchase a permit the day before your scheduled brown bin collection. 

Please contact neighbourhood_services@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or call 01292 559342 if you haven't received your sticker within 28 days.

What if I don't have a brown bin and want to order one?  

If you order a new or replacement brown bin, we will check that you have paid for the service before delivering your bin. 

What if I have more than one brown bin? 

Each garden waste permit covers one brown bin. If you have more than one brown bin that you would like to be emptied, you will need to purchase a permit for each bin.

What if I have an assisted collection (permit)?   

Any household in South Ayrshire who would like to continue to have their brown bin emptied must apply and pay for a garden waste permit. If you are registered for our assisted collection service, once you have purchased your garden waste permit, your brown bin will still be collected as normal.  

What if I have a communal garden and share a bin with neighbour(s)?   

You can continue to do this as long as someone applies and pays for the permit. We will not get involved in any disputes over payment. 

I have a small brown bin. Do I get a discount?  

There are no discounts or exemptions for our garden waste permit. If you want your small brown bin to continue to be emptied, the £50 charge still applies.   

I have a small brown bin. Can I swap it for a standard size?    

Yes. You can request an exchange here www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/request-replacement-bin     

What happens if I move house? 

If you move house within South Ayrshire, your permit will transfer with you. You should contact us to let us know your new address, and we will issue you with a new sticker to place on your brown bin. 

No refunds will be issued if you move to another local authority area.    

What if I employ the services of a gardener?  

Waste generated by a gardener who is being paid for their services would be classified as commercial waste. They have a legal responsibility to dispose of this waste accordingly.  

Can I put my garden waste in my green bin? 

Garden waste should not be placed inside the general waste bin or presented as side waste.

I am a council tenant - why do I have to pay for my brown bin to be emptied when I am maintaining a council garden?

If you have accepted the tenancy of a council property that has a garden, you have a responsibility to manage and maintain that garden. This includes disposing of garden waste. Please refer to your tenancy agreement for more detail.