Sign up for garden waste collection before new service starts in January

PUBLISHED: 3 January 2024

From January 2024, Colchester City Council will be charging for the collection of garden waste. Residents who wish to continue to receive a fortnightly garden waste collection in 2024/25 are encouraged to sign up for this new service, which will start week commencing 15 January.

The first year’s subscription will cover a 14-month period from 15 January to 31 March 2025. The cost is £35 one-off joining fee and £55 annual cost, per wheeled bin subscription, which works out as just over £1 a week.  

The council is providing a £50,000 assistance fund for those who choose to opt-in to the garden waste collection service and who currently receive the means-tested Local Council Tax Support can receive support. Those eligible will benefit from a waived joining fee, worth £35, helping to ease the financial strain.

Additional bins (up to a maximum of four bins per household) are available for £55 and the one-off cost of £35, both per bin.

All garden waste must be contained within the council supplied wheeled bin(s), and these must display a subscription permit sticker which will be sent to subscribers before the new service goes live. No extra garden waste will be taken by the collection crews.

Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Waste, said: “The council is currently facing extreme financial pressure, increasing demand on our services and an £8.2 million rise in costs, the council simply can’t afford to run a free garden waste collection service anymore. We chose to charge for the service for those that would like it, rather than stop the collections altogether.

We would like to thank our residents who have already subscribed, and it is very encouraging to see so many taking advantage of the new service, which will launch on 15 January 2024. This new model of service means that it will cover the cost of picking up garden waste, so there are not additional extra pressures on our already stretched budget.

“There’s still time to sign up before the new service launches. If you’re not generating much garden waste and you don’t want to join the scheme, there is the option of joining with a neighbour, composting at home, or dropping it off at your local recycling centre.

Online is the quickest and easiest method to opt-in, all residents need is a credit or debit card and property details. If residents are not able to complete this online, we suggest asking a family member or friends to complete the form on their behalf. If they do not have online access, they should contact Colchester City Council. 

Those who choose not to join the subscription service can dispose of their garden waste by composting at home or taking it to their nearest Essex County Council Recycling Centre. Residents can purchase discounted compost bins through Love Essex as well as take part in a free online composting course, whether they purchase a compost bin or not. Visit  

Residents can join the garden waste subscription service at any point throughout the year. Find out more about the garden waste subscription service, read Frequently Asked Questions, as well as opt-in by going to

Page last reviewed: 3 January 2024


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