Colchester residents can now opt-in to new garden waste subscription service

PUBLISHED: 1 November 2023

Colchester residents can now opt-in to the new garden waste subscription service that will be starting on 15 January 2024.  
Residents who wish to continue receiving a fortnightly garden waste collection in 2024/25 will need to opt-in to the new subscription service. 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 standard subscription year will run from 1 April to 31 March each year, however, for those residents that opt-in before January, it will run from 15 January 2024 all the way until 31 March 2025. There will be 25 fortnightly collections of garden waste a year, with a pause for two weeks around Christmas. 
In a heartfelt effort to support residents facing financial challenges due to the rising cost of living, the Council is providing £50,000 assistance fund for those who choose to opt-in to the garden waste collection service. This support will be available to residents who currently receive the means-tested Local Council Tax Support scheme, and they will benefit from a waived joining fee, worth £35, helping to ease the financial strain.  
Those who subscribe to the service will receive a permit sticker to put on their brown bin, so collections crews know they have paid. Residents you don’t yet have a wheeled bin, will receive their brown bin with a permit already attached.  
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. 
Residents who currently get a garden waste kerbside collection will receive a leaflet through their letter box in November 2023, which will contain information about the new garden waste service and the steps they need to take to continue to receive fortnightly collections from January. 
Find out more about the garden waste subscription service, read Frequently Asked Questions, as well as opt-in by going to 
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 a £8.2 million rise in costs, the council simply can’t afford to run a free garden waste collection service anymore.   
“Paying for garden waste collection is not new, and the majority of councils across Essex already have a charged subscription service for collections. Our budget situation is significant, so it was either charge for garden waste collection or we don’t collect it at all or would have to look at closing our sport and leisure facilities across the city. With a significant proportion of the city not needing the service, we have agreed on a fairly priced subscription to ensure its sustainability in the long term. 
“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.” 
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  

Page last reviewed: 1 November 2023


Subscribe to receive updates on Council news, events and offers, green living, leisure and sport, museums, committees, jobs and more.