Ultimate Guide to Garden Waste Collection
Looking for more information on garden waste collection? Assuming you can't compost it yourself or aren't able to burn it, then the main options for disposal are to use your local council's green waste collection service, or use a licensed waste collection business (man & van, skip hire, or skip bag).
This article discusses disposal options and how they compare in terms of cost, ease and sustainability.
- Separate your green waste
- Reduce the bulkiness of your waste
- Make your own compost
- Incinerators & bonfires
- Council green waste collection service
- Hire a skip
- Use a Man & Van clearance company
- Put your garden waste in a skip bag
1. Separate your green waste
To keep costs down and increase the chance of recycling, be sure to keep your green/organic waste separate from your more general garden rubbish. Recyclable green waste typically includes small twigs, grass trimmings, leaves, weeds and flowers. The other type of waste found in your garden is mixed general waste – this consists of plant pots, soil, bricks, garden furniture, larger branches etc. Mixed general waste is not as easy as green waste to dispose of and therefore costs more to get rid of. Therefore, it’s a good idea to separate these two waste types into individual piles.
If you’re using a skip company or man and van clearance company to remove your garden waste, make them aware of the waste types you have as they’re normally able to offer a reduced fee for green waste.
2. Reduce the bulkiness of your garden waste
The cost of your waste removal depends on the volume of your waste. In other words, the more space your waste takes up, the more expensive it will be. This is why it’s a great idea to break down any waste where possible, i.e. cutting up branches or placing heavier items on the top of the pile to push and squash down the waste. Another helpful tip is to bag up waste such as leaves and grass cuttings as this will reduce the volume of your waste.
3. Make your own compost
Making your own garden compost can be quite time consuming but it’s a really effective way of disposing of your garden waste while being environmentally responsible and even better, it’s free!
You can make your own compost by using grass trimmings, leaves, bark and old compost leftover in plant pots. Grass trimmings can also be left on the grass to decompose and provide nutrients for your lawn. Make sure you use both dry and moist matter in your compost as moisture is important in the composting process. Here is a great step-by-step guide on composting.
Although bonfires aren’t our first choice because they're not the most environmentally friendlyof solutions, no garden waste disposal guide would be complete without including them as plenty of people light bonfires in their gardens. It is completely legal to have a bonfire in your garden, however, there are laws against the nuisance they cause. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your waste is as dry as possible as this will reduce the amount of smoke they produce. So no samp leaves or wet wood covered in petrol please!! Also, it’s worth checking if your neighbours have any laundry out to dry and if your local council have time restrictions on when you light a bonfire.
Btw, if you’re planning on burning your garden waste, incinerators are a much safer option than bonfires and burn the waste a lot faster. They are ideal for burning green waste such as weeds, lawn cuttings, twigs, hedge trimmings and some people use them to destroy confidential documents. They are safer than bonfires because they burn at a much higher temperature meaning the waste burns faster, all whilst creating a lot less smoke than bonfires produce.
5. Council Garden Waste Collection service
Your local council offers residents a collection service for bulky garden waste (often called its green waste collection service). Find out more about the prices and service levels by contacting your local council or visiting their website. Some charge annually and some charge one-off fees. Although normally pretty good value, the council garden waste collection services tend to be pretty rigid. For example, only what you can fit into the wheelie bin they provide. Only collect every third Tuesday etc. For more ad hoc needs, you'll probably be better off using one of the private waste contractor options below. Namely, hiring a skip, using a Hippo bag or using a man & van rubbish clearance company.
6. Skip hire
Skip hire can be a great option for disposing of garden waste, especially because there are a variety of skip sizes to choose from depending on how much waste you have. If you have enough garden waste to fill a large skip, it makes sense to order the biggest skip possible. This is because bigger skips cost less per cubic yard than smaller skips. However, please bear in mind that some councils don’t allow skips bigger than 8 cubic yards on public roads, so unless you have the space on your driveway or front garden, you may not be allowed to order the biggest skip.
7. Man & Van waste collector
Using a man & van rubbish clearance company to collect your garden waste is likely to be the easiest and fastest rubbish removal option. They charge customers based on the volume of waste and how much time it takes to load it into the van. It’s therefore a really good idea to bag up any loose garden waste and place your pile as close as possible to where they can park their van as it will help reduce their loading time....which means lower prices. If you use a waste contractor always check they are properly licensed as a waste carrier (you don't want them fly-tipping your garden waste around the corner!) and, if they come through your house, that they have appropriate insurance. Click for loads of examples of garden waste disposal prices.
8. Skip bags and Hippo bags
Skip bags and Hippo bags are quite often used to collect garden waste, particularly for smaller garden projects. They’re a great alternative to skips (although consider this Hippo bag alternative) if you don’t have the space but bear in mind, if you’ll be using a crane lorry to pick up the skip bag, you’ll need to ensure the bag is close enough to the road for the lorry to reach it. If you can’t place the bag close to the road, man and van waste teams are happy to collect the contents of your skip bag from anywhere on the property and leave the bag with you for reuse. Skip bags are also useful when used in the garden to store logs and collect any leaves, twigs or grass trimmings.
We've created a guide with the best discount codes for the Hippobag collection.
Other posts you may find useful:
- Garden Waste Disposal Collection Prices
- The ultimate guide to shed disposal
- Everything you need to know about London's tips
- The ultimate guide to bulky waste collection
- Council bulky waste collection in London: how it works and how much it costs
- Bulky waste disposal options offered by London councils