Decision details

Garden Waste Collection Service

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Approval of arrangements for collection of garden waste for BCP



(a)           The alignment of the annual garden waste collection service price across BCP for the 2020 service at £46 per household for one bin is approved;

(b)           The pro-rata of the Christchurch service collection fee 2020 at £37.65 per household  to reflect the service length from April to December 2020 is approved;

(c)           The retention of the current multiple bin options is approved:

                     i)                For Bournemouth residents at a rate of £60.00 for 2 140l bins (280l) and £80 for 3 140l bins (420l);

                   ii)                For Christchurch & Poole residents at the full one bin price (£46 per extra 240l); and

(d)           Further modelling and analysis by officers to establish full alignment of garden waste collections services across BCP with consideration to the Government’s new Waste Strategy, outcomes of subsequent consultation and associated legislation.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Environment and Climate Change


1.     BCP Council is facing a challenging efficiency agenda to deliver substantial financial savings whilst retaining frontline services that are efficient, reliable and valued by residents.

2.     Garden waste is one of the few waste materials that Councils can legally charge householders a reasonable fee for collection. Of the 326 English councils who collect garden waste, 212 (65%) now charge for this collection.

3.     Benchmarking comparing 16 of our neighbouring authorities geographically and statistically across the country, found that of the 11 that charge for garden waste collections, bin charges vary from £25 to £60, with an average of £46.62.

4.     The alignment of collection prices offers consistency, steps towards parity and future-proofs service delivery across BCP. 

5.     The Garden Waste Service in Dorset (including Christchurch) historically starts and finishes in April for Dorset residents, which will result in a shorter service year for Christchurch residents in year one from BCP Council. This can be addressed by a pro rata payment for the service in Christchurch for 2020.

6.     Retaining the multiple bin price structure in Bournemouth offers some consolation for provision of the smaller bin size for an interim period. A bin replacement programme swapping Bournemouth’s 140l for 240l would incur capital costs of £289,000, plus delivery cost. As a result, it is prudent to maintain the current bin sizes across BCP until the outcomes of the Government’s new waste strategy are better understood. 

7.     Full alignment of garden waste collections services across BCP should consider the Government’s new waste strategy, outcomes of subsequent consultations (concerning garden waste bin size, collection frequency, service charges) and associated legislation (requiring compliance by 2023).

8.     Garden waste collected through the service is diverted from the refuse stream, for composting in Open Windrows producing high quality compost, which is used locally on farmland and sold in garden centres.

9.     Residents can still dispose of garden waste for free at Household Waste & Recycling Centres.

10. BCP also encourages home composting and promotes compost bin offers.

Report author: Ian Poultney

Publication date: 03/10/2019

Date of decision: 30/09/2019

Decided at meeting: 30/09/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 11/10/2019

Accompanying Documents: