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Garden Waste Permit Frequently Asked Questions

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 on 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. 

To book a free brown bin winter collection please visit https://south-ayrshire.gov.uk/winter-bins

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.  

Can I pay in instalments or book one-off collection instead of paying for the full year?

No. Garden Waste Permits are a one-off charge per year, and we are unfortunately not able to offer a monthly payment system. 

What details are on the Garden Waste Permit sticker?

Once you purchase a Garden Waste Permit, an individual subscription number will be generated. The permit sticker that will be sent to you will display this subscription number, your address, and the expiry date.  

Do other Councils charge for garden waste collections?  

The majority of Councils in Scotland now charge for garden waste collections.   

I thought my Council Tax paid for this service?     

Council Tax is a general tax which contributes to the Council's overall funding for a full range of services. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, we have a statutory duty to collect your household waste, however this does not include garden waste.

Why does my friend in another area pay less for their brown bin?  

Each local authority differs in the amount of Scottish Government funding it receives, the level of Council Tax it sets and the prices it charges for its services, e.g. use of leisure facilities, car parking or brown bin collections. Each Council differs in the costs incurred for delivering services and therefore also differs in the decisions they must take in order to close their well-publicised funding gaps.