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Disruption to Garden Waste Collections

Our garden waste service (brown bins) restarted on Monday 28 March 2022.

FCC Environment Ltd restarted our garden waste collections on Monday 28 March, but unfortunately, since the service resumed they have experienced increased sickness within the workforce, which has impacted some of our collection rounds.

Garden Waste - An Open letter

If you need to check when your next collection is, please use the button below. Simply enter your postcode to find your next collection day.

Your brown bin will be picked up on alternate weeks to your black bin. So for example, if you're due a black bin collection in the week beginning 21 March, your brown bin will be collected on your usual collection day in the week commencing 28 March.

Check your Waste and Recycling Collection Day

Please make sure your bin is out at the kerbside or your agreed collection point at 7 a.m.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to commonly asked questions about the garden waste collections in the South Hams.

When will South Hams District Council be collecting food waste at the kerbside for residents without this service?

For all residents still on the co-mingled weekly recycling collection (those who have the new containers and reusable sack but does not include food waste collections) or old style recycling sack collections (blue and clear sacks).

South Hams District Council and FCC Environment are working together to complete the rollout the full Devon Aligned recycling service to all residents in the District as soon as we can. This service includes the boxes, reusable sack and the food waste caddy on a weekly collection. We will inform these residents affected when the full service will be operational from kerbside.


My garden waste bin is full because I was unable to use the options provided. Will this be collected when the service restarts?

We will empty your garden waste bin if presented at your collection point, on correct day and time and providing it is not too heavy for the operative to safely wheel to the collections vehicle and lift. We have a weight restriction on our bin lifts and compacted garden waste can become heavy when it starts breaking down.


What happens if South Hams District Council are unable to collect my garden waste bin because it is marked as too heavy?

If this is the case, the resident will need to have somebody remove some of their garden waste to reduce the weight in the bin so it can be emptied on your next scheduled collection. Once the bin is emptied the removed garden waste can be placed back into your empty brown bin for your next collection day.


I have extra garden waste due to the suspension of this service. Will you collect my extra side waste/additional waste?

To ensure that everyone gets a collection we will not be able to take side waste when the service resumes. We anticipate that when this service restarts the loads will be heavier than normal due to the suspension period. The collection crews will only collect the garden waste presented in your brown bin on your collection day. If you have side waste this will need to wait until you have an empty bin or be taken to your local Recycling Centres: All three recycling centres located in South Hams, operated by Devon County Council, take garden waste. Full details, including opening hours, here.


Will South Hams District Council collect garden waste that is presented in another bin or container?

No. Our collection crews will only be collecting garden waste contained in your garden waste bin and only 1 garden waste bin is provided to each property in South Hams. If you present additional brown bins on your collection day, these will not be collected.


Before the garden waste suspension I had two garden waste bins. Will the crews still collect both bins?

No. Our collection crews will only be collecting garden waste contained in your garden waste bin and only 1 garden waste bin is provided to each property in South Hams.

If you present additional brown bins on your collection day, these will not be collected.


During the suspended service I have disposed of my garden waste myself and will no longer be using this service when it restarts. How do I get rid of my unused brown bin?

If you will no longer be using this service and would like your bin removed, please request this by contacting the waste team.


How should I get rid of my garden waste, if my bin is full?

You must not put garden waste in the grey wheelie bin. Instead, please try one of the options below:

  • Compost your garden waste -here are some compost tips. Please don't put garden waste in your refuse bin.
  • Use the Recycling Centres: All three recycling centres located in South Hams, operated by Devon County Council, take garden waste. Full details, including opening hours, here.
  • Use a licensed waste collector who will responsibly take away your garden or household waste items. As a resident, please check the business holds a waste carriers licence, which they will provide on request.

Please do not burn your garden waste. The Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service firmly advises against having bonfires, given the risks of fires spreading, the likely nuisance for neighbours and the potential diversion of emergency services.


Private waste collectors - Duty of care

We are aware that there are independent companies coming forward to take garden waste away for people who may be unable to take to the Recycling centres themselves. These are not contracted through South Hams District Council and we strongly suggest checking that any company you use has a registered waste carriers licence before handing over your waste. This is the householder's responsibility to check these details first.

You can check if they are registered by searching for their details on the Environment Agency's Register of waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

Any bona fide waste carrier will show you a certificate or authorisation card proving they are a registered carrier. 

We recommend that you do not engage with anyone who comes knocking on your door for a cash deal to take away your waste unless you are able to verify the above requirements. As a resident you are responsible for your waste, if it is fly tipped by yourself or a third party, you can be prosecuted/fined for failing to carry out the relevant check and control of your waste.

If you do, we advise that you get a receipt and make a note of the registration number of the vehicle taking your waste.

Remember, if you transfer waste to an unauthorised waste carrier and the waste is then fly tipped, you may then be liable to prosecution. 


Will residents get a Council Tax refund because of the service suspension?

Unfortunately we are not able to offer a refund of your Council Tax. Council Tax is a way of funding councils, and other statutory agencies, for the varied services they provide. Waste collections are only one of the many services we provide as a District Council. It is not the same as having a contract for one specific service.

We continue to prioritise the services which we have a statutory duty to provide, such as refuse and recycling collections. Garden waste is a non-statutory service which has been provided at the Council's discretion.

To find out more about your Council Tax and how is it used, please see How is my Council Tax spent.

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