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Service Update

On Thursday 22 September at the Full Council meeting, South Hams District Council agreed to introduce a chargeable garden waste service from Spring 2023.

The current service will end on 31 October 2022.

You can read more about the decision in the press release here.

Letters will be sent to all residents in the South Hams explaining the garden waste service changes in October. Further information will be available on this page shortly.


Questions and Answers

What happens in the meantime?

Please continue to sort your waste and recycling and put it out on your scheduled collection day and report any missed collections. 


How do I report missed collections?

Please continue to report missed collections using the online service.

Report a Missed Collection


When will you 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).

We are working 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.


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

All brown bins in the District will receive a final collection before the service ends on 31 October 2022.

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 a community composting scheme. To find your nearest site, please see the map below:

  • 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 ending?

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.


I live in West Devon. Will this affect my services?

No, the delivery of services by FCC in West Devon is not affected by this move.

If you have any questions, please Contact the Waste Team.

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