Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Garden waste services

Contacting us

Our Waste Management phone lines have been very busy recently. If you would like to purchase a garden waste permit, apply for a home composter or make a request for us to call you back, you can use the links below.

Apply for your garden waste permit

Apply for a free home composter

Arrange for your brown bin to be removed

Request a call back and an advisor will return your call when time allows.

For general enquiries, please scroll down to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Alternatively, please email: waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk 

View new collection calendar.

The free uplifts of brown bins came to an end on Thursday 22 April but we can still help you if you wish to apply for a Garden Waste permit. See how to apply below.

 

The way you dispose of your garden waste will be changing from the end of March 2021 following an extensive review of waste management that was carried out to help make our approach to waste more sustainable in response to rising costs and changing legislation.

With a real need to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to increase rates of recycling, we hope that these changes will help with its commitment to improving the environment, one of its main renewal and recovery priorities in response to COVID-19.

Options for dealing with your garden waste

You will now have three options to choose from when disposing of your garden waste:

  1. You can purchase a garden waste permit which this year will run from the end of March to December.
  2. Should you not wish to purchase a permit, then you can apply for a free home composter which is yours to keep and is available to apply for throughout the 2021 garden season.
  3. You can dispose of garden waste for free at the recycling centres on Western Road, Kilmarnock and at Garlaff, near Cumnock.

A major benefit of having these options is that we will be able to reduce its carbon footprint due to its heavy vehicles having to make fewer journeys to the processing facility to deposit garden waste. We also wants to encourage more people to use home composters to deal with waste at its original source and to recycle the compost in their own gardens with the benefits of soil improvement.

Option 1: Garden waste permit

If you choose to purchase a garden waste permit, these are available to order now at a cost of £30 per bin per year and all 2021 permits will be valid between 26 March and December 2021 for four-weekly collections. In setting this charge, we carried out comparisons with other councils who run the scheme and have tried to keep it as low as possible.

Once a permit has been purchased either online or by phone, a permit sticker will be issued which should be stuck to your garden waste bin using the instructions provided. Refuse collectors will then know which bins should be emptied.

How to apply for your permit

Don't have internet access

If you don’t have internet access you can call 01563 554400 (please select Waste Management) to purchase a permit.

Who is eligible for the service

The service applies to council tax rated domestic properties only. Only customers assigned to a Council brown bin collection route are eligible to apply to the Garden Waste Collection Service. View your recycling calendar.

What you can recycle via the Garden Waste Collection Service

With a permit, you can recycle:

  • grass cuttings
  • small twigs and branches
  • leaves
  • cut flowers
  • houseplants
  • weeds
  • hedge clippings
  • sawdust
  • bark
  • hay

Option 2: Free home composter

Black compost converter in gardenAnother way to dispose of garden waste is to compost at home.

If your garden suits composting, then we can supply your household with a free 330 litre home composter (diameter 800mm, height 1000mm) for you to keep. This offer will be available throughout the 2021 garden season.

Apply for a free home composter

Find out more about getting started with composting.

Visit Zero Waste Scotland's website for tips on home composting with garden waste.

Option 3: Dispose of garden waste for free at recycling centres

Householders can recycle garden waste at their local recycling centre free of charge.  Recycling centres are located at Western Road, Kilmarnock and Garlaff, near Cumnock. 

Free first collection of all brown bins

As part of the transition into the new arrangements, we will empty ALL brown bins for free on the first date they are due on the 2021 waste collection calendar. A permit is NOT required for this collection.  View your recycling calendar.

This will allow bins that contain garden waste from the winter period to be emptied. From the second cycle onwards, only brown bins with a permit will be collected.

Permit holders will still receive the full ten uplifts of their garden waste bin and an extra collection will now take place in early 2022 to offset the first free collection in 2021. 

Responding to customer feedback

After listening to issues recently raised by our residents, we're making further changes to these collection arrangements to make them more accessible and to encourage greater participation, to help improve the environment.

It will now be possible to transfer waste permits if you move house within East Ayrshire; the eligibility criteria for the Garden Maintenance Scheme has been revised to provide support for eligible tenants who are unable to look after their gardens; and support will be available to help people who are worried about the affordability of the new scheme.

No longer require your brown bin?

If you no longer require your garden waste bin/s, you can arrange for them to be removed using our online form or contact us via  waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

A final uplift of the garden waste bins will take place up to and including Thursday 22 April 2021 and your brown bin will be removed at a later date. Please be aware this could take several weeks. Should you wish to pay for a permit at a later date, we will deliver a garden waste bin to you. 

Here to help

We know that our residents are passionate about their communities, their gardens and green spaces and we're keen to support them. Vibrant Communities and Outdoor Services teams are there to support local residents and community groups, whether that be with community led initiatives such as community gardens and allotments, or through our garden equipment loan scheme. For further information please contact the Vibrant Communities team at vibrantcommunities@east-ayrshire.gov.uk.

Support is also on hand for eligible residents through the Garden Maintenance Scheme which provides a grass and hedge cutting service several times a year for tenants who are unable to look after their gardens.

If you are struggling to pay the £30 all at once, please call 01563 554062 and we will assist you.

If you are facing a change in your circumstances or are just struggling with paying your bills, advice, information and support is available from the Financial Inclusion Team. Call 0800 389 7750 or email info@eamoney.co.uk.

Additionally, please check out our Caring, Kind and Connected pages .

Frequently asked questions

The way you dispose of your garden waste will be changing from the end of March 2021 following an extensive review of waste management that was carried out to help make the Council’s approach to waste more sustainable in response to rising costs and changing legislation.

The collection of garden waste is not a statutory service, and local authorities are allowed to charge if they do offer it.

With a real need to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to increase rates of recycling, the Council hopes that these changes will help with its commitment to improving the environment, one of its main renewal and recovery priorities in response to COVID-19.

You can register and make payment either online or over the phone. Once payment has been made, you will receive notification of your registration to the scheme within 21 working days.

The registration documentation will include a sticker to be placed on your bin(s) which details the address and unique property reference number (UPRN) of the registered property as well as the duration of the registration.

Once payment is made the bin can still be presented for collection even if the permit hasn’t been received. Please wait the full 21 days to receive your permit and only contact Waste Management Services if you haven’t received this after the 21 day period.

You can call 01563 554400 and speak to Waste Management staff who will be able to order and process your permit.

Once your application and payment have been verified, it will take up to 21 days for your permit to be issued via post. You should follow the simple instructions within the pack to attach the permit to your bin. Please wait the full 21 days to receive this before making contact with us.

Permits can take up to 21 days to arrive so we would recommend you purchase this well in advance of your next collection date. If you have received confirmation that your permit request and payment have been processed and your bin is due for collection before you receive this, you can still present it for collection.

The charge comes into effect from the end of March 2021. You can register for your permit online or by calling 01563 554400.  

The first collections in the four-weekly cycle will commence on 26 March 2021 ( see calendar for your individual collection date).

£30 per year per bin.

The £30 payment entitles residents to four-weekly collections from March to December this year. Due to the first collection being provided for free in 2021 for all residents, an additional collection will take place early in 2022 to offset this.  View your recycling calendar.

You will be asked to make an annual payment either online or by telephone.

We have no plans to introduce rolling year charging, and residents will be required to pay the annual charge for the full year regardless of when they join the service.

Registered households will be advised of the need to re-register well in advance of the new billing period and will be asked to follow the same procedures as before in order to maintain their registration of the service and receive a new bin sticker.

Please ensure that your details are up to date on your customer account and that you have provided an email address.

Residents are encouraged to have registered for the service before the start of collections at the end of March to ensure that they receive the maximum number of collections throughout the year.

Residents who sign up for the service after collections start in March will have to pay the full annual charge but will only receive collections once payment has been made and based on the next four weekly collection date for that property.

All residents, regardless of age or ability, will be required to pay the charge if they wish to use the garden waste collection service.

Yes. Anyone who purchases a garden waste permit but would also like to have a home composter can buy one from the Council at a cost of £15 each. If you have a large garden you can buy more than one composter.

Apply for a home composter

The cost is still £30 per bin regardless of size, however we can exchange the smaller 140 litre for a 240 litre brown bin

The service will continue to operate every four weeks throughout the year from March to November. However due to this service being delayed by four weeks in 2021, the service will run from 26 March until December 2021. In 2022, collections will return to March through to November. 

Collection dates will be advertised on this website and displayed on the collection calendars.

A number of councils across the country have introduced this charge in recent years and found no evidence to suggest that fly tipping of green waste has increased as a result.

The disposal of garden waste is the householder’s responsibility and residents can continue to dispose of this free of charge at any of our recycling centres.

As part of its budget and financial plan for 2021/22, the Council also announced last week that it will invest £140,000 in the Corporate Enforcement Unit to tackle fly tipping incidents which have been on the rise during the pandemic. A strong line will be taken against any offenders who choose to fly tip waste or drop litter. The Council is grateful to all of the local residents who have been working with the Council’s Outdoor Services team to help keep East Ayrshire beautiful and wants to encourage everyone to do their bit to stop environmental crime.

Yes. The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 (Schedule 2) specify garden waste as a type of household waste for which a charge for collection may be applied. Also, garden waste is not one of the specified materials in the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 which local authorities are required to collect for recycling.

Over 40% of councils in the UK charge for a garden waste collection and some have stopped the service altogether.

The disposal of garden waste is the householder’s responsibility. Although there is no obligation to make use of the chargeable service, residents can choose to bring garden waste to our recycling centres at Western Road, Kilmarnock or Garlaff, near Cumnock where it can be disposed of free of charge. Please remember to book an appointment in advance to visit the recycling centres. 

Another way to dispose of garden waste is to compost at home. If your garden suits composting, then we can supply your household with a free home composter. This offer will be available throughout the 2021 garden season. 

Apply for a free home composter.

Find out more about getting started with composting.

Visit  Zero Waste Scotland's website for tips on home composting with garden waste.

If you pay a private contractor to undertake gardening work, you can request that they remove the garden waste. Please be aware that this may incur a charge.
 
Please note that fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste (including garden waste) and if found doing this, you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of up to £200, or even taken to court for fines of up to £40,000 or imprisonment.

It is also an offense to dispose of domestic waste in a way likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. This would include the burning of waste that is likely to create excessive smoke or noxious fumes. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, smoke from the burning of domestic/household waste must not cause a nuisance to neighbouring properties and affect their enjoyment of their property.

We are confident that with the advice and information provided to residents about the importance of recycling all of their waste, and the options available to those who choose not to pay the charge, the recycling levels will continue to rise.

  • Grass cuttings
  • Leaves and bark
  • Flowers
  • Hedge trimmings and prunings
  • Weeds
  • Twigs and small branches – cut into lengths to fit
  • Cut flowers
  • Potted plants and herbs (minus the pot)
  • Windfall fruit
  • Sawdust

Garden waste should not be placed inside the general waste bin or presented as side waste but instead disposed of either via the garden waste bin (with the appropriate permit) or free of charge at the nearest Recycling Centre.

Residents who have paid will be issued with a bin sticker which details the address and Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) for the property, as well as the charging period, for example, March - December 2021.

Collection crews will then only empty bins which have this valid sticker clearly displayed, ensuring that the sticker details correspond to the address of the property.

Yes. Please see our home composting information.

We can supply your household with a free home composter which will include an advice leaflet. This offer will only be available throughout the 2021 garden season. For further information in relation to this offer please contact us by emailing waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or calling 01563 554400.

Services such as the collection and disposal of domestic waste are available to all households and are therefore funded from the Council's General Fund. The services provided from this budget are largely funded by government grants and council tax.

Council tax funds a small proportion of the overall General Fund budget and the charge paid is not directly attributable to specific services or activities.

Garden waste is not one of the specified materials in the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 which local authorities are required to collect for recycling.

If you move house, you can take your permit with you to your new address as long as it is within East Ayrshire. You will be asked to remove the permit sticker from the bin, inform us that you’re moving and provide us with your new address. The permit will then be re-issued to your new address with the old address being removed from the system.

Please contact us by emailing waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or calling 01563 554400.

Households that currently share a bin for their garden waste, for example flatted properties, can continue to do this if one resident applies for the permit. 

If you do not wish to keep your garden waste bin/s then please complete the bin removal request form or contact us via waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

A final uplift of the garden waste bins will take place up to and including Thursday 22 April 2021 and your brown bin will be removed at a later date. Please be aware this could take several weeks. Should you wish to pay for a permit at a later date, we will deliver a garden waste bin to you. 

If you are currently registered to receive an assisted collection for a garden waste bin and would like to participate in the garden waste service, then you will need to buy a garden waste permit.

If you currently receive an assisted collection for your bins, but don’t have a garden waste bin and would like to participate in the garden waste collection service, then you will need to order a garden waste bin via waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or by calling 01563 554400.

Enter the postcode and search for your address. Unless your address can’t be found using the postcode search you should not manually enter this as the system is sensitive to what is manually entered. The address may not therefore appear exactly as you have typed it.

If you continue to have problems with the address recognition, please contact our Customer Contact Centre on 01563 554400.

If you require more than one garden waste bin then the charge is still £30 per bin and so you will be charged for the number of bins required. A sticker for each bin will be delivered to you to attach to each bin.

There is no limit to the amount of bins per property but each bin will only be emptied if a permit has been purchased per bin.

If you already have a garden waste bin, but the system will not allow you to buy a permit because it believes that you are not on a garden waste route, please email us at waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or call 01563 554400 with details of your address.

We will endeavour to update the system so that you are able to buy a garden waste permit.

If it has been more than 21 days since you ordered your permit and you received the email confirmation but have still not received the permit through the post, please request a replacement permit via waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or by calling 01563 554400.

No refunds or part refunds will be given for missed collections. Missed collections will be dealt with as per our Customer Charter.

Collection errors or other conditions beyond the Council’s control can result in service disruption or missed collections. In such circumstances the Council will aim to return to empty your bin within 48 hours from the original collection date, subject to the householder contacting the Council via waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or by calling 01563 554400.

The householder should leave their wheeled bin out at the kerbside for 48 hours after the time of normal collection and the Council will try to return and empty the bin. If wheeled bins are not collected within this time, householders are advised to please return the bin(s) to their regular storage area and put them back out on the next scheduled collection day for uplift, conditions permitting.

If the contents of wheeled bins are not uplifted due to waste being tightly lodged or frozen, the contents will not be collected until the next scheduled collection day. The householder must ensure that the waste is freed or dislodged before putting out again.

Once purchased, permits cannot be cancelled.

Garden waste collections stop in December this year, however if you wish to check changes to your other collections, you can view, download or print your bin collection calendars online.

Details of any changes to the festive uplift schedule will also feature on our website and social media channels or you can call 01563 554400 to find out more.

Garden waste bins which contain garden waste but do not display a garden waste permit will not be emptied. Alternatively, the householder can buy a Garden Waste Permit which, once displayed on the bin, will enable it to be emptied.

Householders are responsible for the waste and recycling that is contained in their bins and will be required to make arrangements to remove any contamination identified. Please store your bin securely between collections.

If you know that someone is disposing of their garden waste in your bin, you are encouraged to discuss the issue directly with them. However, if you do not feel comfortable advising them not to use your bin then you can contact us for further advice via waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or by calling 01563 554400.

Please note that leaves can be bagged up (in black sacks with holes in) to make leaf mould for the garden for next year. Similarly, grass cuttings can be left on the grass as a mulch, which feeds the lawn and especially helps the lawn in times of drought.

Tree owners (such as the Council) are not required to clear fallen leaves from neighbouring properties. The responsibility sits with the persons onto whose property the leaves fall.

Please note that if fallen leaves are returned to the property where the tree is sited, this can technically be classified as fly-tipping. However, broken/trimmed branches and fallen fruit can legally be returned to the tree owner.

No materials, other than those specified by the Council, will be accepted in the garden waste bin. We reserve the right not to empty wheeled bins that are:

  • suspected of containing incorrect materials
  • of excessive weight
  • in a dangerous condition
  • detrimental to the health and safety of staff

It shall be solely for the Council to determine if any bin meets any of the above criteria.

Householders will be responsible for the waste and recycling that is contained within the bins and will be required to make arrangements to remove any contamination identified. If all contamination is removed, the wheeled bin will be emptied on the next scheduled collection day. Residents can request an uplift of contaminated garden waste bins by us, however this will be a chargeable service and needs to be requested via waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or by calling 01563 554400.

In the event that repeated contamination of wheeled recycling bins occurs, we reserve the right to withdraw the recycling service by giving immediate written notice and arranging removal of the garden waste bin(s).

No refunds will be available for any collections missed while the service has been withdrawn.

Biodegradable bags can be purchased at a cost of £1 per bag (purchased in multiples of 5), and these can be presented alongside your garden waste bin.

If you have branches (cut into four foot lengths and tied in manageable bundles), a biodegradable bag can be tied to them.

Biodegradable bags can only be purchased if you have a valid permit for your garden waste bin or bags. If you have purchased a permit and have additional waste due to hedge cuttings etc. at certain points of the year, then rather than buying another permit you can buy bio degradable bags that can be placed beside your permitted brown bin

For further information please email  waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or call 01563 554400.

Brown bins that have previously been purchased by a householder (new build developments only) will remain their property.

Since 2018 any new planning applications received require the developer and not the householder to pay.

There is no charge for any replacement bins required.

We will not reimburse for brown bins previously purchased – these will remain the property of the purchaser. The provision of a free home composter will be supplied to anyone choosing not to pay for the collection service.

Support is on hand for eligible residents through the Garden Maintenance Scheme which provides a grass and hedge cutting service several times a year for tenants who are unable to look after their gardens.

If you are struggling to pay the £30 all at once, please call 01563 554062 and we will assist you.

If you are facing a change in your circumstances or are just struggling with paying your bills, advice, information and support is available from the Financial Inclusion team. Call 0800 389 7750 or email info@eamoney.co.uk. Additionally, please check out our Caring, Kind & Connected pages.

 

If you live in a property which cannot accommodate a wheeled bin (for example terraced house) you can still arrange to be included in the collection service.

Please contact us by emailing waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or calling 01563 554400 and we can arrange payment, registration and delivery of biodegradable bags.

Please do not apply for a permit online via this website.

Although the letter states collections are only up until November 2021 and your permit states 2021 season, collections will carry on through December and into January 2022.

Terms and conditions

View the Garden Waste Collection Service terms and conditions.

Contact Information


Waste Management Services
Western Road Depot
Kilmarnock
East Ayrshire
KA3 1LL
Telephone: 01563 554400