One of the most common questions I get asked is “Can you take the clippings etc. away with you?”. Most gardeners will (understandably) say “Sorry, no”, however I am able to take moderate amounts of garden waste away for you, but I must charge for this service.
The Law says…
Legally self-employed gardeners are bound by the same laws as huge corporations when it comes to dealing with waste – even if it is a small bin-bag of lawn clippings. If you pay a gardener then this is a commercial service and if that generates “waste” that you would like them to sort out for you then that is deemed to be “commercial waste“. The gardener must then be registered as a “waste carrier” and can only take the waste to commercial “waste processor” (i.e. not the local council’s domestic refuse site).
Not only that, you, as a householder, have legal obligation to ensure that your waste is disposed of properly – in other words by a registered waste carrier.
How I dispose of garden waste
I am a registered waste carrier (registration no. CBDL287272) and any garden waste I deal with for you will be taken to Oxford Council’s commercial disposal facility at Redbridge in south Oxford.
I am charged around £50 per disposal (their minimum charge) however to keep costs to you to a minimum, I take garden waste from several clients in one go and rather than weigh each bag I have a simple price list for disposal which is as follows:
- Lawn clippings (small lawns only) – per regular mow £1.50
- Half sack (or full bin bag) £3.00
- Full sack £6.00
Other types of waste e.g. soil, logs, turf etc. will probably need to be charged differently but that is something I would discuss with you beforehand as there may be more economical options available to you.
Are there any other options?
Yes of course – rather than pay to have it dealt with for you there are a few options for dealing with green waste including:
1. Take the waste to the local refuse tip – Free(ish) – assuming you have a car, the time and are physically able of course.
2. Get a brown bin – A brown bin from your local council can be used to dispose of green waste and believe me they hold a lot! Typically, they cost £43 a year and they hold a lot! Every fortnight it will be emptied as part of your usual waste collection. If I am mowing your lawn or doing work for you regularly it often makes more financial sense to get a brown bin – note you can have as many bins as you like.
3. Share a brown bin – If you only have a tiny patch of garden why not share a brown bin with a neighbour? You save, they save – makes sense. If you have group of neighbours, why not club together for a few brown bins and agree that any that aren’t full on collection day are left open for anyone else to put green waste into.
4. Compost it – Really the very best way to approach green waste is to compost it – every property with a garden should be able to set aside a small amount of space where grass clippings etc. can be composted. Not only is this the most environmentally friendly way of dealing with green waste, it is cheaper, and you will soon have great (free) compost to hand! Note a compost bin costs around £20 – please ask me for more details as there are a few options.
5. Get a brown bin and compost it – In reality home composting isn’t that simple and sometimes you have more than your compost bin can deal with so what you really need is a compost area for non-weed related material and also brown bin so that the council can deal with the weeds (and they are welcome to them!).
I hope this helps explain why asking me to deal with garden waste is rather more complicated than it first appears and also why I need to charge for this service, but there are other options and if you have any questions on garden waste disposal or any other aspect of what I do, please do let me know.