Garden waste FAQs

Read our garden waste permit FAQs.

While there is a legal obligation for us to collect food waste, the same legal obligation doesn't apply to garden waste.

Along with many other local authorities, we're facing significant budget challenges and to ensure key frontline services are protected, we introduced a small charge to residents who wished to continue to have their garden waste collected. This charge also allows us to improve the reliability and effectiveness of the service.  

This scheme was approved by Cabinet on 15 April 2021. Icon for pdf Read the cabinet paper [161.58KB].

Your brown bin will be collected each week with the exception of the Christmas and New Year period.

2022/23 collections begin on Monday 4 April.

When your permit arrives, peel the permit from the backing paper and attach the sticker to the back of your brown bin, below the handle. The sticker must be applied to a clean dry, surface and not over an existing sticker.

2022/23 collections begin on Monday 4 April. 

If you have difficulty removing your 2021/22 permit, the manufacturer recommends using 90%+ isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.

Once you have purchased your permit it can take up to 10 working days to arrive.

If 10 working days have passed and you haven't received your permit, please email or call 0141 577 3615.

Your collections will begin when your permit is attached to your brown bin.

No. Council tax only accounts for around 20% of the funding and income we receive.

A detailed breakdown of the how your council tax is spent is available on our 'Council tax FAQs' web page.

The majority of councils in Scotland are either charging for garden waste collections, considering implementing a charge or not collecting this waste at all. 

Food waste can continue to be put into the brown bin and this will be collected from each household every week.

If a resident only wishes for their food waste to be collected, they don't have to do anything. Food waste only brown bins will continue to be collected weekly without the need to apply for a permit.

If you don't purchase a permit and decide you don't wish to keep your brown bin for food waste only, you'll need to dispose of your food waste within your general waste bin, which may take away your usable space for other general waste items.

Should you decide that you don't wish to keep your brown bin you can email us at

Residents who choose to purchase a permit will be issued with a sticker that must be attached to their brown bin. The permit sticker will include your address, so can't be used on bins at different addresses. When brown bins are collected by us we'll be able to quickly identify who has a permit and we'll empty that bin.  

As in the current arrangements for collection, when you present your bin for collection the lid should be closed down.  Bins that are presented that don't have the lid down will not be collected and you'll have to remove the waste and present the bin the following week for collection.

Permits for 2022/23 will be a different colour to the 2021/22 permit.

Our teams will undertake checks to ensure there is no garden waste in the brown bin if a permit sticker isn't attached. If it's found that garden waste has been put into the bin and the resident hasn't paid for this service, the bin won't be emptied. The resident will then need to dispose of the garden waste themselves such as composting it or taking it to one of our recycling centres at Greenhags or Barrhead.

Alternatively, any resident can pay a one-off fee of £35 for a single uplift of their bin. Please note, this is only if the brown contains garden waste and no permit is in place. If any other waste is found to be contained within the bin, the resident will need to either remove this personally or pay a special uplift charge of £50.

Residents who don't want to purchase a permit can either dispose of their garden waste at one of our recycling centres at Greenhags or Barrhead or can compost it in their garden. Visit the Zero Waste Scotland website for information on composting.

There are no discounts or exemptions available. If you can't afford a permit contact Customer Services..

The normal Assisted Collection Service will continue for food waste collections. If residents in receipt of the Assisted Collection Service still wish their garden waste to be collected they must purchase a permit. 

You can report a missed bin online.

At present the scheme will be limited to 1 brown bin per household. Any expansion of the service would need to be considered by us as it may involve additional investment in vehicles and staff which would come at a cost.

Residents who currently share a bin for their food and/or garden waste in flats can continue to do this for garden waste as long as one of the residents applies and pays for the permit.

Please note, Neighbourhood Services won't become involved in any neighbour dispute over payment to another neighbour.

If a resident employs the services of a gardener the waste is classified as commercial waste. The gardener must take this away with them after finishing their work and dispose of this as commercially generated waste.

This would be classified as fly-tipping and the individual would be risking a fine. You can report fly-tipping online.

The introduction of the new scheme has not lead to an increase in fly tipping.

There will be no discount depending on the time of year when you sign up to the scheme. If existing residents or new residents to East Renfrewshire choose to join the scheme part way through the year the charge will still be the full cost of the permit.

The permit is issued for the household only, not to a named individual, and isn't transferrable.

Thanks to our residents, East Renfrewshire has achieved one of the highest recycling rates in Scotland since 2016 and we will be disposing of all garden waste as it was before, so there will be no change in our recycling performance.

Should your brown bin get damaged by our vehicle or staff, you are entitled to a replacement free of charge.

You should also order a replacement permit. This will be free of charge.

Yes, any resident with a permit will be entitled to have their Christmas tree collected.

Those without a permit will be charged £15 per tree for collection if they request the service.

In both instances, we will only collect trees which have been broken down and placed in your brown bin. No trees will be lifted from the pavement.

Anyone who has a permit and is on our assisted collection list can have one tree lifted by staff on their brown bin collection day. The tree doesn't need to be broken down and should be left beside the brown bin.

As an alternative, we will be providing a chipping service at Rouken Glen and Cowan Park. Residents will be able to dispose of their Christmas tree free of charge and the resultant chippings will be used within parks and open space areas.

Read the latest information on Christmas tree collection.

If you have a query that hasn't been answered in these FAQs, please email or call 0141 577 3001.

Last modified on 4 April 2022

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