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Sign up for garden waste collection 2020/21

Posted: 27th July 2020
  • Registration opens for garden waste on 30 July and the cost remains at £25 per bin
  • Residents need to sign up by 9 September to continue to use the service
  • We’re extending the current service year until 8 November to make up for collections being temporarily suspended due to coronavirus

The current garden waste service year ends on 8 November. To continue to receive collections after that date, in the next service year which runs until 7 November 2021, residents need to renew their permit or sign up for one by 2pm on 9 September. Registration opens from 10am on Thursday 30 July.

The current service year for fortnightly brown bin collections was due to end on 4 October but we’re extending current permits to make up for the service being temporarily suspended in springtime due to coronavirus. The current health pandemic also means that we’re encouraging residents to register online and we’ve made this easier by making the MyGov sign in optional.

Unfortunately, you’re not able to pay in person at locality offices this year as they are being used as community resilience centres for coronavirus, but you can also pay over the phone. Phone lines are likely to be busy so if you’re unable to register online yourself, we’d encourage you to ask a friend or relative to help you. 

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said:

I’m sure that like me you’ll be delighted to hear that since last October, garden waste customers have helped us turn nearly 10,000 tonnes of garden waste into compost, which is used on farms, gardens and green spaces, so I’m pleased to see the service up and running with the chance for people to renew their permits and continue this in the future.

We need to charge for collection though as our costs are increasing, and more people are using our services, whilst our income is reducing. The £25 per year charge was agreed by the Council at a meeting in February 2018 and raised £1.8 million towards the cost of providing the service last year.

We’ve made a decision to keep our charge at £25 per bin. This is one of the lowest annual fees in Scotland among local authorities operating a similar service and works out at just under 50 pence a week.

If you’d like your garden waste picked up during our next service year – which starts in November – please make sure you sign up or renew your permit by 2pm on 9 September. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to continue collecting your bin every fortnight after November when the next service year starts unless you’re signed up.

Emails and letters are being sent to all 70,900 current subscribers to the service advising them on how to renew their permits so look out for those dropping into your inbox from 30 July. 

About the service

  • Permits cost £25 per brown bin. A one-off payment of £25 will be taken by debit or credit card, unless you’re exempt from paying because you receive Council Tax Reduction.
  • The deadline to register is 2pm on 9 September and the quickest and easiest way to do this is on our website.
  • You can also register and pay over the phone by calling 0131 357 2800. Please note we expect phone lines to be busy and there may be long waiting times. Phonelines are open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 3.40pm Friday. Please note we don’t accept cash or cheques.
  • The deadline to register is 2pm on 9 September and the quickest and easiest way to do this is on our website.
  • The next service year will run from 9 November 2020 – 7 November 2021.
  • Brown bins will be emptied once every two weeks, except over the festive period when there will be no collections between 14 December 2020 and 10 January 2021
  • There will be another opportunity to sign up to the new service year, but the payment will remain at £25 and permits will be valid until 7 November 2021.
  • Once we’ve received your payment, we’ll send you a new garden waste calendar and a permit sticker between 23 October and 4 November to put on your brown bin before the new service year starts. We can only empty bins with valid permit stickers.


If you are a low income household and receive Council Tax Reduction (formerly called Council Tax Benefit) or you, or someone who lives with you, has been classed as severely mentally impaired, the service will be free, but you’ll still need to register for the service. Other council tax discounts, such as single occupancy or disabled person discount, don’t qualify for this reduction. Households that pay for garden aid are not exempt from paying for the service. 

Further information about the service is available on our website, including details about alternative ways to pay, exemptions, how to pay on behalf of someone else and our terms and conditions.

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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