Changes to the brown bin collection service

From 01 April 2023 householders who wish to recycle garden waste in their brown bins must purchase a garden waste permit per bin.

If you choose not to purchase a garden waste permit, your brown bin will not be collected from 01 April 2023.

The application form to request a garden waste permit will be live from 06 February 2023.

What is a garden waste permit?

From 01 April 2023 the brown bin is a chargeable service and residents that would like to have their garden waste collected, need to subscribe to this service.

There is an annual charge of £25 per bin for garden waste collection for 2023/2024. You can subscribe at any time during the year.

Eligible residents in receipt of means tested Council Tax reduction (excluding discount for single occupancy) will receive a 50% discount.

Garden waste permits run from April to March. That means it's beneficial to sign up early in the year to receive the maximum number of collections. Regardless of when you sign up during the year, your annual garden waste permit will always run to the end of March.

There is no limit to the number of bins each property can have, however you will need to buy a garden waste permit for each bin you want emptied. If you don't have a permit your brown bin will not be emptied.

Garden waste will be collected every 4 weeks between April 2023 and November 2023 before moving to an on-demand service between December 2023 and March 2024.

You can view your recycling and waste collection schedule by entering your postcode. And you can also download the calendar to your smartphone to set reminders for bin collection dates or for printing out if needed.


How do I apply for a garden waste permit?

To apply for a garden waste permit households are required to complete an application form. This is a chargeable service.

The application form will be live from 06 February 2023.

You can share a bin with a neighbour(s), but one person must register and pay for the service and the bin will be collected at one address. Any sharing agreement is a private matter and does not involve the council.

Image of bin showing position where sticker should appear

You will be sent a letter with a permit and self-adhesive overlay to apply the permit to the bin. The permit will detail your reference number and address, please attach the permit to your bin so we know who has paid for the garden waste permit.

Bins without a valid permit will not be collected.

The permit should be attached to the back of brown bin (handle side) as shown in the picture. Top tip: clean and dry the bin area before applying your label and adhesive overlay.

The collection crews will have up-to-date information detailing which households have paid for the service and displaying a valid permit.

Your permit may take up to 14 working days to arrive. Please also allow 7 working days from payment date to collections starting to allow routes to be updated. This is to allow delivery of permit and collection routes to be updated.


Terms and conditions

This agreement sets out the terms and conditions of our chargeable garden waste collection service. By agreeing to pay for the service you will be accepting these terms and conditions.


How do I use my brown bin?

  1. Collect your garden waste as normal.
  2. We cannot take soil or stones, only place plant material in your brown bin.
  3. Twigs and small branches should be cut to lengths that fit in your brown bin.
  4. Place these materials in your brown bin.
  5. Place brown bin at the kerbside on your collection day.

Your bins must be at the kerbside or agreed collection point by 6:30am on the morning of your collection day.

What can I put in my brown bin?

Yes please

  • Grass cuttings
  • Weeds and clippings
  • Flowers and plants
  • Cut flowers and houseplants
  • Leaves
  • Hedge trimmings
  • Prunings
  • Twigs and small branches
  • Windfall fruit
  • Real Christmas trees

No thanks

It is important you do not put the wrong materials into your brown bin. Any material that cannot go in your brown bin can be taken to one of our recycling centres.

All garden waste should fit within the bin and be loose, not bagged.

Top tips!

  • On your scheduled collection day, place your bin out by 6:30am.
  • Present your brown bin with the handle side facing the road - that way the collection crew can easily see your garden waste permit.
  • All garden waste must be placed loose within the bin, and the bin lid must be closed.
  • Should your bin contain material other than that listed above, it will not be emptied by the crew – a contamination sticker will be applied and it is your responsibility to remove the contamination material. Your bin can then be presented on the next scheduled collection day or you can request an out of service uplift for which an additional charge of £15 will be applied.
  • Brown bins which are considered to be too heavy for safe handling by the collection crew will not be emptied.

Additional brown bins

Residents have the option to pay for an additional brown bin. There will be a £25 charge per additional brown bin, per year.

You will also need to buy a garden waste permit to have your brown bin collected, this costs £25 for 2023/2024. You will need to buy a garden waste permit before purchasing an additional brown bin as you need a unique reference number.


Frequently asked questions

  1. When is my brown bin collected?
  2. Will I get a new bin collection calendar posted to my property?
  3. Can I have an extra brown bin?
  4. How do I request an additional brown bin?
  5. What should I do if don’t want to keep my additional brown bin I previously paid for?
  6. What happens after I have paid for the additional brown bin?
  7. What happens if my additional brown bin has gone missing or been damaged?
  8. Can I have a larger brown bin?
  9. Can I take my garden waste to the recycling centres?
  10. I live in a flat. Can I have brown bin?
  11. What happens to the material I put in my brown bin?
  12. Why has my brown bin not been collected?
  13. How many on-demand brown bin collections can I have?
  14. What should I do with my garden waste if I do not buy a permit?
  15. I don’t want to pay for the service – what will happen to my bin?
  16. I used to get the brown bin service free – why do I have to pay for it now?
  17. How much does it cost?
  18. How many collections will there be?
  19. Why do I have to request an on-demand collection between December and March?
  20. I have a large garden; can I place extra garden waste at the side of the bin?
  21. Can I share my garden waste (brown) bin with my neighbour?
  22. What if my permit is damaged or stolen?
  23. What if my garden (brown) waste bin is broken?
  24. What happens if I move house?
  25. How can I pay for my permit?
  26. Can I cancel my permit?
  27. Will I have to renew my permit each year?
  28. If I have more garden waste, can I put it out?
  29. What if my bin is contaminated?
  30. I receive garden aid; will I need a garden waste permit?
  31. I received an assisted collection; will I need a garden waste permit?
  32. What happens in bad weather?
  33. Can I put my garden waste into another bin?
  34. What happens if I have paid for a permit and my brown bin collection is missed?
  35. How do I apply the garden waste permit to my bin?

When is my brown bin collected?

Please refer to your collection calendar.

Month Collection frequency
April to November Every 4 weeks
December to March On demand service by Ward*

*This is subject to festive collection arrangements and service disruptions


Will I get a new bin collection calendar posted to my property?

No. The bin calendar is only available online. Please refer to your collection calendar.

You can also download your bin calendar to your mobile device.


Can I have an extra brown bin?

There is no limit to the number of brown bins you can have, however, to have your brown bin emptied you will need to buy a garden waste permit, for each brown bin.

In addition to the garden waste permit, there is an annual charge applied to each additional brown bin per year. You can request an additional brown bin. You will also need to purchase a garden waste permit to have the additional brown bin emptied.

You can take extra garden waste to one of our recycling centres or home compost it.


How do I request an additional brown bin?

Please request an additional brown bin online or phone the Recycling Helpline on 01324 506070.

To have the additional brown bin collected you will need to buy a garden waste permit.


What should I do if don’t want to keep my additional brown bin I previously paid for?

The brown bin will remain at the property and will not be returned to the Council as a charge will apply for any replacement bins in the future.

Brown bins put out for collection without displaying a valid permit will not be emptied.

For more information please refer to the garden waste permit Terms and conditions.


What happens after I have paid for the additional brown bin?

Once your payment has cleared, your brown bin will be delivered. The bin will be delivered without a garden waste permit, this will need to be bought separately and will be posted. You will also need to buy a permit to have it emptied.

Please allow 7-14 working days to receive your brown bin and permit which must be placed under the handles on the back of your brown bin. On the day of collection, the bin must be presented at the kerbside with the handles facing the road.  

Collection crews will not empty any brown bins unless they are displaying a valid permit.


What happens if my additional brown bin has gone missing or been damaged?

Where a bin is damaged through negligence, stolen, fire damaged, vandalised or lost, you (the customer) will be liable for the cost of replacement.

If during collection your wheeled bin has been damaged by our collection crew or if it has fallen into the collection vehicle, no charge will be applied. Should either of these situations occur, our collection crews will report any damage at the point of collection, and we will arrange for the delivery of a replacement bin and garden waste permit. The replacement garden waste permit will be posted.

When ordering a replacement bin, please provide the garden waste permit reference number and we will arrange for a replacement permit to be sent out. This will be posted out and arrive separately to the replacement bin.


Can I have a larger brown bin?

No. We only provide one size of brown bin. This is 240 litres in capacity.


Can I take my garden waste to the recycling centres?

Yes. If you take your garden waste in a plastic bag or sack, please only put the garden waste in the container. You can reuse the bag or put it in the non-recyclable waste container at the recycling centre.


I live in a flat. Can I have brown bin?

Brown bins are available to flats with gardens. 

If you would like to recycle your garden waste and don’t already have a brown bin, you will need to purchase a bin and buy a permit to have it emptied.


What happens to the material I put in my brown bin?

Your brown bin material is taken to Kinneil Kerse and Roughmute Recycling Centres before it is taken to a facility in Scotland to be composted.


Why has my brown bin not been collected?

From 01 April 2023 a brown bin will not be collected unless it has a valid garden waste permit.

If your brown bin contains the wrong material, we will advise you by placing a sticker on the bin. It will not be uplifted. Any wrong material must be removed and placed in the correct container; the bin can then be presented again on the next scheduled collection day.

You can report a missed brown bin.

Brown bins without a valid permit will not be uplifted.


How many on-demand brown bin collections can I have?

You can only request one collection every 4 weeks with the on-demand brown bin service. The on-demand brown bin service operates from December to March. 


What should I do with my garden waste if I do not buy a permit?

Householders can recycle garden waste at their local recycling centre free of charge. 

Another way to dispose of garden waste is to compost at home. If your garden suits composting, and you would like to try, lots of information can be found on Recycle for Scotland.


I don’t want to pay for the service – what will happen to my bin?

The brown bin will remain at the property and will not be returned as a charge will apply for any replacement bin in the future.

Brown bins put out for collection without displaying a valid permit will not be emptied.


I used to get the brown bin service free – why do I have to pay for it now?

It was agreed, and approval granted, at a Council executive meeting in December 2022, that an annual charge for brown bins would be introduced from April 2023.


How much does it cost?

For 2023/2024 the annual payment for the service will be £25, payable in advance and is non-refundable.

A 50% reduction for residents on eligible benefits is available – the eligible benefit being those residents at the point of application receiving a means-tested Council tax reduction.


How many collections will there be?

Residents who have purchased a brown bin permit will receive collections between April and November each year, please refer to your collection calendar.

The service moves to on-demand collections (where you submit a request to have your bin emptied) from 1st December to 31st March.


Why do I have to request an on-demand collection between December and March?

During the winter months only a small amount of garden waste is produced. To reduce carbon emissions and to achieve our goal for Net Zero, we operate an on-demand collection service during the winter months. The on-demand service operates between December and March.

You can only request one collection every 4 weeks with the on-demand brown bin service and you will be advised what day your bin will be collected.


I have a large garden; can I place extra garden waste at the side of the bin?

We will only collect garden waste that is in a council issued brown bin and has a valid permit.

Please do not place extra waste at the side.

If you have a large amount of garden waste, excess can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Alternatively, you can request an additional brown bin. A charge does apply, and you will also need a garden waste permit to have the brown bin emptied.


Can I share my garden waste (brown) bin with my neighbour?

Yes. One of the residents will have to arrange to pay and register the bin which will then be collected from that address.

Residents can then sort out payment between themselves, the Council will not get involved in any arrangements or disputes neighbours may have.


What if my permit is damaged or stolen?

Residents must report a lost, damaged, or stolen permits by phoning the Contact Centre on 01324 506070 as soon as possible, so we can arrange for a replacement permit to be issued.

To request a replacement permit you will need to provide the unique reference number located on the letter received with the original permit.

There is a charge for replacement bins.


What if my garden (brown) waste bin is broken?

Where a bin is damaged through negligence, stolen, fire damaged, vandalised or lost, the customer will be liable for the cost of replacement.

If during collection your wheeled bin has been damaged by our collection crew or if it has fallen into the collection vehicle, no charge will be applied. Should either of these situations occur, our collection crews will report any damage at the point of collection, and we will arrange for the delivery of a replacement bin and a replacement permit to be posted to your property.

When ordering a replacement bin, please provide the garden waste permit reference number and we will arrange for a replacement permit to be sent out.


What happens if I move house?

The garden waste permit is issued to the property it was originally purchased for, is non-transferable and unfortunately no refunds can be offered if residents move. If a householder takes the bin to another property, the crews will not empty it until an active subscription has been made for the new address.


How can I pay for my permit?

Payment must be made in advance by one of the following methods:

  • Online via the MyFalkirk page by credit or debit card
  • By telephone to the Contact Centre on 01324 506070 Monday – Friday. They will process your application and accept payment by credit or debit card.

We cannot accept cash payments.


Can I cancel my permit?

Please refer to our terms and conditions for the garden waste permit.

The contract can only be cancelled within 14 days of purchase and a full refund will be given. Refunds will be issued on receipt of the returned permit to the Council.

Thereafter the contract can be cancelled at any time, but no refunds or part refunds will be payable.

Should the permit have been issued prior to the cancellation notice being received, the customer will be liable for the cost of returning the permit to the Council.


Will I have to renew my permit each year?

Yes, each year residents will need to buy a new garden waste permit.

We will advertise on our garden waste (brown bin) page and social media page when to renew your permit. Residents will need to reapply via MyFalkirk from early 2024.


If I have more garden waste, can I put it out?

No. We will only collect garden waste presented in the council issued brown bin from properties that have paid for an annual permit and have a valid permit displayed on the bin.

Any waste presented in brown bins without a permit, in bags, or loosely at the side of the bin will not be lifted by the crew.

If residents have large amounts of garden waste each month. residents may wish to have an additional bin(s).

Householders can recycle garden waste at their local Recycling Centre free of charge.


What if my bin is contaminated?

If your bin is contaminated (containing items that should not be put in your bin), then the crew will not empty it. You will not receive another scheduled collection until you have removed the contaminating items from your bin.

Should you wish for your contaminated bin to be emptied before the next scheduled collection date, there will be a charge of £15 per bin. To arrange an uplift please call the Contact Centre 01324 506070.


I receive garden aid; will I need a garden waste permit?

If you receive the garden aid service, the waste will be taken away by the garden aid team.

If you have a brown bin at your property and you would like this to be emptied, you will need to buy a garden waste permit.


I received an assisted collection; will I need a garden waste permit?

If you require your brown bin to be emptied as part of the assisted collection service, you will also need to purchase a garden waste permit.


What happens in bad weather?

Our crews will work hard to ensure that any bins presented on time will be emptied whatever the weather. However, very rarely if we have heavy snowfall, collections may be missed.

No refunds will be made.

The service disruptions page will be kept up to date.


Can I put my garden waste into another bin?

No. Where bins are contaminated, the bin collection crew will attach a sticker to the bin which will identify that it has not been collected due to contamination/incorrect presentation.

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. 

If all contamination is removed the bin will be collected on the next scheduled collection day.


What happens if I have paid for a permit and my brown bin collection is missed?

Collection errors or other conditions beyond the Council's control can result in service disruption or missed collections. No refunds or part refunds will be given for missed collections.

Your missed bin must be reported within 24 hours of the scheduled collection. You will need your valid garden waste permit reference number to report a missed bin.


How do I apply the garden waste permit to my bin?

Garden waste permits must be displayed under the handles located at the back of the bin. Refer to the image on the garden waste (brown bin) page.