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Garden waste recycling

Find out how to subscribe and pay for a year of our garden waste recycling service, collected every two weeks.

Buy a permit and subscribe to garden waste collections

Since Tuesday 2 April 2024 you need a new permit with a £75 annual fee for green garden waste collections. 

Buy a permit

Who can use this service

You can subscribe to our garden waste collection service if you live in a property with a garden that you or a number of residents maintain and are able to leave garden waste sacks outside your property for collection. 

If you live in a property with a shared garden, you can either ask your landlord to buy a garden waste permit for your block or one resident will need to get one instead. You will need to agree with your neighbours if and how you share the use of the permit.

How it works 

We will collect your garden waste every two weeks (fortnightly) after you have bought and received your permit. You will get information about what day and week your collections will be along with your permit. Your collection day and week is printed on your permit tag.

  1. Subscribe by filling in the form at the top of the page and paying the fee.
  2. You will get a garden waste permit in the post.
  3. Attach the permit to the handle of your reusable garden waste sack(s). You can have up to three bags per property with each permit.
  4. Your bag(s) must be left within the boundary of your property by 8am on your collection day. 

Each permit allows you to use three garden waste sacks per collection. You can have up to three permits per property.


  • £75 a year.
  • £37.50 a year if you receive Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support or Universal Credit - you’ll need to tell us your support number when you sign up.
  • This pays for up to 26 collections - one every two weeks (fortnightly) - at £2.88 per collection (£1.44 discounted rate) starting from when the service began on 2 April 2024. You will be paying for fewer collections if you sign up and pay after this date.

Collection days and weeks

  • Check your garden waste tag for your collection day (Monday to Friday) and week (either 1/A or 2/B).
  • Your collection day will normally be the same day as your recycling and refuse day, but every two weeks.
  • You can check your next collection day by scanning the QR code that came with your tag with any smartphone.
  • You can check dates for week 1/A or 2/B under 'more information'.

Order reusable garden waste sacks

These are green or brown hessian sacks that you can use for garden waste. You can order up to three bags for free.

If you don't need a collection every two weeks

The price is a flat fee of £75 but you don't need to leave bags out every fortnight. You can subscribe to the service any time, but you will receive fewer collections. 

What you can recycle

  • Grass clippings.
  • Leaves.
  • Plants and prunings.  
  • Garden weeds.  
  • Small tree branches.  
  • Hedge trimmings.

What you can't recycle

  • Soil.
  • Food waste.  
  • Bricks or rubble.  
  • Plastic plant pots or bags.
  • Large tree branches.  
  • Any other non-garden waste like oil canisters.

Do not overload your bins or sacks. If they are too heavy, we will not collect them. If you keep producing too much garden waste for one collection, you may want to buy another garden waste permit. You can have up to three permits per property. 

Missing permit

Email with your address and permit reference number. We’ll cancel your permit and send you a new one. Please allow 10 working days for your new permit to arrive. We’ll make sure your collections carry on while you wait.

Cancelling your permit

You can only cancel in the first 14 days of buying a permit (the 'cooling-off’ period) by emailing We will not cancel subscriptions during the year and we will collect garden waste bags until the permit runs out.

Other ways to deal with your garden waste

More information

If you have questions that are not answered above, try looking through the topics below.

Collection week dates

You can check your next collection day by scanning the QR code that came with your tag with any smartphone.

If you cannot check the QR code, use this list of dates and weeks, along with the collection day and week on your permit tag, to help you. Your collection week will be either 1 / A or 2 / B.

Week 1 / A

May 2024

  • 27-31 May 2024

June 2024

  • 10-14 June 2024
  • 24-28 June 2024

July 2024

  • 8-12 July 2024
  • 22-26 July 2024

August 2024

  • 5-9 August 2024
  • 19-23 August 2024

September 2024

  • 2-6 September 2024
  • 16-20 September 2024
  • 30 September to 4 October 2024

October 2024

  • 14-18 October 2024
  • 28 October to 1 November 2024

November 2024

  • 11-15 November 2024
  • 25-29 November 2024

December 2024

  • 9-13 December 2024
  • 23-27 December 2024 - look for announcements about changes to collections nearer Christmas and New Year (25 and 26 December and 1 January 2025)

January 2025

  • 6-10 January 2025
  • 20-24 January 2025

February 2025

  • 3-7 February 2025
  • 17-21 February 2025

March 2025

  • 3-7 March 2025
  • 17-21 March 2025


Week 2 / B

May 2024

  • 20-24 May 2024

June 2024

  • 3-7 June 2024
  • 17-21 June 2024

July 2024

  • 1-5 July 2024
  • 15-19 July 2024
  • 29 July to 2 August 2024

August 2024

  • 12-16 August 2024
  • 26-30 August 2024 - look for announcements about changes to collections nearer August Bank Holiday (Monday 26 August)

September 2024

  • 9-13 September 2024
  • 23-29 September 2024

October 2024

  • 7-11 October 2024
  • 21-25 October 2024

November 2024

  • 4-8 November 2024
  • 18-22 November 2024

December 2024

  • 2-6 December 2024
  • 16-20 December 2024
  • 30 December 2024 to 3 January 2025 - look for announcements about changes to collections nearer Christmas and New Year (25 and 26 December and 1 January 2025)

January 2025

  • 13-17 January 2025
  • 27-31 January 2025

February 2025

  • 10-14 February 2025
  • 24-28 February 2025

March 2025

  • 10-14 March 2025
  • 24-28 March 2025

Why we are charging for garden waste collections

Before 1 April 2024, all residents paid for garden waste collections through council tax, including many that do not have their own garden.

At a time when council budgets are being stretched to the limit, introducing this charge means we can continue to provide this important service and that we only charge people that need collections.


Under Section 45 of the the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Waste Collection Authorities can charge for the collection of garden waste, along with a range of other waste items.

Find out when your garden waste will be collected

When you receive your garden waste permit, scan the last QR code to find your upcoming collection days. Your collection day will also be written on the permit along with the week number. You will receive a calendar with your permit so you can check which week your collection takes place.

Please note that ‘week A’ on your permit relates to 'week 1' on the calendar and  ‘week B’ on your permit relates to ‘week 2’ on the calendar.

If you need more than three sacks every fortnight

Each property can purchase up to three garden waste permits. Each permit allows you up to three sacks of garden waste per fortnight, so if you have two permits that's six bags of garden waste every two weeks.

What happens to garden waste after it is collected

All the garden waste we collect is composted in a commercial composting facility and turned into compost that is used by local farms and in horticultural settings. Visit the North London Waste Authority website for more information.

What to do with your garden waste if you don't buy a permit

The most environmentally-friendly alternative is to compost your green garden waste yourself. Composting is a natural process that transforms your waste into nutrient-rich soil. You can buy a compost bin at a subsidised rate.

You can also take your garden waste to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre for free.

From Monday 1 April 2024, you can request a garden waste collection as part of our bulky waste collection service. Visit our bulky waste page or call 020 7527 2000.

Putting garden waste in your normal rubbish bin or bag

Only rubbish that can't be recycled should be put in your rubbish bin or bag. Our waste collection crews will not collect sacks or bins that have garden waste in them.

Moving to a new address

If you’re moving to a new home in Islington, we can transfer your subscription. Email with your new address and remember to take your garden waste bags to the new property.

If you move to a property outside of Islington, the service will continue for the address you subscribed at until the permit runs out and we will not refund the fee. We recommend that you leave the garden waste reusable sacks behind for the new resident.

Missed collection

If we do not empty your garden waste reusable sack, you must report this to us from 10pm on your normal collection day until 6pm the following working day, as long as:

  • we have collected other garden waste sacks in the area
  • the sack does not contain unacceptable items
  • you have left it for us properly, at the right day and time
  • you have a valid garden waste permit attached to one of your garden waste sacks.

Collections will take place later in the day than normal rubbish and recycling collections and may not be completed until 10pm.

You can report this to us through your My eAccount or call Access Islington on 0207 527 2000. You cannot report a missed collection by email.

We investigate all reported missed collections before we come back to collect anything else. If we agree to another collection, we will try to do this within two working days of your report, but it could take us longer.

Heavy bags

Bags that we think are too heavy for safe handling will not be emptied. We will collect the bag at the next collection date, as long as you have reduced the weight of the bag. It is the your responsibility to sort the contents of the bag and reduce its weight. We will not refund you if a bag is too heavy to collect.


New tags for service renewal

We will issue a new tag to everyone who renews their garden waste permit. That tag must be affixed to the handle of your garden waste sack. This will let the collection crews know that your service has been paid for.

The tag will be a different colour tag each year. It can take up to 10 working days for your tag to arrive.

Recycling leaves from public trees

Please do not sweep leaves from private property onto the pavement. 

We are grateful for the commitment of so many residents to help us keep the borough clean and green. The street and park trees provide many benefits to the environment and residents and these are also a cherished part of the cityscape. That is why we are doing our best to keep all Islington-owned trees healthy and safe so they can be enjoyed without risks to the public.

However, we understand that there might be short periods of times when living close to trees can cause some inconvenience, such as during pollination or when leaves are falling. While we appreciate your effort to keep private property and public pavements clear of leaves, there is no special service to remove these leaves from private land, and no legal obligation on councils to provide this service even if those leaves come from a street or park tree.

We would like to encourage residents to use:

  • our chargeable garden collection service
  • the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre
  • home composting.

Where volunteers are working in parks and community gardens to help maintain spaces, the council will continue to support those efforts by removing the green waste generated from those volunteering activities taking place on public land.

Using your garden waste wheelie bin

You can use your current garden waste wheelie bin if it:

  • is no bigger in size than 240 litres in volume (WxHxD – 57.5cm x 106.7cm x 72cm) and confirms to the EN840 standard for wheelie bins
  • only contains garden waste
  • is left at the edge of the property with step-free access for the collection crew
  • has the garden waste permit tag attached to the handle.

We will not provide wheelie bins for garden waste collections. 

We will not accept responsibility for damage to the wheelie bin resulting from normal wear and tear, including the emptying of the bins. 

Only one wheelie bin will be emptied per permit. Any extra wheelie bins need their own permit(s).


Christmas tree collections

You do not need a garden waste collection permit for us to collect your used Christmas tree. We will collect these as normal whether you have a permit or not.

Garden contractors, schools, businesses

Email if you need garden waste collection and disposal and if any of the below apply to you.

You are:

  • employing grounds maintenance contractors
  • a school
  • a business.

Community garden collections including housing estates and Islington Greener Together

Formal and informal community garden groups that are helping to maintain green public spaces or green housing estate areas may be able to get free garden waste collections.

  • Most shared gardens on Islington housing estates will continue to have garden waste collected without a direct charge to residents. 
  • Independently-managed community gardens will need to make their own arrangements that may include purchasing a garden waste permit.
  • Islington Greener Together projects can request a garden waste permit free of charge.

Islington estate communal gardens

Islington maintains the majority of Islington housing estates though an agreement between the Housing service and the Grounds Maintenance service. Resident groups that are helping to maintain communal garden areas on Islington council estates will continue to have garden waste collected from these communal areas free of charge through this arrangement.

Residents with private gardens on estates will need to purchase a garden waste permit to have their garden waste collected.

Groups maintaining independently managed community gardens, or community gardens for private or social landlord-managed properties will need to make arrangements for garden waste to be collected through a grounds maintenance contractor, purchase garden waste permits (directly or through a landlord) or compost some or all of their garden waste onsite. 

Islington Greener Together projects

There are currently 27 Islington Greener Together projects, with up to 15 more being agreed in 2024.

Islington Greener Together projects are maintained by local residents, managing public areas such as parklets, and we ask successful applicants to sign a maintenance agreement and to attend maintenance training provided by Groundwork London. As part of this agreement, we will collect garden waste free of charge on the following basis.

Projects on housing estate land will be collected by Grounds Maintenance as set out above. 

For projects on the public highway that are Islington Greener Together project awarded: 

  • one permit per group, issued to the registered lead applicant or another designated resident 
  • Islington Greener Together maintenance agreement is signed and returned to our team  
  • resident is signed up to Islington Greener Champions and the group has attended a ‘practical maintenance training’ session offered by Groundwork London.
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