follow us: @_EalingNews
call us: 07488 352 974
email us:

Ealing Council reveals decision on why it has reduced garden waste collection service

Ealing Council has defended its decision to reduce its garden waste collection service from 26 times a year to just 20 times a year saying it is no longer able to “subsidise it”. It says it is also following other councils moving to a three-season collection service. 

Around 13,500 residents use the service which costs £96.50 a year and runs for four seasons, but Ealing Council has told those using the service it will no longer be collecting garden waste in November, December or January.

Residents across the borough have reacted with anger over the reduction in level of service over the winter months which they say means the cost per collection has gone up by over 50%.

One Ealing resident told EALING.NEWS: “I participate in the garden waste disposal scheme and pay for two bins. Last year, with the pensioner discount, I paid £125.58 for two wheelie bins to be collected fortnightly. Having received the renewal reminder this year, I find that the cost has increased to £147.60. There used to be 26 collections a year, there will now only be 20.”

They added: “This means that the cost of the fortnightly collection will, for me, increase from £4.83 to £7.38 which represents a 53.11% increase per fortnightly collection.”

EALING.NEWS put a number of questions and concerns to the council over its decision to change the frequency of how it operates collecting garden waste from homes.

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, an Ealing Council spokesperson explained its reasons for the changes.

They said: “We have benchmarked our garden waste collection service against other local authorities, which identified that that councils are increasingly moving to a three-season service. The service pauses in the low growth winter months after leaf fall, when it does not make sense to spend precious council resources on collecting significantly lower amounts of garden waste.

“Tonnages of garden waste collected during the winter months of December, January, and February on average constitute approximately 13-15% of the total collected across the year.”

The council also told EALING.NEWS that its garden waste collection service is not a mandatory service it is required to provide to residents.

The spokesperson added: “The council spends 70% of its budget on adult and children’s social care, which are statutory services required by law. The garden waste service is a discretionary service that councils are not required to provide, and which costs us a substantial amount each year, even after resident subscriptions. Moving to seasonal collections will help pay the cost to the council of providing the service as we can no longer afford to subsidise it for those lucky enough to have gardens.”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Councillor Gary Malcolm, leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats said of the reduction in garden waste collection: “The Lib Dems believe that these type of services should be cost neutral. The council should not be making a profit on these services. Collection should start a month earlier in February given that many gardeners we have spoken to do use their garden in February.”

Responding to the changes in collection, Ealing Green Party chair Neil Reynolds told EALING.NEWS: “This is another example of the difficult financial position the council finds itself in. Measures like this also may not save money, this will probably increase fly tipping that will cost money to clear.”

Despite reducing the frequency of service, the council said that that the price will still stay at £96.50 a year and the discount to £73.80 will remain available to residents aged 65 and over as well as those who get means tested benefits.

Ealing Council says there will still be ways it will help residents across the borough get rid of their garden waste during November, December and January.

The spokesperson said: “If needed, garden waste can still be taken to the household waste and recycling centre in Greenford over the winter months and disposed of for free. We also offer compost bins at a subsidised rate.

“Some residents have asked for information on how else they can dispose of leaves. Residents can request equipment or sacks to help clean their street, including for street leaves. Residents can subsequently arrange a collection of full sacks.”

Are you an Ealing resident with a story to share? Or spotted something we should know about?
Get in touch with us by emailing: or contact us on X @_EalingNews