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Garden Waste Kerbside Collection

A free fortnightly kerbside collection of garden and food waste is offered to many households in the city.  To find out if this service is offered in your area, please call 08456 08 09 19 or 01224 219281 or e-mail Leaf You can also view or download your Household Waste Collection Calendar online.

What happens to Garden Waste

Garden and Food Waste is shredded along with the horticultural waste produced by the City Council from its parks and gardens. The waste is shredded and sent to a composting facility in Aberdeenshire, where it breaks down into rich soil improver for use in improving agricultural land.

The following is a guide for brown wheeled bin garden waste collections.

Yes please

No thank you

Flowers                                                     Pet faeces including hutch waste and cat litter, and pet food.
Grass cuttings Chemicals and liquids including weed-killer, outdoor paints and solvents or fertilisers
Hedge trimmings Compost or turf
Leaves Fence panels, posts or treated wood such as trellises
Small branches, bark and twigs. Branches must be no more than 6 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, and the lid of your bin must be able to close for collection. Flower pots or plastic plant labels

Food. Either cooked or uncooked food waste can go into your lined food caddy. When the liner is full, remove it from the caddy, tie it at the top and place it in your brown bin, alongside your garden waste.

If you wish, food waste may be placed directly into your brown bin or it may be wrapped in newspaper and then placed in the brown bin.

Plastic bags, including those that are 'degradable' or 'bio-degradable'. Do not put food into plastic bags other than the council issued compostable food caddy liners.


Weeds but not Ragwort or Japanese Knotweed

We accept most weeds and off cuts with two exceptions.

There are two invasive weeds that we do not accept at the site - Ragwort and Japanese Knotweed.

Both are very resistant to the composting process, in particular Japanese knotweed can regenerate from small pieces and could easily be spread if added to the composting process. It is an infringement of environmental laws to knowingly allow the spread of these weeds and composting is not considered a suitable means of disposal.

General refuse
Large branches
Paper and cardboard
Garden furniture and ornaments including gnomes, lights or fountains
Polystyrene seedling trays
Soil, stones, slabs, rubble or hardcore can be taken to your local Recycling Centres. Please remember that only one car-boot or small trailer load of waste can be taken to the Recycling Centres at any one time. Vans and large trailers are not allowed access to the Recycling Centres. This rule is to reduce illegal trade waste being brought to the sites. Alternatively, you can hire a skip (which you will need a Skip Permits for) to dispose of this waste.

Please note that the list provided is not exhaustive, if you have any questions regarding what you can or cannot put in your brown bin please call us on 08456 08 09 19 or 01224 219281.

If your brown bin contains any unacceptable item your bin cannot be collected as part of this service.  Our composting facility is subject to strict legislation regarding what can and what cannot be composted. If general waste is mixed in with the garden waste, the load is contaminated and will be rejected by the compost facility. It must then be sent to landfill. 

How to use your Garden Waste collection service

  • Please place your brown bin out for collection at the boundary of your property by 7am on your collection day.
  • Place materials directly into your bin. Don't use plastic refuse sacks, even those that are bio-degradable.  If you wish to wrap food waste before placing it in your brown bin, please use newspaper or paper sacks.
  • Ensure that all your waste fits securely into your brown bin and the lid is closed. All materials should be presented for collection in your brown bin as unauthorised containers or ‘side-waste’ cannot be collected. Excess materials cannot be collected by our crew under Health and Safety and Manual Handling legislation and should be kept for your next collection or taken to your local Recycling Centre.
  • Do not pack material into your brown bin too tightly. Wet garden waste can be very heavy. If your bin is too heavy for the crew to move or the mechanical vehicle hoist to lift, it will not be collected.
  • If you have a large quantity of garden waste, or bulky items such as large branches, tree trunks, soil, or turf please take your waste to your local Recycling Centre. This waste can also be collected as part of our ‘Bulky Uplift’ service. There is a charge for a collection of bulky garden waste.
  • Please clean any residue from inside the container if necessary after collection.

If your property is not served by the Garden Waste Collection Service you can take your garden waste to one of the four Household Waste Recycling Centres around the city.  

If you have a large amount of garden waste, this waste can be uplifted. There is a charge for this collection of garden waste.

Smaller brown bins are available on request and Aberdeen City Council also offer an assisted collection for your garden waste. For information please see Assisted Collections.

If your bin has not been collected as expected please check that it does not contain any of the items that we cannot accept. If so, please remove these items from the brown bin in order for it to be emptied on your next scheduled collection date.

Composting is still the best way to deal with your garden waste. For more information on this visit our Home Composting section.


Back to the Household Waste Collections page.