The fast, clean and cheap alternative is a subscription to your district council’s efficient garden waste collection service.
Time is running out to get the best value from the service, as most subscriptions start on 1 April. You can join the service during the year, but the full fee will apply.
Garden waste subscribers get a roomy wheeled bin that is easy to fill as they walk it around the garden, saving time and energy going back and forth. And the bin holds garden waste neatly in a corner; no more messy piles of rubbish blowing in the wind.
Wheel the bin outside for the fortnightly collection, and sit back and smell the roses instead of using fuel and time going to the recycling centre.
The service collects flowers, plants, grass cuttings, leaves, hedge trimmings, almost all weeds, and even branches up to four inches across, and composts them in Somerset.
You can home compost garden waste with certain foods and cardboard, but you should never put garden waste into refuse bins, as it gives off greenhouse gases while decaying for decades in landfill, and burning garden waste can cause pollution and local nuisance.
Tens of thousands of Somerset residents enjoy having 25 efficient kerbside collections each year with a wheeled bin. There is also the option of using special compostable paper sacks.
Do not leave it too late to register so you can enjoy a whole year’s collection. Collections are great value at around £1 a week: a 12-month subscription is just £48 in all districts except West Somerset, where it is £53 and begins on 1 March. Throughout Somerset, the 10 paper sacks cost £25 from your district council.
In South Somerset you can you get a 24-month subscription, which is discounted to £91, as the district council saves money on admin and postage while you are protected from any possible price increase in 2016/17.
It is fast and simple to sign up. Full details and links to payment details: http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/collections/garden-waste/
Or for individual districts:
In Sedgemoor, call 0845 408 2540 or visit http://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6377
In South Somerset, call 01935 462462 or visit http://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/environment/recycling-and-waste/
In Taunton Deane, call 01823 356346 or visit http://www.tauntondeane.gov.uk/irj/public/services/directory/service?rid=/guid/10782fed-0934-2c10-e38b-ae857fe8f751
In West Somerset, call 01643 703704 or visit http://www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/Recycling-and-Waste-Services/Garden-Waste
For keen gardeners who know a thing or two about composting, there is a free course coming up soon to help you share your skills with your community as a volunteer Compost Champion.
Find full details of the training day on Saturday 28 March at http://www.carymoor.org.uk/compostchampions.html.
And along with plenty of free advice on composting, Somerset gardeners can get compost bin bargains via the Somerset Waste Partnership online composting page: http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/more/composting/.