South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are changing the way they charge for garden waste services from 2025.

The change introduces a permit sticker system to identify customers who have fully paid-up.

The stickers will be sent out once customers pay for the service annually, allowing waste collection crews to identify which bins need emptying.

This scheme is used by many other local authorities, including neighbouring West Oxfordshire.

Herald Series: The aim is to make sure only those paying for the service have their garden waste collectedThe aim is to make sure only those paying for the service have their garden waste collected (Image: South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils)

With the new sticker system, the authorities hope to ensure that only subscribers that have paid for the service get their garden bins emptied.

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Garden waste subscriptions in the districts currently run on an annual direct debit system from the date customers sign up.

From 2025, the Councils will cease to accept direct debit payments.

Instead, customers will need to make an annual payment using a debit or credit card.

This will standardise the payment year, running from April 1, through to March 31.

The Councils will contact all customers directly via letters and emails, reminding them of the changes and urge them to renew their subscriptions.

An online system that enables customers to manage their accounts and alter details more easily will be adopted.

Councillor Sue Cooper, South Oxfordshire District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: "We offer a garden waste service as we know over 31,500 households in South Oxfordshire value this optional service.

"It also contributes to our excellent recycling rates – where only this month, South Oxfordshire has been ranked as the top recycling district in England.

"The new permit scheme will help enhance our service’s efficiency.

"The new permit stickers will help us to make sure that only those who pay for the service actually get collections, which we think is only fair, since this is an opt-in service.”

Councillor Mark Coleman, Vale of White Horse cabinet member for environmental services and waste, said: "Our popular garden waste scheme currently serves nearly 28,000 households in the Vale.

"As with all council services, we regularly review what we offer and strive to make sure our service is the best it can be.

"I'm confident the new permit scheme, combined with introducing online customer accounts, will make our garden waste service even better for everyone."

Customers will receive details of the changes and payment options along with this year’s invoices.

The Councils' customer teams will also be available to address any queries regarding the change.

Residents in South Oxfordshire were recently ranked as the best recyclers in the country, with residents in the Vale a close third, according to a Government league table.