Brown garden and food waste bin
You can register for free garden and food waste (brown bin) collections in Derby that take place all year round. It's not too late - sign up today! The easiest way to register for the service is online.
The registration form will take roughly 10 minutes to complete. When you complete the form, you'll need to let us know if you need a bin delivering.
Collections will continue throughout the year.
You can register for a free brown bin at any point. You can also register in person at the Council House, or over the phone by calling 0333 200 6981.
When you've registered, check the bin day look-up tool to see which day your bin will be collected on. Please note, not everyone will have their brown bin collected on the same day as their blue bin. Please check carefully when your information is sent to you.
Our Garden Recycling Scheme FAQs 2019 provide more information about the scheme.
What can I put in my brown bin?
You can put any of the following in your brown bin:
- Small twigs and branches (up to 12cm thick)
- Vegetarian pet waste (from rabbits, guinea pigs)
- Food waste!
brown bin information sheet provides more information about what you can put in your bin.
I keep filling up my brown bin. Can I have an additional one?
Yes! We want to encourage people to recycle as much as possible.
You can recycle any and all uncooked and cooked food waste in your brown bin. Once you have a brown bin, please do not use your black bin for food waste.
Put food waste into your brown bin:
- wrapped in a small amount of newspaper, for example a sheet or two
- bagged in fully compostable and biodegradable food waste bags (the bags must display the seedling logo).
You can purchase caddies and compostable liners from the Get Composting website.
What happens to my garden and food waste after you've collected it?
Collecting and cleaning
We take your waste to a transfer station in Derby from your kerbside. Anything that cannot be composted is then removed, such as plastic, clothing, metals and other domestic waste. Please don’t put these items in your brown bin - you should only use it for compostable garden and food waste.
From here it is bulked up and sent in larger lorries to Biowise, an in-vessel composting facility.
The waste is shredded to a consistent size, given some water and put into a closed vessel (a small, secure container with controllable temperature gauges).
Oxygen is pumped into the vessels, which heats them up to at least 65⁰C. This heat kills off any harmful pathogens (like salmonella or E. coli), weeds and plant diseases.
Good bacteria is left to break down the waste for 1 to 2 weeks, with the heat speeding up the composting process. A regular garden compost bin is normally much cooler than this, so the process could take much longer – sometimes over a year.
Once the compost has come out the vessel, it sits in piles (called 'windrows') on an aerated floor outside. Here, it continues to oxygenate and mature into healthy and rich compost. It stays here for another 5 weeks.
Once it has properly matured, the compost is separated into groups by the different sizes of the crumbs.
Onwards and upwards
This process turns your garden and food waste into high quality (PAS 100 specification) compost. It is bagged up and sold predominantly for horticulture and agriculture markets, including the products you buy from your local garden centre.