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. Each additional bin will cost £40. This charge is for administration and delivery, rather than for the collections.
When you complete the form, there will be an opportunity to request and pay for any additional brown bins you want for your address.
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
From your kerbside, we take your waste just over 13 miles to Vital Earth – a recycling site in Ashbourne.
When it arrives, anything that cannot be composted, such as plastic, clothing, metals and other domestic waste is removed. Please don’t put these items in your brown bin - you should only use it for compostable garden and food waste.
All fresh and clean, the waste is given a bit of water and is put into a closed vessel – a small, secure container with controllable temperature gauges. Oxygen is pumped into the vessels, which causes them to heat up to a minimum of 65⁰C. This heat kills off any harmful pathogens (like salmonella or E. coli), weeds and plant diseases.
With good bacteria left to break down the waste, the compost created by this process meets the PAS 100 specification of quality. The heat also speeds up the composting process. A regular garden compost bin would normally be a bit cooler than this, so the process could take much longer – sometimes over a year. The waste stays in the vessel, breaking down in the warm temperatures, for up to 10 days.
Once the compost has come out the vessel, it sits in piles (called ‘windrows’) in a large shed. Here, it continues to oxygenate and mature into healthy and rich compost. It stays here for up to eight weeks.
Once it has properly matured, the compost is separated into groups by the different sizes of the crumbs. Natural nutrients are added to the mixture to ensure this compost is the best it can be without having anything chemical added.
Onwards and upwards
The compost created from your garden and food waste is bagged up and sold on to garden centres or used in agriculture.
Each batch is numbered, which means the team at Vital Earth can trace it back to exactly when it was delivered and where it came from. This means we can see which batch has come from specific collection rounds.
Vital earth compost, which could contain your recycled garden and food waste is available to purchase at Raynesway and other garden centres.