Household recycling

Garden waste

Green ways to deal with garden waste in Bristol


What can you do with garden waste?

Love spending time in the garden, but not sure what to do with the waste? We’ve rounded up a few simple ideas for managing garden waste at home. From compost and mulches to garden waste collections, there are more ways than you think to deal with green waste in Bristol!

A hand spooning compost made from garden waste into a yellow bucket


Making your own compost at home is one of the best ways to manage your garden waste. It adds nutrients to soil and improves the soil structure. You don’t need a special bin or a large area and you can start a compost heap anywhere in your garden. If you do want to use a bin, you can buy one from the council.

How to make compost at home
A red wheelbarrow on a lawn, the wheelbarrow is full of garden waste and grass cuttings


Adding layer of organic material, called mulch, helps retain moisture in the soil, improves soil fertility and health, and reduces weed growth when applied to the soil surface. You can buy bags of mulch in a garden centre, or obtain it for free by using grass cuttings, leaves, and other garden waste to keep your beds healthy and nutrient-rich.

A patch of wildflowers: red field poppies, orange Californian poppies, blue and pink nigellas, and other white and yellow flowers.

Let the grass grow

Reduce how often you mow the lawn and let the grass grow for a while to create a wild patch. Small creatures will love this haven in your garden! Wildflowers already in your lawn will grab their opportunity to bloom and the long grass will create a much-needed environment for insects.

Brilliant bugs

Did you know that you can help keep bugs off your plants by encouraging them to live in your garden?

When you create a habitat for bugs and insects, you also increase the survival rate of their predators who will be attracted to your garden. During the spring and summer months, these predators are essential for removing bugs from your plants.

Fallen autumn leaves on the ground, a rake is being used to gather them into a pile

More uses for garden waste

  • Gather fallen leaves to make leafmould, an excellent soil conditioner.
  • Use branches from cutting back trees and bushes as supports for other plants later in the year.
  • If you have to cut the grass, don’t put it straight into your green bin. Fresh grass will make the bin very heavy and start to smell as it rots. If you can, spread it out over a small area for a few days to dry out before you put it in the bin.

You can take green waste from your home to a Reuse and Recycling Centre for free. Green waste from a business should be taken to the commercial waste transfer station instead.

Bristol garden waste collections

You can buy a green waste bin from Bristol City Council and subscribe to the council’s collection service to have your garden waste collected every two weeks.

Garden waste subscription costs

Annual garden waste subscriptions are £52.50 per year or £25 for those receiving benefits. First time subscribers will be able to get their garden waste bin for the discounted price of £21. Garden waste sacks will now cost £2.75 and can be ordered online.