Be careful what you put in your garden waste

Jackie Richardson with her garden waste bin
Jackie Richardson with her garden waste bin

A Motherwell woman was shocked when North Lanarkshire Council refused to empty her garden waste bin because it had soil in it.

Jackie Richardson had plants pulled up and thrown out an old planter as she saw the start of spring as a chance to get work done in her Horatius Street garden last week.

However, when the bin came to be emptied council workers refused to touch it due to the presence of soil.

Jackie called Northline who confirmed that soil should not be put in the garden waste bin and arranged for a special uplift.

Jackie said: “I was really surprised when I saw my brown bin hadn’t been emptied so I chased after the collection team and they said that they wouldn’t empty it due to the soil.

“I asked if they couldn’t just do it this once and I’d know better in future, but they said it would contaminate the garden waste being sent off for composting.”

Far from contaminating compost most gardening experts suggest adding some soil to help the mixture.

The council advises against putting the likes of soil, bricks and rubble in any of its bins due the possibility the weight could damage the machinery of the collection lorry.

Jackie said: “There was only a bit of soil on the roots of the plants and a wee drop in the bottom of a planter, it never entered my head that wasn’t okay.

“I can understand the council wants commercial operations to dispose of its waste properly, and I now accept soil shouldn’t be put in the bins, but I think in this case the spirit of the rules has been lost.”

The council accept a little bit of soil can be unavoidable, but questioned how much Jackie was trying to dispose of.

A spokesperson said: “If the bin was rejected, there would have to have been a considerable amount of soil in it.”

The council advises garden waste bins are only for: flowers, plants, grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, twigs and small branches.