Cardiff’s garden waste moves to monthly collections from Saturday, August 14
Garden waste collections in Cardiff will move from fortnightly collections to monthly collections from Saturday, August 14th, as the Council works to clear a backlog of garden waste on the city’s streets caused by a UK-wide shortage of HGV drivers and fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Council will use the rest of August to collect any outstanding garden waste that remains on the street and residents are asked to leave their garden waste out for collection until it is picked up. We will collect it as soon as we can and we thank you for your patience.

The next garden waste collection will take place after the August Bank Holiday weekend, with a further collection each month through the autumn. This on-going service will be dependent on drivers being available. More information will be provided on collection days towards the end of August.

Moving to monthly garden collections earlier will, we believe, give us the best chance of maintaining statutory waste collections – that is general waste, food, hygiene and recyclables. Ensuring the collection of these waste streams has to be our priority as we deal with the effects driver shortages and fallout from the pandemic is having on our workforce.

Residents can help us ease the demand on services by taking, where possible, their garden waste to our recycling centres. To help with this, from Monday, August 23, Cardiff Council is:

·       Increasing the annual allowance for visits to 30 per household rather than 26

·       Increasing the available slots per day from 400 to 570 (up 42.5%);

·       Allowing households to make a booking, and visit on the same day where slots are available

·       Allowing households to visit up to 3 times per day (this is currently limited to 1) and:

·       Increasing our opening times, with last available slots for drop offs at 5.30pm (this is currently 4pm).


These new changes will only apply if you are visiting in a car.

You will still need to make an appointment to visit the recycling centres at You will need to bring your booking confirmation, this can be a digital version, along with proof of Cardiff residency e.g. your driving licence.

We want you to know that the council is having to take this action to ensure we can continue to collect statutory waste streams – general waste, food, hygiene and recyclables.

Like many local authorities across the UK, Cardiff Council is experiencing unprecedented challenges to maintain frontline services. 77% of UK councils who responded to a recent Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) survey said they were experiencing difficulties recruiting drivers.

Our frontline staff have worked continuously throughout the pandemic with limited opportunity to take leave due to the impact of Covid-19. As restrictions are eased throughout the UK and beyond, staff are understandably requesting time off to re-charge their batteries in what has been an extremely challenging 18 months. This allied to issues around self isolation, the pingdemic, normal sickness and the shortage of HGV drivers has created a perfect storm.

While every effort is being made in Cardiff to recruit more HGV drivers, so that garden waste collections can resume as quickly as possible. The national shortage of HGV drivers has limited our ability to provide holiday cover via the recruitment agencies and many other Local Authorities across the UK are facing similar challenges.

Almost a quarter of the drivers we require on a daily basis are currently unavailable for work and, due to the shortage of HGV drivers, recruitment agencies are struggling to provide staff to cover sickness and holidays, as they would ordinarily do.

At the start of August the waste and recycling sector wrote an open letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel expressing concerns about a shortage of trained HGV drivers across the waste sector, citing that the “UK is currently short of 100,000 HGV drivers” across the economy in general. The Environmental Services Association (ESA) is reporting an average of 15% vacancy rates for driving roles across the waste sector alone and has called on the government to change points-based immigration rules for trained HGV drivers who have been unable to work in the UK since Brexit.

COVID cases in Wales remain high, and with most restrictions now lifted, it is anticipated that our workforce could continue to be impacted over the coming weeks and even months. While being double jabbed means there is no need to self isolate if you come into contact with a person with COVID, it does not stop you catching the virus, and if you contract COVID then you must still isolate for ten days. We are taking action now to ensure that any possible impact is mitigated so that our statutory waste collections can continue to operate.

Many local authorities across the UK have already taken the decision to suspend non-essential services like garden waste collections. Here in Cardiff we have done our very best to keep the service running for as long as we could.

Councillor Michael Michael, Cabinet member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, said: “We recognise the inconvenience to residents and we want you to know we will do our best to return the service, albeit reduced, as soon as we can. If residents do have a car, and are able to bring their garden waste to the recycling centres, this will help us clear the backlog. For those who are unable to drive, please leave your green waste presented on the kerbside this week and we will collect it as quickly as possible. Unlike many other councils, Cardiff collects garden waste for free. It’s a discretionary service which, unfortunately, we have to set aside at moments like this when resources are unavailable. The UK-wide driver shortages, which trade organisations blame on Brexit, is creating major issues for us, but our crews have been doing their best and we thank you for your patience and understanding.”

A Q&A on the temporary changes to garden waste collections is available to view here: