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Bins and Recycling Icon

How to put your bins out (guidance)

How is rubbish collected?

Rubbish (or 'refuse'), recycling, and garden waste are collected from bins by the council's bin lorries.

Most properties have a black wheeled bin for rubbish, a blue lidded wheeled bin for recycling, and a green wheeled bin for garden waste.

Some properties have a communal rubbish bin (black lid) and/or a communal recycling bin (blue lid). Communal means it's shared by a number of people.

Other properties use black sacks for rubbish and clear sacks for recycling.

When are bins collected?

Bin collections take place from Tuesday to Friday. You can find your collection dates by looking up your bin collection calendar.

Rubbish and recycling are collected all year round. Green waste isn't collected during the winter (usually between December and April). You'll be able to see on your bin collection calendar when your last green waste collection will be.

What can I put out for collection?

Look at the 'what goes in my bins?' page for a full list of which items you can put out for collection.

Please don't put hot ashes, corrosive substances, hazardous materials, or heavy items such as soil or rubble, in your bin.

What do I put in which bin?

Look at the 'what goes in my bins?' page for a full list of which items you can put into black (rubbish), blue lid (recycling), and green (garden waste) bins.

When should I put my rubbish out?

You should place your wheeled bin or sacks at the kerbside by 7am on your collection day.

How should my rubbish be presented?

Your rubbish should be completely contained within your wheeled bin or sacks.

If you're using a wheeled bin:

  • the lid of the bin must be fully closed
  • you shouldn't have left any excess waste (either in bin bags or loose) next to it
  • rubbish (black bin) should be contained in bin bags, but recycling (blue lid bin) and garden waste (green bin) should be left loose inside the bin
  • if possible, you should place the handles of the bin towards the road
  • you shouldn't leave your bin out on the pavement after it's been emptied

If you're using black refuse sacks:

  • you should only use one per collection

Why wasn't my bin emptied?

If your bin hasn't been emptied, it might be because you put it out on the wrong day or at the wrong time. You must put your bin out by 7am. You can look up your bin collection calendar to find out which day to put your bin out. Collection days sometimes change over Christmas or if there's a Bank Holiday. Make sure to look carefully at your calendar so you don't miss these changes. We always make it clear on our website about any changes happening over Christmas.

We often don't empty a bin because you've left out more rubbish than we can collect. For example, you've left extra bin bags beside the wheeled bin. If this happens, it's up to you to make sure your rubbish is presented in the right way (see above). We won't collect it until it is.

In some parts of town where the roads are narrower, we might not be able to drive the bin lorry down the road if there are cars parked on both sides.

Sometimes we're not able to empty your bin because of something unavoidable, like a bin lorry breaking down, dangerous driving conditions like heavy snow, or problems on the road like an accident. If this happens, we do our best to empty the missed bins as soon as possible afterwards, usually the next day.

How can I let you know that my bin wasn't emptied?

You can report a missed collection to us online. Before you do this, please make sure that your waste is presented correctly (see above). You shouldn't report a missed collection to us if it was missed because you left out too much waste, or because you put your bin out at the wrong time or on the wrong day.

I've lost my bin

If your bin has gone missing, been stolen, or been badly damaged, you can request a new one. You may be charged for some requests.

I need more refuse / recycling sacks

You can request more clear recycling sacks online.

If you need more black refuse sacks, you'll need to buy them yourself, but you shouldn't put out more than one sack per week.

I can't put my bin out

If you find it hard to put your bin out on your own, you may be eligible for our  assisted collection service. Reasons you might be eligible for the service include: being a senior citizen, or having a medical condition or disability.

I have too much rubbish

If you have too much rubbish, have you checked that the items in your bin are squashed down as much as possible to save space, and that you're recycling as much as you can?

If you have your own garden, have you tried composting to reduce the amount of food and garden waste you're throwing out?

If you still have too many bags of rubbish, you can request a bulky waste collection. You're only allowed a maximum of two bulky waste collections every month, and you won't be able to use them as a long-term solution to the problem of having too much waste.

My rubbish won't fit in my bin

If you have an item, or items, of rubbish which won't fit into your bin, you can request a bulky waste collection.

If the item is recyclable, you can also take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Haverton Hill.

If the item is a piece of furniture in good condition, you could donate it to the British Heart Foundation or Shelter.