Household waste and recycling collection policy

This page sets out the London Borough of Bexley’s waste and recycling collection policy for waste that is generated from residential premises.

It details what responsibilities householders have in terms of the correct separation and presentation of waste for collection and the responsibilities of the Council and its contractor in safely and efficiently collecting, recycling and disposing of household waste.

The London Borough of Bexley is a waste collection authority which means it has a statutory duty to collect all waste from all residential properties.

This policy does not cover waste collections from commercial or industrial premises, schools, community facilities or any other non-residential property for which the Council provides a separate, chargeable service. It is an offence to mix business waste with household waste.

The service that is offered to individual dwellings is determined by the type of property. Residents that are unsure which service is offered at their address are encouraged to contact the Waste and Recycling Team who will be able to provide advice.

The type of service offered is decided by the staff in the Waste and Recycling Team in partnership with the Council’s waste collection contractor. It is not possible to appeal against a decision on which service is offered or request that the service be changed for a particular address.

Policy 1 - Collection containers

Policy 1a - Collection containers (standard)

All low-rise properties across Bexley have access to recycling and residual waste collections. All suitable properties have been provided with recycling containers since 2004 and residual waste containers since 2008.

Standard residual waste:

  • 1 x 180-litre green wheeled bin - Only waste produced by a householder on a normal day-to-day basis that cannot be recycled should be placed in this wheeled bin

Standard recycling:

  • 1 x 180-litre green wheeled bin with a blue lid - for recycling paper and cardboard
  • 1 x 240-litre green wheeled bin with a white lid - for recycling household plastic bottles, tubs and trays, food tins and drink cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars
  • 1 x 23-litre brown food waste box with a 10-litre kitchen caddy to provide storage in the kitchen

Optional (if paid for in advance):

  • 1 x 240-litre brown wheeled bin for recycling garden waste (see Policy 3)

Householders can apply for an alternative size of wheeled bin and, if approved, the bins will be exchanged. The large family size will only be provided where householders can prove that they meet the criteria set out below:

‘Small Family’ wheeled bin (140-litres - all colours above)
These will be provided to any householder who requests one. However, they are recommended for couples or people living on their own.

‘Standard Family’ wheeled bin (180-litres - all colours above)
This is the standard-size bin that will be provided to all residents unless an alternative size is requested.

‘Large Family’ wheeled bin (240-litres - all colours above)
These will be provided to families who have 6 or more people permanently living in the household.

Households of Multiple Occupation

Households of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) will have access to the above containers as they pay the same council rates as a standard property. If additional containers are required, they will be subject to the same conditions as a standard property, the conditions are set out in Policy 7.

Mixed hereditament properties/flats above shops

Mixed hereditament properties are generally business properties with living accommodation attached e.g. a flat above a shop. Such properties will require the ‘single use’ container collection service set out in Policy 1c. It will be the Council’s decision as to whether the standard or single-use container allocation is provided in line with Policy 4, Exemptions from the Standard Service.

Policy 1b - Collection containers (non-standard)

Some properties across Bexley are not suitable for a wheeled bin collection and will be exempt from the standard service (Policy 1a). Policy 4 sets out the circumstances to qualify for an exemption from the standard service. In these circumstances the following containers are available:

Residual waste:

  • dustbins or black sacks provided by the resident

Recycling waste:

  • 1 x 55-litre green box with lid - for recycling paper and cardboard
  • 1 x 55-litre black box with lid - for recycling glass bottles and jars
  • 1 x 55-litre maroon box with lid - for recycling plastic bottles, tubs and trays, food tins and drink cans, and cartons
  • 1 x 23-litre brown food waste box with a 10-litre kitchen caddy to provide storage in the kitchen

Where residents only have room for one wheeled bin, priority will be given to the provision of a residual waste bin.

Policy 1c - ‘Single use’ collection containers

Across Bexley, there are a number of properties where returnable containers left out for collection are not suitable. These areas tend to be busy high street areas where a wheeled bin may block pavements for pedestrians. In these circumstances the following containers are available:

Residual waste:

  • black sacks provided by the resident

Recycling waste:

  • up to 52 x clear disposable sacks per annum for mixed recycling including; paper and cardboard, cartons, food tins and drink cans, household plastic packaging, glass bottles and jars

Again Policy 4 sets out the circumstances to qualify for an exemption from the standard service and it is the Council staff that makes the decision about what service is provided.

Policy 2 - Communal collections

The Council provides a collection service for blocks of flats or properties with shared waste storage facilities. These will normally be buildings/complexes with six or more dwellings.

Each of these properties is entitled to residual and recycling collections. The provision of garden waste collections is subject to a contract being applied for and annual payments being set up.

Containers

The number and type of bins provided will be dependent upon the number of properties, size of storage space available and facilities available at the time. The bin sizes that are available are as follows:

  • 140-litre wheeled bins
  • 240-litre wheeled bins
  • 1100-litre Eurobins
  • 1280-litre Eurobins

Collections

The frequency of collection for communal collection properties will be as per Policy 6 although residents will not be guaranteed a specific day. Containers must be accessible for collection 7 days a week unless special arrangements have been agreed upon with the waste and recycling team.

No waste and recycling left outside or around the bins will be collected. This includes but is not limited to, large bulky items, excess waste or recycling. It is the responsibility of the residents or managing agents to remove these items to enable collections.

Where a bin is not accessible due to loose waste, recycling, or bulky items the bin will not be emptied. It is the responsibility of the residents or managing agents to remove these items. The bins will then be emptied on the next scheduled collection day if the bins are accessible.

All bin areas must be accessible by crews; if they need to be locked, ideally the lock will open with a standard fire brigade key (i.e FB11). It is the responsibility of the managing agent to ensure the Council is informed and provided with any keys or codes to access locked bin stores. Where keys and electronic fobs are used, the Council must be provided with these at no charge, and the Council accepts no liability for lost or replacement keys/electronic fobs.

Chute collections

A limited number of flat blocks have chute collections. All waste must be put down the chute for collection. Excess waste which is outside or around the bins will not be collected.

Policy 3 - Garden waste collections

The Council operates a subscription-based collection service for garden waste for which an annual fee is charged. Although garden waste is defined as household waste ‘The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012’ specify that garden waste is a waste for which local authorities are permitted to levy a collection charge.

Participation in the garden waste collection service is subject to a detailed list of terms and conditions which can be found at sign up for garden waste collection and will be provided to all participating householders when they start or renew their subscription.

Garden waste is only collected from householders who have subscribed and paid for the collection service in advance and where garden waste is presented for collection in the garden waste wheeled bin provided by the Council.

For more information on the costs of the garden waste service and to subscribe to the service at your property please visit sign up for garden waste collection.

The garden waste bins are emptied fortnightly and subscribers receive 25 collections per year. The service is suspended for two weeks over the Christmas period.

Collection days may be different to those for other collection services.

Policy 3a - Garden waste containers

Standard 240-litre wheeled bins are provided by the Council to all households that have subscribed to the garden waste service. Householders who have more garden waste than can fit inside one bin can request up to 4 additional bins; however, the Council will charge for emptying these at a reduced rate.

Householders who have limited storage space may be provided with a smaller bin. This will only occur in exceptional circumstances, where requested by a householder and where an assessment has been undertaken by a Council representative. There is no discount for the provision of smaller bins.

A new bin will automatically be delivered to householders that subscribe to the service and will be delivered within 10 working days. Subscriptions will commence 14 days after full payment is taken to allow time for a bin to be delivered.

Householders that renew their subscription will not be provided with a new bin and will continue to use the existing bin if it is serviceable.

The Council will remove garden waste bins from households that cancel or do not renew their subscription.

In the event of damage or loss of bins, a replacement can be ordered via replace damaged or missing bins or by calling the Contact Centre. Damaged bins will be removed.

Communal collections

Communal properties within Bexley are eligible to participate in the chargeable garden waste collection service where the garden waste is generated by the residents (not third parties). They must contact the garden waste team to put this in place if they wish to proceed.

Policy 4 - Exemptions from the standard service

To potentially qualify for an exemption from using wheeled bins you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • the property does not have room to store the necessary containers ie there is no garden/frontage, or it is smaller than 2m x 1.5m
  • if above, and if there is no rear or side access to accommodate or store the necessary containers
  • the property is accessed via more than 5 steps
  • the highway is not suitable to be accessed by the standard collection vehicle

Aesthetic concerns will not be classed as a reasonable exemption from the provision of wheeled bins. Where space is available at the front of the property wheeled bins must be used unless otherwise agreed with the Council.

The Council reserves the right to determine the collection methodology in partnership with the Council’s collection contractor. It is not possible to appeal against a decision on which service is offered or request that the service be changed for a particular address.

Policy 5 - Collection frequency

The Council will collect as per the table below:

Collection Standard Non-standard Single-use container collections Communal
Residual waste Fortnightly Fortnightly or weekly (dependent if property is suitable for 1 wheeled bin) Weekly Weekly or fortnightly (dependent on property)
Recycling Fortnightly Weekly Weekly Weekly or fortnightly (dependent on property)
Food waste Weekly Weekly N/A Weekly
Garden waste* Fortnightly Fortnightly N/A Fortnightly

* This is a chargeable subscription service.

Calendars showing collection dates are issued once a year to all households.

Policy 6 - Additional waste capacity

Policy 6a - Additional recycling capacity

Residents can request additional recycling capacity if required for any of our recycling services and at all property types however the waste and recycling team will need to agree and organise the additional capacity. Visit replace damaged or missing bins for more information. Additional containers will be delivered within 10 working days of the initial order.

Up to 5 garden waste bins are allowed per property via the chargeable garden waste service, see Policy 3. After the first bin, all additional bins are charged at a lower rate. Visit sign up for garden waste collection for more information.

Policy 6b - Residual waste capacity problems

A small minority of householders may find that they cannot fit all their residual waste into one wheeled bin for fortnightly collections. Householders who contact the Council to say they cannot fit all their residual waste in one waste wheeled bin will be offered the following advice and guidance:

Stage 1 - Householder contacts the Council via the Contact Centre or by using the online forms.
Stage 2 - A member of staff from the Waste and Recycling Team will contact the householder to discuss their problem.
Stage 3 - Information, advice and guidance will be provided. Householders are encouraged to divert as much of their waste as possible into their recycling containers.
Stage 4 - A waste audit will be undertaken to ascertain the type and volume of waste that the householder is putting in their residual waste bin.
Stage 5 - A larger bin or double-bin collection will be provided only if the householder is recycling as much of their waste as possible and is still unable to fit all their residual waste into one wheeled bin.

Waste audits will be undertaken where identified as required by Waste Team staff members. During an audit, the contents of a householder’s residual waste bin will be sorted to ascertain how much of the contents could be diverted into the recycling containers.

If, as a result of an audit, the remaining residual waste exceeds the volume of the householder’s residual waste bin then this will be exchanged for a larger bin or, in exceptional circumstances, a double bin collection will be offered.

If, as a result of the audit, the remaining residual waste can be contained in a householder’s bin once all recyclable waste is diverted, householders will not be offered a larger bin or double bin collection.

Additional recycling will be provided in preference to residual waste capacity. Additional residual waste capacity is only approved on the agreement that the household is making full use of the recycling services. Random spot checks will take place to ensure this is being complied with.

Policy 6c - Double residual bin collections

There are a very limited number of households that require a greater residual waste capacity than is offered by the ‘Large Family’ wheeled bin. In such cases residents will be offered a double residual waste wheeled bin collection to enable them to safely dispose of all the residual waste that they produce.

The bin size offered will reflect the needs of the resident which will be assessed by a Council representative. Examples include families with three or more children in nappies and adults with large quantities of non-hazardous medical waste (e.g. incontinence pads).

Applications for double bin collections need to be made to the Waste and Recycling Team and a Council representative may visit to assess the need as shown in Policy 6b above. Double bin collections will only be provided to householders who can demonstrate that they are diverting as much of their waste as possible into their recycling containers.

Double-bin collections will only be provided for a fixed period and the householder will be required to re-apply once this period is over.

Households that qualify for a double bin collection will be provided with stickers to put on the lids of their bins. The stickers will alert collection teams to the requirement to empty two bins from that address. Second bins presented for collection without authorisation and the official stickers attached to the lid will not be emptied and will be red tagged (see Policy 17).

Policy 6d - Additional waste collections

Additional waste collections are offered to those householders who would like the Council to undertake an unscheduled collection of their residual waste. Please visit why your rubbish wasn't collected for more information including the price for this service. The collection offered will be limited to six sacks or a wheeled bin per collection and will take place within two working days of payment being taken.

To prevent householders choosing to ‘opt out’ of the fortnightly collection of residual waste the Council will only undertake five additional waste collections per household per calendar year. 

Garden waste cannot be collected as part of an additional waste collection. Householders who wish to have garden waste collected should subscribe to the garden waste collection service.
 

Policy 7 - Collection day and time

Containers must be available at the collection point (as per Policy 8) by 6am on the day of collection. Collection times can vary from week to week and any container which is not out for collection at 6am may not be emptied. If the containers are not presented for collection, then the crew will not return until the next scheduled collection day.

Containers must not be placed out for collection before 6pm (1800h) the day before collection.

Details of collection days can be found at when is my rubbish and recycling collected? or on the @homerecycling app. They will also be delivered to each householder on an annual basis.

Policy 8 - Collection point for containers

All recycling and waste containers must be presented at the front edge of the property (within 1 metre of the property boundary) for collection.

In special circumstances, an alternative collection point may be necessary, and this needs to be agreed in conjunction with the authorised officer and the Council’s waste collection contractor.

The Council may change any collection point, either temporarily or permanently, following a review process. This review process may be started due to (but not limited to) the council’s belief that the access to or location of the site for bins to be presented is unsafe or inaccessible for collections.

The Council will give at least 10 working days’ notice, in writing, of any changes to the location of a collection point, highlighting the alternative site to the householders affected. Each case will be looked at on an individual basis to agree a suitable collection point as near to the boundary as is safe and practicable.

Householders who do not have enough space at the front of their property for containers are permitted to leave them on the public footway for collection. In such cases the containers must not cause an obstruction, they must be removed as soon as possible after emptying and must not be left on the public footway at any other time.

Householders who persistently leave their waste and recycling containers on the public footway will be subject to a staged enforcement process. Progressive movement through the following actions will take place each time containers are found to be stored permanently on the public footway:

Stage 1 - A letter is sent to the householder asking them to remove their containers from the public footway.
Stage 2 - A further letter is sent to the householder asking them to remove their containers from the footway and explaining that their containers will be removed if they don’t move them.
Stage 3 - Waste containers removed.

Policy 9 - Assisted collections

The Council’s assisted collection service is available to residents with a disability or mobility problem where no one else in the household is able to take the containers to the normal collection point (see Policy 8). The collection crews will collect the containers from an agreed collection point, empty the containers and return them back to the agreed collection point.

Assisted collections can be arranged by calling the Council’s Contact Centre or using the online request form. Householders will be asked to explain why they require an assisted collection. A Council representative will then contact them, and visit if appropriate, to agree the most suitable location for waste containers to be left for collection.

The containers must be easily accessible for the crews, gates left unlocked where necessary and the crew should be easily able to manoeuvre the bins from the property. All containers must be kept in the same location.

Checks may be carried out by the Council at a minimum of once every 3 years on the resident’s suitability for the collection. Any change in circumstance must be notified to the Council as soon as possible.

The Council reserves the right to remove assisted collections from households without prior notice if the assisted collection is no longer required or the householder receiving the assisted collection has moved home.

Policy 10 - Return of containers

After emptying the containers collection staff are instructed to return them to where they were left prior to collection. The containers are to be left in a neat and orderly fashion, and care should be taken to ensure that they do not obstruct access to properties or obstruct the public footway.

Containers should be removed by the householder as soon as reasonably possible after collection has been made.

Containers for communal collections will be returned to the point of collection.

Policy 11 - Ownership of containers

All collection containers are provided free of charge and remain the property of the London Borough of Bexley. These containers can only be used for the storage and collection of household waste and cannot be used for any other purposes.

The Council reserves the right to remove any containers that belong to the Council, from any address without prior notification.

Council-supplied waste and recycling containers should be left at the address when householders move out. The exception to this is garden waste bins which should be taken to the new address but only if the householder wishes to transfer their subscription to a new address within the Borough (see Policy 3a).

Each householder is responsible for looking after their containers, protecting them from misuse and keeping them as clean as possible to prevent odours and discourage pests. The Council does not provide a bin cleaning service but there are several operators who can provide this in the Bexley area.

Communal collections

It is the responsibility of freeholders/developers/landlords/managing agents/housing associations to purchase/hire the required containers for communal collections of residual waste (Recycling containers are free). The Council will undertake repairs on residual waste containers if damaged by our contractor. Bins do have a finite lifespan and allowances should be made to replace bins after 10 years.

Policy 12 - Supply of containers

Replacement or additional containers can be ordered via replace damaged or missing bins or by calling the Contact Centre. Containers will be delivered within 10 working days of the initial order. Requests can be made to remove redundant or damaged containers for recycling when new containers are delivered.

The arrangements for ordering replacement or additional garden waste bins are slightly different and can be found in Policy 3b.

Replacement or additional green residual waste wheeled bins will not be delivered to households that already have a usable bin. In these instances, the delivery team will leave a card to explain why a new bin has not been delivered.

Householders who order containers will not necessarily receive brand new ones. Second-hand containers will be delivered where available. These will be empty, cleaned and repaired prior to delivery but may have markings from their previous use.

Outlined below are details of the different situations which may occur:

Lost and stolen containers

If a container has been lost or stolen, residents must check with neighbours and the surrounding area where the container went missing. If containers cannot be found then a request can be made to replace the container. Containers will be replaced in line with policies 1 and 2.

Damaged containers

If a container has been damaged through day-to-day usage then a request can be made for a repair or if appropriate a replacement container. The damaged container, however, must be left out to be repaired or swapped with an undamaged container. Containers will be replaced in line with policies 1 and 2.

A container which is dirty will not be deemed damaged and will not be replaced. It is the responsibility of residents to clean the containers they are provided with.

New residents (existing properties)

If a resident has recently moved into a property, it is the responsibility of the new resident to ensure the containers have been left by the previous occupiers. If containers cannot be found then a request can be made for a replacement container(s).

New developments

For any new development, it is the responsibility of the developer, or the new occupier in the second instance, to request the required recycling and waste containers.

For developers, residual waste containers will only be delivered once payment has been received in full. Delivery may take up to 4 weeks from payment depending on the number and size of bins required.

Containers lost in vehicles

Occasionally bins may fall into the back of a vehicle during the emptying process. This will be reported to the Council by the collection crews and containers will be replaced in line with policies 1 and 2.

Policy 13 - Extra or side waste

Special arrangements for extra or side waste and recycling will apply at Christmas/New Year and will be published on rubbish and recycling.

Policy 13a – Extra or side recycling

The only material that can be put out as extra or side recycling is cardboard boxes that are flattened and no larger than half a metre squared.

No extra or side waste is allowed via the garden waste service.

The Council or its contractor will not be responsible or liable for any non-council containers used to store extra recycling that is not returned.

Policy 13b – Extra or side residual waste

Only residual waste placed out for collection in a wheeled bin will be collected unless you receive a service for a non-standard property (See Policy 1). Waste needs to be carefully contained within the bin and the lids need to be closed.

Additional residual waste that is presented for collection beside a wheeled bin (called side-waste) will not be collected and a red tag will be applied. Collection staff are instructed to, where possible, place side waste back inside the wheeled bin after it has been emptied.

Additional waste collections are offered to those householders who would like the Council to undertake an unscheduled collection of their residual waste (Policy 6d).

Garden waste cannot be collected as part of an additional waste collection. Householders who wish to have garden waste collected should subscribe to the garden waste collection service.

Policy 14 - Jammed waste

Any waste jammed in a wheeled bin that does not fall out following the normal mechanical emptying process on the recycling or waste collection vehicle will not be taken. In these cases, residents will have to loosen the materials themselves ready for the next scheduled collection.

Residents will be notified by means of a hanger or sticker placed on the relevant container explaining why the container could not be emptied.

Policy 15 - Wheeled bin lids

Wheeled bins are designed to be emptied with the lids closed, therefore lids on wheeled bins must be closed when the recycling or waste is collected. This is to ensure that all health and safety concerns are complied with including:

  • mechanical operation of the bin lift
  • damage to lids is prevented during emptying
  • waste falling out during the tipping process
  • litter generation
  • odours are contained
  • flies are less likely to enter the bin

The Council reserve the right not to empty any wheeled bin which has been overfilled with its bin lid open. If bins are overfilled, then the crew will not return until the next scheduled collection day. This policy applies to all services that use wheeled bins.

Residents will be notified by means of a hanger or sticker placed on the relevant container explaining why the container could not be emptied as described in Policy 17.

Policy 16 - Materials accepted in each container type

An up to date list of materials that can be placed in each container can be found at which bin should I use? or on the @home recycling app.

If wrong materials are put in containers they will not be collected. See Policy 18.

Residents should place recycling in the prescribed containers, and not in their residual waste bins.

No garden waste is allowed to be placed in the residual waste bin or recycling containers. If you are not a member of the Council’s garden waste service, then you must either:

  • compost your garden waste within your garden
  • take your garden waste to Footscray or Thames Road Reuse and Recycling Centres

Bins containing garden waste, hazardous waste such as asbestos or chemicals or clinical waste will not be emptied, and a red tag will be applied as described in Policy 17 (the Council provides separate collection services for these types of waste).

Policy 17 - Rejected/contaminated containers

Contamination can have a major impact on the recycling collection services by reducing the quality of the material and causing the risk that it will be rejected by the re-processors. The rejection of loads means the Council has to pay for the disposal of the collected materials. Organic waste streams are particularly sensitive to contamination so garden waste bins that contain any level of contamination will not be emptied.

Where containers are found to contain unsuitable items, they will be classed as contaminated. A red tag will be attached to the relevant container which is contaminated or not presented for collection in the correct way. The red tags feature images and tick boxes to show how the bin has been presented incorrectly and if there is any contamination that needs to be removed before the next scheduled collection.

Householders who receive a red tag on their residual waste bin have the following options for disposing of their waste:

  • store the waste until the next scheduled collection (waste will need to be correctly presented for it all to be collected on the next collection)
  • take excess waste to either of the Reuse and Recycling Centres
  • arrange for a chargeable additional waste collection (subject to the conditions in Policy 6d). For more information visit why your rubbish wasn't collected?
  • subscribe for the garden waste collection (where garden waste is placed in the residual waste bins)

Householders who receive a red tag will be prevented from reporting a missed collection for the relevant collection service until after their next scheduled collection.

The Council’s waste collection contractor will provide the details of all red tags issued to Waste and Recycling Team staff. Householders who regularly receive red tags may be contacted and provided with advice and guidance (see Policy 18).

If a resident has recently moved into a property and discovered that the bins had been incorrectly used, then a resident can request to have the containers emptied. It is the resident’s responsibility to ensure the containers are free from contamination before any regular collections are made.

Communal collections - contaminated bins

If a communal collection bin is contaminated with the wrong material it will not be emptied. It is the responsibility of the residents or managing agents to remove these items so that the bin can be emptied on the next scheduled collection day. If this is not possible then it can be requested to be emptied as residual waste.

Policy 18 - Householders who persistently fail to present their waste correctly or contaminate their bins

The Council operates an inclusive waste and recycling collection service and prefers to provide education and advice to help residents to separate and present their waste correctly. However, there may be a small number of householders who persistently fail to present their waste correctly.

To persuade these households to participate correctly the following phased education and enforcement process will be followed. Progressive movement through the following actions will take place each time waste is incorrectly presented for collection:

Stage 1 - Red tag issued.
Stage 2 - A Council representative will make contact with the householders to provide advice and guidance. This could include a visit, telephone call or informal letter and delivery of leaflets.
Stage 3 - A formal letter will be issued detailing what actions the householder needs to take and what could happen if they choose not to comply.
Stage 4 - Householders will be issued with a notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Part 2, Section 46. Once a notice is issued the householder has four weeks in which to exercise their right of appeal to the Magistrates Court if they think the Council is being unreasonable.
Stage 5 - Fixed penalty notice issued.
Stage 6 - Finally when there are no other options available the Council will seek to take the resident to court where they could be fined up to £1,000.

Stages 5 and 6 will only proceed following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Places.

Policy 19 - Missed collections

Waste containers that have not been emptied on the scheduled collection day can be reported by calling the Contact Centre or using the online form. If reported to the Council, the Council’s waste collection contractor will return to collect the waste that was missed within 48hrs / 2 working days.

Missed collection reports can only be made where:

  • the container concerned was available for collection, at the collection point, from 6.30am on the correct collection day
  • the container concerned contained the correct materials
  • a container concerned has not been issued a red tag
  • a missed collection report is made within an acceptable timeframe

In order to prevent collection crews from returning to collect missed collections shortly before the next scheduled collection; missed collection reports will only be accepted the following number of days after the scheduled collection:

  • residual waste - three working days
  • dry recycling - two working days
  • food waste - two working days
  • garden waste - five working days

Householders who attempt to report missed collections that do not meet these conditions will be asked to wait until their next collection, take their waste to the Reuse and Recycling Centres or, in the case of dry recycling, take their waste to one of the mini-recycling sites.

Householders who have regular problems with missed collections are encouraged to contact the Waste and Recycling Team using the online form or by calling the Contact Centre. Members of staff from the waste and recycling team will be able to investigate and rectify problems with regular missed collections.

Policy 20 - Frozen containers

During times of inclement cold weather, waste can become frozen in containers. This can be a particular problem with garden waste in bins.

When waste has become frozen in the bin, if the waste does not empty when lifted by the vehicle mechanism the bin will be left with the contents still in it and the collection crew will leave a hanger or sticker on the bin.

We will not return to empty frozen bins before the next scheduled collection unless a chargeable additional waste collection is organised (subject to the conditions in Policy 6d).

Policy 21 - Overweight containers

Where a crew member cannot safely manoeuvre and position a wheeled bin onto the vehicle, or where the vehicle cannot lift the wheeled bin due to the weight of it, then it will be left unemptied. The lid of the bin will be left open to indicate the crew has tried to empty the bin, and a hanger or sticker will be left on the bin.

By law, all the vehicle bin lifts have a safe working weight limit which crews cannot override. As a guideline, the bin should be easily moved with one hand. Where any bin is found to be too heavy, the householder will be required to remove sufficient material from it and dispose of it in a responsible manner. Once the sufficient weight has been removed, the bin should be presented on the next scheduled collection date.

We will not return to collect the bin before the next scheduled collection date unless a chargeable additional waste collection is organised (subject to the conditions in Policy 6d).

Policy 22 - Stickers on containers and painted containers

The Council provides a sticker on all wheeled bins so that residents can mark up their containers with their property name or number for identification purposes.

The Council reserve the right to insist that only communication stickers provided by the Council will be allowed on containers or stickers and other markings which residents use to identify their bin e.g. house number.

The Council is not responsible for damage or loss of stickers that have been attached to wheeled bins by residents and will only provide replacements for stickers provided by the Council.

Policy 23 - Inclement weather

During severe weather we will:

  • continue to undertake the regular scheduled collection of recycling and waste wherever it is deemed safe to do so. The decision on whether it is safe for collection vehicles and collection crews to access a specific location/street must be determined locally by the driver of that vehicle. Among key factors that apply are:
    • road conditions
    • pavement conditions
    • weather conditions
    • access past parked cars
    • risks to the public and/or the crew
  • we will where possible, try to return and collect missed containers. If this is not possible due to continuing bad weather conditions, we will make alternative arrangements such as asking residents to use their own bags so waste can be stored until the next collection day; whereupon all side waste will be cleared with the exception of garden waste
  • if a significant disruption occurs, the Council’s website will be updated with information on access and which services are being prioritised. Priority will normally be given to the residual waste service

All our drivers are trained in making on-site risk assessments; they will always have the final say as to whether it is possible to access a road safely and whether frozen pavements are too hazardous for collection.

Vehicles can weigh up to 32 tonnes, and the safety of our crews and the public will always be our first priority.

Policy 24 - Access issues

Occasionally access cannot be gained to certain areas and streets. This may be due to:

  • road works
  • poorly parked cars
  • delivery vehicles
  • building works
  • overhanging branches
  • road closures

The collection crew will try a number of times to access a road, if they still cannot gain access, this will be reported to the Council.

Where the Council has on three occasions attempted to gain access to the area but was unable to do so the Council may make alternative arrangements to collect the waste. These may include (but not be limited to):

  • asking residents to use their own bags, and put outside waste in the next collection
  • requesting residents to bring waste to a different collection point.

Policy 25 - Offensive/hygiene waste

The Council does not offer a separate collection for low-grade offensive/hygiene waste, i.e. non-infectious waste such as incontinence pads, nappies, feminine hygiene products or similar unless excessive quantities are produced.

This waste should be double wrapped and placed in the residual waste container. Where a large quantity is being produced then the household may be eligible for additional residual capacity under Policy 6.

Policy 26 - Infectious healthcare waste

The Council offers a collection of healthcare waste and sharps and needles from householders upon application endorsed by a healthcare professional. (i.e. doctor, hospital or nurse). This application must be made through the Council’s prescribed application form.

An agreed collection point, day of collection, frequency of collection, size and type of container and any other specific instructions regarding this service will be decided by the Council. In cases where a regular weekly service is not needed, a request-based service is offered. Requests for service must be made a week in advance.

The Council may request that residents obtain sharps boxes from their health care professional.

Policy 27 - Bulky special household waste collections

Bulky items are household items which are too large to be collected as part of the usual household waste collections. The Council offers all residents a chargeable bulky waste collection service. Information on prices and how to book can be found at arrange a bulky or large item collection. All items must be presented outside for collection by 6.30am on the specified day of collection.

All items of waste must be left together as close as possible to the edge of the boundary of the property, as close to the highway or access road as possible, easily accessible for the crews and presented in a safe fashion which does not cause any obstruction or danger to the public.

Items will only be collected from an alternative location including inside your home when there is no one capable of moving the item outside; this has to be arranged in advance. However, the Council accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage arising from collections from inside properties.

The collection point for properties with difficult access e.g. flats shall be agreed with the Council before collection sometimes via a site visit. All larger items will be assessed and priced individually.

Once a booking has been made for this service, additional items cannot be added, and no refunds are given.

A list of items that can and cannot be collected can be found at arrange a bulky or large item collection.