Your personalised letter
We wrote to you in March to let you know how the changes will affect you - if you missed the opportunity to query your rubbish container allocation please contact Council Connect. Enter your address to Check your bin allocation.
Key dates 2017
- March 9 - 13 - A personalised allocation letter was sent to your property informing you how the change will affect your property, and the type of container and frequency of collections you will receive. Most of these letters were mailed out with the Council Tax bill.
- March 15 onwards - Waste Doctor appointments are being offered to visit homes to help residents recycle more. The Waste Campaigns Team will also be offering information and advice at community roadshows, talks and briefings.
- Week beginning 28 August - a warm up leaflet will be delivered to all homes giving you more information about your bin/bag delivery.
- 25 September to early November - wheeled bins or re-usable rubbish bags will be delivered to your home in time for the new collection.
- November - new collections start week beginning 6 November 2017.
You ask, we answer.
We will keep adding your questions to this page in the run up to the service changes starting from 6 November 2017.
Click on the question to find the answer.
Why is the rubbish collection service changing?
What is changing?
What is staying the same?
Will the garden waste collection change?
If I subscribe to the garden waste collection, will my collection week be the opposite to my rubbish collection week?
Will my collection day change?
When will the changes happen?
How was consultation done/why didn’t you consult residents on the change to collections?
What size is the 140 litre wheeled bin?
What if the rubbish bin you provide is not big enough?
I don’t have much rubbish. Can I still use carrier bags to put my rubbish out for collection?
I don’t have much rubbish - can I have a smaller wheeled bin or re-usable rubbish bag?
What about residents in flats with limited storage?
I have already been given a re-useable rubbish bag - will I continue to use it or may I have to swap to a wheeled bin?
Can I continue to use my traditional dustbin?
What is the best way for me to put my rubbish into my re-useable rubbish bag?
Will you collect loose items of rubbish in the bins/bags or does it have to be bagged up?
What if I have ‘medical waste’ that I can’t store for 2 weeks?
What if I have 2 children in nappies and don’t want to store this waste?
Will I still be able to put ash, charcoal and other used fuels from solid fuel fires out for the rubbish collection?
I have several cats and produce lots of cat litter so I am worried that I won’t have enough room in my rubbish bin.
I live in the city centre and have an every other week rubbish collection, but the street next to me has a weekly collection. Why?
Can I decorate my wheeled bin?
Is there a bin cleaning service available?
How can I order free recycling containers to help me recycle more and get ready for the change?
How should I sort the materials in my green box(es) for recycling?
Can I continue to use my blue bag for cardboard?
Why can’t we mix all our recycling in one big bin for collection like other authorities?
There are three main reasons why the services have been reviewed and changes agreed by the Council.
- To keep our streets cleaner - containing rubbish in a wheeled bin or re-usable rubbish bag will prevent animals and birds ripping open bags and making a mess in our streets, which is unpleasant for everyone.
- To recycle more - we already have a very comprehensive recycling collection where you can recycle 17 different types of household waste every week. We know that residents can recycle more than they are currently doing - about 75% of a household's waste can be recycled using the current collections, but we still find that over half of an average rubbish bag consists of items that could have been recycled. Our local research shows that if you recycle all you can, you will still have space left in your rubbish bin when collected every other week. Encouraging further recycling will also help get better value from the services and help towards achieving our goal of Zero Waste.
- To save money - The collections are currently supported by a Government grant of £450K per year. This grant will end in March 2017 so there is a real pressure to streamline the services. We want to continue to provide a first class collection service with one of the most comprehensive recycling services in the country, but we are also dealing with reductions in funding from national government. Every lorry load of rubbish costs us £1,000 to dispose of whilst every lorry load of recycling earns an income of £100, so reducing the amount put out as rubbish is essential.
If your property has space, we’ll provide a 140 litre wheeled bin to safely store the rubbish that is left after you’ve recycled everything you can, so it doesn’t create any litter. Where we have determined a wheeled bin is not appropriate for your property we will provide a re-usable rubbish bag (where practical) to contain your black bags and help reduce street litter. We will collect your rubbish every other week. There may be areas in central Bath that are not suitable for every other week collections of rubbish and the Council is working with ward councilors, Residents Associations and other groups to come up with the right solution.
All households with a green box will continue to receive a weekly collection service of the following materials:
- Food waste
- Plastic bottles, food pots, tubs and tray
- Paper and cardboard
- Aluminum and steel can
- Food and drink cartons
- Clothes, shoes and textiles
- Small electrical and electronic items
- Spectacles/mobile phones/used engine oil.
We will provide extra recycling boxes on request (up to 3) and give clearer instructions on what we can collect in each box for recycling.
The garden waste service will continue to run on a chargeable basis as normal every other week.
Yes that’s right. So it will be
- food waste, green boxes, blue bag, and garden waste one week
- food waste, green boxes, blue bag, and rubbish bin/re-usable bag the next week
It may. We will need to redesign routes for our vehicles so your collection day may change - we will inform you of any change when we deliver your bin. Your collection time may also change so make sure you put out your recycling and rubbish for collection by 7am on your collection day.
The collection services will change 6 November 2017 but we will provide plenty of information to you in advance of this.
The reasons for the change were to reduce street litter, increase recycling and to ensure that the service is affordable. Our Voicebox survey which goes to a representative sample of over 1000 residents asked for views about wheeled bins, and our published waste strategy detailed that we would review our service in 2016 and look at issues such as frequency of collection and containerisation.
The Cabinet report was published in July 2016 detailing the proposal, and residents had the opportunity to make their views known to the cabinet. We are now in the public engagement period, where we are working on communications to residents to create an awareness of the changes to come. Residents were notified in March of the type of container they will receive. A detailed communication plan is in place and includes a large variety of engagements with residents including door knocking, road shows and residents association meetings.
We understand that some residents will not be able to move their rubbish, recycling and/or garden waste to the edge of their property for collection. If there is no-one in your household capable of moving your containers we will help. To request an assisted collection you will need to complete a simple online application form. Alternatively you can contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41- they can complete the application form on your behalf, over the phone. We will assess your form and we may need to contact you to discuss your needs. We will contact to you to confirm, once your assisted collection has been agreed.
To ensure all information is accurate, we will review assisted collections periodically. We are currently asking all residents registered with an existing assisted collection to renew their requirement ahead of the service changes in November. You will therefore be prompted on the application form to confirm whether this is a new application or a request to renew an existing one.
Approximate size 106 cm high, 48 cm wide and 53 cm deep (front to back). You will have an opportunity to view the bins at our roadshows and at the three Council One shop shops in Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton.
Each wheeled bin holds 140 litres or around three-four black sacks of rubbish – this should be enough for most households who recycle all that they can through the weekly collections. We do appreciate that 'one size does not fit all' though, and will be able to provide extra space for rubbish where there is a clear need (e.g. larger families or those with more than one child in nappies). If you have a query with your bin allocation please contact Council Connect.
No. Sorry. We experience many litter problems from birds, animals (and humans!) scavenging from carrier bags and bin bags. We need to reduce the litter on our streets. If your rubbish is contained in a re-usable rubbish bag or wheeled bin it will stop this from happening. It will also stop bags from splitting and spreading litter when our collectors pick them up. We need your help in using the containers we will provide to reduce the litter problems we have. It’s great that you produce only a small amount of rubbish, but we still need to stop the chance of it turning into litter.
It is great that you don’t have much rubbish and are recycling all you can. We don’t have a smaller option and for us to collect your rubbish you will need to put it out in your allocated container (or your own dustbin if you have been allocated a re-usable bag).
If you don’t have enough rubbish to put your bin out every other week, you could put it out monthly if you preferred to, as long as you are still recycling your food waste weekly.
You may also find that you occasionally do create extra rubbish such as at Christmas, or when entertaining, or having a clear out, so you may find the extra space useful at these times.
We appreciate that a 'one size fits all' approach will not be appropriate. We will assess streets in the city on an individual basis to determine the most appropriate frequency of collection. We intend to issue re-usable rubbish bags to such properties in the city if they don’t already have them, to ensure that the mess spread by gulls and animals is reduced.
Our aim is to get all residents using the weekly recycling service effectively to its maximum potential – an average sized household should really have very little rubbish left if they use the recycling service to its full potential including recycling their food waste. There will be very few places where the small amount of rubbish remaining can’t be stored for a collection every other week, if the recycling services are fully used.
If you already have a re-usable rubbish bag and your allocation letter shows you will still have a re-usable rubbish bag, you can carry on using your existing one until you get a new one delivered before the new service starts from 6 November.
This depends on whether you have been allocated a wheeled bin or re-usable rubbish bag in your letter. If we give you a wheeled bin then we would like you to use it. We won’t be able to routinely empty different types of bins. Our vehicles will be fitted with bin lifts specifically designed to lift wheeled bins to make our collections more safe and efficient.
If we give you a re-usable rubbish bag you could continue to use your dustbin for rubbish. If your dustbin is already doing a good job at stopping the spread of litter then great. But you must bag and tie it within a black plastic sack so our crew can lift bags out. We will only empty one dustbin per household though, as we want you to recycle as much of your waste as possible. If you do this there should only be a small amount left to put in your dustbin.
In order to keep your re-usable rubbish bag clean, you will need to contain your rubbish in tied black plastic rubbish sacks before putting it into the re-usable rubbish bag. This also ensures that the crew can lift out all of the rubbish easily and cleanly. If you put loose rubbish in your re-usable rubbish bag we won’t be able to collect it.
You can put loose waste in your wheeled bin. If you have a re-usable rubbish bag please tie up your black plastic sacks or carrier bags you usually use for your rubbish, and place these in the re-usable rubbish bag. If you put loose rubbish in your re-usable rubbish bag we won’t be able to collect it.
If we give you a wheeled bin you can double wrap your medical waste in plastic bags and it will be stored securely until collection. If you don’t have a bin or there’s a reason you can’t store the waste safely then we do have a clinical waste collection service. This is an appointment based weekly service. If you contact us, we can talk through your needs with you and work out the best solution.
We can provide advice on buying and using re-usable nappies. Please go to Re-usable nappies to find out about our special offer where you can save £100 on a pack of re-usable nappies. These can be washed and used time and time again, so they reduce the need to generate or store waste. If you continue to use disposable nappies, and we give you a wheeled bin you can double wrap the nappies and they will be stored securely until collection.
If we give you a re-usable rubbish bag, always put a black plastic bin liner inside the bag so that your re-usable rubbish bag can stay clean. Our crews can then take the whole black plastic bin liner full of rubbish when they collect. One suggestion is to put nappies into scented bags/double wrapped in bags, and put them into a lidded bucket/container within your home, which can be emptied into your re-usable rubbish bag each time it is full.
If you need a bigger bin or re-usable rubbish bag because you have 2 or more children in nappies please contact Council Connect.
Yes, but please do not put hot ash, charcoal or similar materials from fires, barbeques or portable barbeques straight into your wheeled bin. Allow all barbeque materials such as ashes and charcoal to cool completely – or damp them down fully – before placing in the wheeled bin. A small bucket or your old metal dustbin could be ideal for this purpose. Once cooled, please put into bags before putting in the wheeled bin to keep ash contained when tipped.
If you need a bigger bin or re-usable rubbish bag we may need to visit you to make sure you are recycling all you can. You can take bagged cat litter to any of our Recycling Centres and put it in the landfill skip. Any pet waste generated on commercial premises (such as a cattery) is business waste, and you should arrange a business waste collection for this.
If it is biodegradable bedding (no powders or dusts) from small animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and birds you can put this in your garden waste collection bin/bag for composting if you subscribe. If not, please put it in your rubbish bin/bag. You should put all other animal waste, such as that from dogs and cats, in your rubbish bin/bag.
These items will still need to go into your rubbish
- Pet litter (bagged) - biodegradable bedding from small animals such as hamsters and rabbits, can go in your garden wastebin/bag if you subscribe.
- Dog waste (bagged)
- Black plastic
- Plastic film
- Disposable nappies
- Sanitary waste
We have assessed each street, and some properties within the heritage centre of Bath will not be permitted to externally store re-usable rubbish bags or black sacks, but instead asked to store these containers out of sight between collections. As such, they will continue to receive weekly collections of rubbish and recycling.
However, we will be providing smaller 70 litre re-usable rubbish bags or a limit of 2 black sacks, so that every household has the same volume of rubbish space available.
All containers we provide remain the property of the Council. However, whilst you are using the bin we encourage you to write your house number/address on it - one of the easiest ways is to use small number stickers (like below) which can be bought from budget and hardware stores. It is fine if you want to decorate your bin to make it more personal by paint, stickers, bin wraps etc.
We are liaising with various bin cleaning companies to find the best service available so that you can take up the service with them, if you wish. You can search online and find several companies such as:
- South West Bin Cleaning Company 0800 8 788 655
- Wheeliebins Cleaning UK 01179 474500
- Wheelie Fresh Bristol 07770 819777
The recycled content in the bins comes from things like old bins, plastic bottles, old road plastic barriers and road cones.
You can request as many as you need and can order these online or call Council Connect 01225 39 40 41. We suggest you order any extra containers you need as soon as you can to help you get ready for the change.
Ideally, we would like you to use 3 green boxes to sort your material in this way:
- Glass bottles and jars and paper (plus all other items clothes, shoes and textiles, household batteries, small electrical appliances, mobile phones, spectacles, printer cartridges, car batteries and used engine oil).
- Plastic bottles, food pots, tubs and trays
- Food and drink cans, aerosols and foil
Box 3 (issued instead of a blue bag when you need a replacement)
• Cardboard, brown paper and food and drink cartons
Yes. We will continue to issue blue bags until our stocks run out, then we will replace these with a green box. Feedback from residents and crews shows that green boxes are generally preferred – they are easier for residents to store and for crews to empty.
Sorting recycling into boxes ensures that the quality of the materials remains high, and that they can be sold at good prices in established markets. Councils that collect mixed recyclables generally have to pay for expensive sorting plants to remove contamination and therefore do not benefit from the sale of any recycling – they have to pay to get rid of it rather than selling it. We have done extensive research and modelling of different collection options for us, and the sorting into boxes method proves to be the most cost effective overall for our circumstances.
- We are publicising the service changes and new collections through various ways including website updates, articles in the quarterly council magazine B&NES Together, leaflets to all households, roadshows, 'waste doctor' home visits, talks to community groups and much more. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss any concerns about storage or extra space needed for left over rubbish which can’t be recycled.
- If you are member of a community group and would like us to visit to give a recycling talk, or if you are running a community event where we may be able to have a roadshow please contact Council Connect.
- You can view the bins now at roadshows and at Council One Stop Shops in Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton. They are also on display at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, Bishop Sutton Village Hall and Southdown Methodist Church Centre (The Hollow).
- We notified you in March of your bin allocation but you can check by entering your address here Check your bin allocation.
- Read the Collection Service Operational Guidelines for more detail about the changes.
Please use this form to report issues with the content of this page. If you wish to contact somebody about the service provided, please use the contact details found in the 'Contact Us' section of this page.