Image of wheeled bin delivered

You ask, we answer.

You can find out your collection day and week for the new service by entering your postcode or street name into Services in Your Area

Click on the question to find the answer.



Top 5 current questions

Rubbish containers

Using your bin/bag

 Recycling more

Find out more


Why is the rubbish collection service changing?

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. 

What is changing?

If your property has space, we have provided 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 was not appropriate for your property we have provided a re-usable rubbish bag (where practical) to contain your black bags and help reduce street litter. We collect your rubbish every other week. There are areas in central Bath that are not suitable for every other week collections of rubbish and the Council worked with ward councilors, Residents Associations and other groups to come up with the right solution.

What is staying the same?

All households with a green box continue to receive a weekly collection service of the following materials:

  • Food waste
  • Plastic bottles, food pots, tubs and tray
  • Glass
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Aluminum and steel can
  • Aerosols
  • Foil
  • Food and drink cartons
  • Clothes, shoes and textiles
  • Batteries
  • Small electrical and electronic items
  • Spectacles/mobile phones/used engine oil.

We can provide extra recycling boxes on request (up to 3) and we have given clearer instructions on what we can collect in each box for recycling.  

Will the garden waste collection change?           

The garden waste service continues to run fortnightly on a chargeable basis.

If I subscribe to the garden waste collection, will my collection week be the opposite to my rubbish collection week?

Yes that’s right. So it is

  • 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

Will my collection day change?

It may have. We have redesigned routes for our vehicles so your collection day may have changed - we  included a calendar showing your collection day in the Welcome pack delivered with your new bin/bag. You can also check your collection day and week by entering your postcode or street name into Services in Your Area.

Your collection time may also have changed so make sure you put out your recycling and rubbish for collection by 6am on your collection day.

When will the changes happen? 

The collection services changed from 6 November 2017.

How was consultation done/why didn’t you consult residents on the change to collections?

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. Residents were notified in March 2017 of the type of container they would receive. A detailed communication plan took place which included a large variety of engagements with residents including door knocking, road shows and residents association meetings. See details of key communications below:

March 9 - 13 2017 - 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 were offered to visit homes to help residents recycle more. The Waste Campaigns Team offered information and advice at community roadshows, talks and briefings.
  • Week beginning 28 August - a warm up leaflet was 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 were delivered to your home in time for the new collection.
  • November - new collections started week beginning 6 November 2017.

Need help with putting your rubbish and/or recycling out?

We understand that some residents are unable 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 asked all residents registered with an existing assisted collection to renew their requirement ahead of the service changes in November. You are asked on the application form to confirm whether this is a new application or a request to renew an existing one.

What can I do if I'm concerned about keeping my neighbourhood tidy?

We have produced a residents' toolkit called Friends of our Street to help residents who are concerned about keeping their neighbourhood clean and tidy.  Please go to Friends of our Street for advice and materials that you can download.


Top 5 current questions 

Will you take extra bags as well as what is in the bin/re-usable rubbish bag?

No. Your rubbish needs to be contained within your bin/bag and the lid fully closed. If you put out extra bag(s) of rubbish beside your bin/bag, our crews will not collect them but will place a yellow sticker on the bag(s). This will explain that we do not take extra rubbish and that you must put it in your rubbish bin/bag for your next collection, or you can take it to your nearest Recycling Centre. If extra bags are left out next to your bin/bag on more than one occasion, you could be fined.

We do want to be fair to all residents and the reason for not taking bags of waste is that in order to achieve the main aim of increasing recycling, we need to put a limit on how much non-recycled waste can be put out.

How do I request a change to my allocated container?

If you need to request a change to your allocation please contact our Council Connect team on 01225 39 40 00 who will talk through your needs. We will contact you to let you know the outcome of your request.

What if there is something wrong with my bin/bag delivery?

Please call Council Connect 01225 39 40 00 if:

  • You did not receive a welcome pack
  • You did not receive the correct bin/bag allocated
  • Your bin/bag has not been delivered, but your neighbours all have
  • Your bin/bag was damaged
  • Any other problem with your delivery

If your request for a larger bin is agreed you will be advised to continue using your existing bin until the new one arrives. If you leave the old bin visible for collection we will swap it on delivery. We cannot swap your container if we cannot pick up the original one at the same time.

What if the rubbish bin you provide is not big enough?

Each wheeled bin holds 140 litres or around three 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. A visit by our Waste Doctor may be the next step to decide whether we can allocate a larger bin to you.

If you miss my rubbish collection will you return for it?

We have not changed our service for missed collections.  We do not return for missed rubbish collections unless you are registered for an assisted collection, or if your whole road has been missed.

If you put out your rubbish correctly and the crew missed your rubbish bin/bag we won’t return, but as long as you report it ,we will inform your crew so that they empty your bin/bag on your next scheduled collection and also collect any extra bags (if any) created as a result of the missed collection, beside your bin/bag on this occasion.

It is still helpful for you to Report it to let us know your collection has been missed. We can use this information to improve the service over time. As before, we will still return for your missed recycling collections.

Please ensure your rubbish is available by 7am at the usual collection point on your next scheduled collection day.

Rubbish containers

What size is the 140 litre wheeled bin?

Approximate size 106 cm high, 48 cm wide and 53 cm deep (front to back).

I don’t have much rubbish - can I have a smaller wheeled bin or re-usable rubbish bag?

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.

What about residents in flats with limited storage?

We appreciate that a 'one size fits all' approach will not be appropriate.  We assessed streets in the city on an individual basis to determine the most appropriate frequency of collection. We have issued 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 are 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.

Can I continue to use my traditional dustbin?

This depends on whether you were allocated a wheeled bin or re-usable rubbish bag. If we gave you a wheeled bin then we would like you to use it.  We are unable to routinely empty different types of bins. Our vehicles are 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 and your rubbish is collected every other week, you can continue to use your dustbin if you prefer, because our crews lift plastic sacks out of re-usable rubbish bags as they did from your own dustbin. But you must bag and tie your rubbish within a black plastic sack so our crew can lift bags out. We will only collect rubbish bags in your dustbin up to the level of the top, and not any other bags piled on top or beside it. We will only empty one dustbin per household every other week, as we want you to recycle as much of your waste as possible.

If we give you a wheeled bin you will not be able to use your own dustbin for collection because the vehicle collecting these will be using a bin lift

Can I decorate my wheeled bin?

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.

Is there a bin cleaning service available?

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 9 788 655
Wheelie bins Cleaning UK 01179 474500
Wheelie Fresh Bristol07770 819777

There are also companies that provide liners for wheeled bins.  You can find them online by searching for ‘wheeled bin liners.

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?

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 have provided 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.

Are the new wheeled bins made from recycled plastic?

The recycled content in the bins comes from things like old bins, plastic bottles, old road plastic barriers and road cones.

What can I do with my old dustbin?

If we give you a re-usable rubbish bag and your rubbish is collected every other week, you can continue to use your dustbin if you prefer, because our crews lift plastic sacks out of re-usable rubbish bags as they did from your own dustbin. But you must bag and tie your rubbish within a black plastic sack so our crew can lift bags out. We will only collect rubbish bags in your dustbin up to the level of the top, and not any other bags piled on top or beside it. We will only empty one dustbin per household every other week, as we want you to recycle as much of your waste as possible.

If we give you a wheeled bin you will not be able to use your own dustbin for collection because the vehicle collecting these will be using a bin lift. Your own dustbin could still be useful for other purposes, but if you no longer want it you could offer it to someone else on Freecycle o Freegle. Here are some ideas for other re-use:

  • Cut out the bottom and make it into a compost bin
  • Use it for storage – compost, food stuff for animals such as horses, chickens (as it is animal proof), for gardening tools, kindling
  • Metal ones can be made into braziers

What do I do with my bin if I move house?

If you move house, you must leave your bin/bag at your old property. The bin belongs to the Council and must remain at the property it was allocated to except if you have been allocated a larger bin.  If you have been issued a larger bin you must take this with you as it is the correct bin for you rather than your old property. Please contact Council Connect to let us know your new address where your larger bin will be.

Using your bin/bag

What types of items will be left over to put in my rubbish if I recycle all I can?

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 waste bin/bag if you subscribe.
  • Dog waste (bagged)
  • Black plastic
  • Plastic film
  • Polystyrene
  • Bubblewrap
  • Disposable nappies
  • Sanitary waste

I don’t have much rubbish. Can I still use carrier bags to put my rubbish out for collection?

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.

What is the best way for me to put my rubbish into my re-usable rubbish bag?

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.

Will you collect loose items of rubbish in the bins/bags or does it have to be bagged up?

You can put loose waste in your wheeled bin (except ash, as it can blow out when the bins are tipped). 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.

What if I have ‘medical waste’ that I can’t store for 2 weeks?

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.

What if I have 2 children in nappies and don’t want to store this waste?

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.

Will I still be able to put ash, charcoal and other used fuels from solid fuel fires out for the rubbish collection?

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.

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.

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.

How should I get rid of small animal bedding?

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.

I don’t have a car so can’t take my extra rubbish to the Recycling Centre. What do I do?

You will need to put it in your bin/bag for your next scheduled collection and recycle all you can so that all your rubbish is contained within your bin/bag.

My neighbour is putting their rubbish in my bin so now I don’t have room for mine. What can I do?

This is something to be resolved between yourself and your neighbour and not something the council can get involved in.

I have an assisted collection but the side waste was not collected, what can I do with it?

We don’t collect side waste so you will need to put it in your bin/bag ready for your next collection.

My bin/bag was stolen after my last collection and my refuse had not been collected. What do I do?

A new container will be ordered as soon as you report it gone. In the meantime if you have rubbish to put out, hold on to it ready for when your container arrives, or take it to your nearest Recycling Centre.

When the crew tipped my rubbish bin today, one of the bags got stuck in the bottom so I do not have enough space in my bin. What can I do?

You will need to put any excess rubbish in your bin ready for your next collection, or you can take to your nearest Recycling Centre.

I ordered a 240 litre bin but it has not yet been delivered, what do I do with my additional waste which was not collected?

If your request for a larger bin is agreed you will be advised to continue using your existing bin until the new one arrives. If you leave the old bin visible for collection we will swap it on delivery. Any excess can be put in your bin for your next collection or you can take it to your nearest Recycling Centre.

Recycling more

How can I order free recycling containers to help me recycle more and get ready for the change?

You can request as many as you need and can order these online or call Council Connect 01225 39 40 41

How should I sort the materials in my green box(es) for recycling?

Image of green box 1 with stickerImage of green box 2 with sticker

Ideally, we would like you to use 3 green boxes to sort your material in this way:

Box 1

  • 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).

Box 2

  • 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

Please use 2 stickers, one for Box 1 glass/paper and one for Box 2 cans/plastic  provided in the information pack we delivered with your bin/bag. Make sure your green boxes are clean and dry before you attach them. If you need more stickers please contact Council Connect 01225 39 40 41.

Can I continue to use my blue bag for cardboard?

Yes.  We are continuing 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.

Why can’t we mix all our recycling in one big bin for collection like other authorities?

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.

Find out more

  • We have publicised 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, social media, talks to community groups and much more.
  • 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.
  • Read the Collection Service Operational Guidelines for more detail about the changes.

Your rating: 

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (22 votes)
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.