Waste is an essential service and we are doing all we can to continue collections during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak whilst protecting our staff and residents. This means making some changes to waste services so we can collect everyone’s waste and recycling with reduced staff levels and minimum disruption.

There are no changes to black bin household waste collections or clinical waste and sharps collections. Waste and recycling collections from properties with communal bins will carry on as normal (every two weeks).

Changes to collections and sort it recycling centres

Garden waste

Payments for garden waste renewals and new subscriptions have been suspended. The service will stop from Monday 30 March. This is so we can use the staff available to collect black bin waste and recycling.

Sort It recycling centres

All of our Sort It recycling centres are closed following the government guidance on social distancing.

Recycling and food waste

From Monday 30 March recycling and food collections will change from weekly to every two weeks and will be on the same day as your black bin.

Large household waste items

Bulky waste collections will be suspended from Monday 30 March until further notice.

Additional information

Your collections may take place later in the day than normal as we will be working in the evenings as well as during the day.

You may also see recycling collected in different vehicles.

We understand that some of these changes will be frustrating, but they are necessary to keep the main waste and recycling collections going during this difficult time.

Answers to your questions

Why do waste and recycling collections need to change?

Following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) we are expecting to have significant staff shortages and interruptions in the supply chain for waste disposal and recycling. Waste is an essential service and we need to do all we can to ensure everyone’s waste and recycling can be collected during this difficult time. To do this we need to make some changes to our collections so we can operate the service with minimum disruption to residents.

What do I need to do to get my black bin and recycling containers emptied?

Put your recycling containers out for collection on the same day as your black bin. Continue to put food waste in your separate food recycling bin to give you more space in your black bin and sort your recycling in your containers so we can spot any non-recyclable items and recycle as much as we can.

The biggest change to waste and recycling collections is for residents in houses. Recycling will now be collected every two weeks instead of weekly. There is no change to collections for residents in flats or with communal waste and recycling bins.

What should I do if I can’t fit all my recycling in my containers?

Squash cans and plastic bottles and flatten cardboard and cartons to save space in your containers. If you have items that will not fit, put them in a cardboard box or sturdy container no larger than the green recycling box.

What should I do with my waste if I, or someone in my household has coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you are self-isolating because you or a member of your household has coronavirus you should put personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths in disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. For further guidance for self-isolating households visit the GOV.UK website.

I have clinical waste/sharps that need to be collected. What do I have to do?

There are no changes to our clinical and sharps collections, so please carry on as normal if you already have a collection set up. If you need to set up a clinical waste collection or sharps collection check our Dispose of clinical and medical waste page or call 01454 868000.

I have ordered a new recycling container/black bin/nappy bags will they arrive?

We are prioritising deliveries for black bins and nappy bags. If you have ordered a recycling box, please use an alternative sturdy container or cardboard box for your recycling for the time being. We will fulfil recycling box and food recycling bin orders when we can.

Why have you stopped garden waste collections?

The garden waste collections have been stopped to free up the vehicles and staff normally used to collect it. We understand that this may be frustrating for those subscribed to the service, but we this means that we are able to collect everyone’s black bin and recycling waste with very little disruption.

Will you be offering refunds or extensions for garden waste subscriptions?

We are prioritising maintaining our services through this difficult time. A decision about refunds and/ or extensions will be made when the garden waste service can resume. In the meantime, please do not contact us about a refund or extension to your subscription.

What do I do if I have a bulky/large household item that I need to dispose of?

We have stopped our bulky waste collections due to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19). If the item is in good condition and reusable, see if you can arrange a collection with another organisation like Compass Group, the Sofa Project or British Heart Foundation Check our Collection of large household items page for more information.

Why are you collecting recycling in different vehicles?

As we have a significant reduction in staff at the moment, we may need to collect some recycling using other vehicles that can fit more in the back than our normal recycling vehicles. This means they don’t have to tip so often and we can complete our routes with fewer staff. Any mixed recycling collected in the other vehicles will be sent to a facility in Avonmouth to be sorted and then recycled. We may have to collect some food waste with the black bin waste in areas where we can’t get the normal recycling vehicles out.

Why can’t you normally send recycling to be sorted at Avonmouth?

There is legislation in place that means we must separate different recyclable materials. Under normal circumstances most of the recycling we collect does not need to go through an extra sorting process and is of a very high quality which means it can be easily recycled.

Due to a reduction of staff available following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) make some changes to our collections so we can operate the service with reduced staff with minimum disruption to residents, recycling as much as we can under difficult circumstances.

These changes are temporary so please continue to sort your recycling in your recycling containers. This helps us to minimise contamination and recycle as much as possible.

I have DIY waste/rubble to take to the Sort It recycling centre. Can I still take there?

All of our Sort It recycling centres are closed. Unfortunately, it was not possible to put in effective levels of social distancing that would protect our staff and residents from coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have non-household waste to dispose of, you may have to store it on your property or arrange for a skip service to remove it.

Any waste must be disposed of legally and responsibly, please make sure you are aware of your duty of care for the disposal of waste. Visit the GOV.UK  website for further information.

Why have you closed the Sort It recycling centres?

We have fewer members of staff due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and were unable to put in effective measures to protect them from coronavirus.

Will you return for missed collections?

If your bin or recycling collection is missed report it to us the day after your collection. Visit our Report a missed waste or recycling collection page.


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