Changes to bin collections consultation

Domestic waste (black bin)

Option for change

Everyone would move to having their domestic waste (black) bin collected once every three weeks, rather than on a fortnightly basis.

A recent study showed more than half of the black bin contents we currently collect could have been recycled.


Recycling everything possible could give you more space in your black bin.

Given that separate weekly food collection services are also proposed, it is anticipated that a move to less frequent black bin collections should be manageable.

Would we save anything?

This option is likely to deliver very significant savings.

Black bin FAQs

What happens to your black bin waste?

All the waste you put in your black bin is sent to a facility that extracts some recyclable items and the remaining waste is used as a fuel for an ‘advanced thermal treatment’, which produces a gas to drive turbines and make electricity. Although the process is not as harmful or as expensive as landfill, it does not make the most of recyclable items, so residents should try to place as many recyclable items as possible in their recycling bin.

Three weeks is too long between black bin collections, I won’t manage

If you recycle everything possible, most people should have enough capacity in their black bin. Our studies show that over half the contents of the average black bin could have been recycled instead.

Recycling as many items as possible helps reduce the amount of waste you put in your black bin. The option to collect food waste once a week will reduce the amount of waste in your black bin. We can also supply larger recycling bins if required.

Households of 6 or more residents can request a larger black bin (up to 360-litres) free of charge: one of our waste officers will help you to recycle as much as possible before agreeing to swap your black bin for a larger one. These larger bins are the equivalent of another week’s worth of bin space.

My bin will be too heavy for me to move if it’s only collected every 3 weeks

Any resident who struggles to move their bin can request a free assisted bin collection.

Three-weekly bin collections will encourage vermin

Vermin and flies are attracted by food. The weekly food collection service in a lockable caddy will address that.

My bin will smell - what will the council do about it?

There are 3 common sources that would cause your black bin to smell:

  • food waste has the potential to smell if it is left in your black bin. To avoid this, we would have a weekly food collection service
  • nappy waste can be an issue for families. The best solution is to tightly wrap them up in a nappy sack, and double bag if necessary. Families with lots of nappies may also be able apply for a larger bin
  • dog waste should also be tightly wrapped in plastic bags, ideally with a double bag

Where do I dispose of nappies/adult hygiene materials?

You can place any absorbent hygiene products e.g. baby nappies, feminine sanitary pads, and adult incontinence pads in your domestic (black) bin.

We may provide you with a larger black bin (360 litres) free of charge. These larger bins are the equivalent of another week’s worth of bin space.

We will look at each individual case and could make alternative collection arrangements if necessary, but this would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

What will I do with all my pet waste?

Any pet waste should be double bagged where possible. Some pet waste (including bedding) from vegetarian animals can be composted at home.

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