Waste service information during Covid-19 pandemic

Released on March 25, 2020

Most collections are running as normal. 

The garden waste service is open again to new customers - more info here  and we have also reopened our bulky waste collection service - online orders only - more here

And we have resumed our kerbside collections for batteries, small electricals and textiles. 

Warning: Recently a fire broke out on one of our bin trucks after a resident in Great Western Park put batteries in their recycling. Please do not put batteries or any electrical items in your bins for the safety of our crews and people nearby. 

Last week our teams also found a helium gas canister in a residents recycling. Please don't dispose of canisers in your waste or recycling as they can explode and cause a fire inside the vehicle. They need to be disposed of at a waste and recycling centre.

  • We must remind people that gatherings like community litter picks should no longer be taking place until the government guidelines allow, and until our waste contractos is able to cope with the extra waste collection.

What to do with waste if you have Covid-19 or symptoms of Covid-19

Based on government guidelines, we are asking residents with symptoms of Covid-19 to double bag any discarded tissues and other waste and leave for 72 hours before placing them in their main black rubbish bin.

Missed bins?

Our waste contractor, Biffa, has suffered some staff shortages due to illness and self-isolation but is managing this by redeploying staff and using agency drivers.

However, with new crew members unfamiliar with the routes and in some cases fewer staff, it’s likely that on occasions, crews might not be able to complete all of their daily rounds and so some bins might not be emptied on their usual collection day. We empty 200,000 bins every week and so even a moderate level of disruption to our usual staffing can cause delays.

  • The advice for residents is as follows: if the bins in your street are not emptied, please leave them out for up to three days (including weekends) and we’ll try to catch up. If still not emptied, bring them back in and we will empty them on the next planned collection day.
  • We are working with Biffa to prioritise critical waste services. To help us with this plan we have suspended some non-essential services new garden waste subscriptions and investigating abandoned vehicles.  
  • We urge people to sort their waste carefully - food in food waste bins (you can put extra food waste in liners on top of your food waste bin), rubbish in black bins and clean, dry, loose recycling in their green recycling bins.
  • We’re also recommending residents wash their hands before and after taking the bins out to practice good hygiene for themselves and our bin crews.
  • Please don't leave waste in black bin bags next to litter bins to be collected, it is illegal and this requires our teams to do extra collections and makes it harder to provide the residential and communal services the teams are continuing to do