Waste FAQs

What is the waste service?

  • a weekly collection of food waste from a small bin 
  • a fortnightly recycling collection in a wheeled bin for all your glass (bottle and jars), paper, cardboard, tins, cans, aerosols, food and drink cartons (like Tetra Paks), and plastics
  • a fortnightly rubbish collection of non recyclable waste in a wheeled bin (simply dispose of anything that is left over after the food and recycling) the option of a fortnightly collection of garden waste (for a small fee)

How many bins do I get?:

  • a small lidded bin for your food waste (23 litres)
  • a smaller caddy you can keep in your kitchen (7 litres)
  • a 180 litre wheeled bin for rubbish that can’t be recycled
  • a 240 litre wheeled bin for recycling
  • the option of a 240 litre wheeled bin if you sign up for the garden waste service

When is my collection day?

See the household collection page for more information.

Where do I put my bins for collection?

Instead of putting your waste out on the kerbside, we’ll collect it from just within the boundary of your property (‘curtilage’ collection).  This is where your front path or drive meets the road or pavement.  Bins must be clearly visible for the collection crews and they should be able to reach your bins by putting just one foot inside the boundary of your property.

We appreciate that not all homes are suitable for wheeled bins.  Homes with no side, front or rear access may have to remain on a sack system and we will make separate arrangements for people in flats or households where it is difficult to store wheeled bins. 

What happens if my bin is missing or damaged?

If your bin has gone missing and you need a replacement, please call 03000 610 610 (local call rate) or email admin.vale@biffa.co.uk.  Please note that we are unable to replace the small kitchen caddy that accompanies your food waste bin.  These are available to purchase from high street hardware stores.

My bins have not been collected

You can report a missed collection to us, but please only contact us if you put your rubbish/recycling out before 7 am on the morning of your collection. Call 03000 610610.  For more information and conditions about missed collections, visit our missed collections page.

If you put your collection out late and missed the collection round, you will need to either take your rubbish/recycling in and put it out again next week, or take it to one of the waste recycling centres.

Reasons why your bin collections may have been missed:

  • Don't forget, collection days may change over bank holidays. Check to see if your day has changed. Also check the calendar for your collection day/week.
  • If all other bins are still out in your street the collection team may not have reached you yet. There may have been road works or some other form of disruptions that have affected the collection team reaching you. We'd advise you wait until after 3pm before reporting this to us.
  • A different crew collect bulky household items like fridges or sofas
  • If you have put non recyclable items in your recycling bin or put out sacks alongside your bins.

What can I put in my food waste bin?

All your raw and cooked food waste including leftovers and spoilt food and we’ll collect them every week:

  • meat and fish – raw and cooked including bones
  • all dairy products such as cheese
  • raw and cooked vegetables and fruit
  • bread, cakes and pastries
  • rice, pasta and beans
  • uneaten food from your plates and dishes
  • tea bags and coffee grounds
  • cooking oil, lard and fats

What can I put in my recycling bin?

  • any paper and card including magazines, Yellow Pages and directories.
  • all steel and aluminium food and drink cans
  • aluminium foil 
  • plastic packaging including plastic bottles (tops off), food trays, yoghurt pots, margarine pots etc.
  • all glass bottles and jars (any colour) 
  • aerosols 
  • food and drink cartons (Tetra Paks) 
  • plastic bags

All these can go in your bin together and should be loose (no bagged materials). We won't empty your green wheelie bin if the recycling is in black or coloured sacks. All materials should be clean and have the labels removed.

What goes in my rubbish bin?

Hopefully not very much after you have removed your food waste and recycling but things like:

  • cling film
  • polystyrene
  • crisp packets
  • sanitary products
  • nappies
  • cat litter

What do I do with nappies?

Nappies should be placed in the grey wheelie bin. Disposable nappies take up a huge amount of space in waste sites.  They also result in huge amounts of untreated human waste being left to rot in the ground. 

Reusable nappies are a much better option and can also save you money. For more information about free real nappies trial kits please click this link http://www.oxfordshirerecycles.org.uk/cms/content/real-nappies

I don't think my property is suitable for wheeled bins. Can I use sacks instead?

In order to provide the most efficient and cost effective service we need as many residents as possible to use the standard service with the standard size bins.  There are also health and safety issues with the use of sacks (the new vehicles are specially adapted for wheeled bins) therefore we need to keep the number of properties on sacks to a minimum.

If you think your bins are too big (and you would not be able to fill them) or you have to keep the bins outside the front of your property (not including the road) unfortunately this does not automatically mean you qualify for sacks. 

Use of sacks will only be available: a) if all the adults living at a property have a physical disability or infirmity that prevents them from being able to place waste in, or move, a wheeled bin b) if a property has a physical barrier preventing a wheeled bin from being safely moved to its collection point (such as no front, side or rear access and the bin would have to be wheeled through the house) c) any other exceptional circumstance as requested by residents and agreed by the council.

A visit from an officer may be necessary to determine your suitability for using sacks.  If you feel you meet the criteria above please contact us and we will arrange for an officer to visit you.

Can I get more bin liners for my food caddy?

We do not routinely provide free food waste caddy liners. Your caddy can be lined with a couple of sheets of newspaper, or using biodegradable or plastic bags. Alternatively food waste can be placed in the caddy loose. 

Can I have a smaller or second wheelie bin for my recycling?

Unfortunately, the cost and practicalities of offering a service like this would not be sustainable in the long run. For us to provide different sized bins based on the amount of waste a household produces, every time occupancy in a household changes we could find ourselves swapping the bins in order to suit the individual needs of the household.  The costs of providing this service would be significant and would ultimately fall on tax payers. Over the life of the contract we could end up swapping thousands of bins as families get larger or smaller when people move home or their circumstances change.  This wouldn’t be an efficient use of the council’s resources and is ultimately why we're not introducing the service.

The capacity of your bin might seem excessive to your needs at present, but at certain times of the year (such as over Christmas) the majority of households find they produce additional waste. In this situation, you may find you fill your bins.

If your property has no space to store a wheeled bin you may qualify for our alternative sack collection. We also offer help to elderly and disabled residents with our assisted collection service if moving the wheeled bins causes difficulty.

Why are there microchips in the bins?

Don’t worry, it’s not Big Brother! The new bins contain a microchip which has a serial number that relates to the address the bin belongs to. This helps us track lost bins, as well as the behind the scenes logistics that you will not have to worry about, such as:

  • measuring the weight inside the bins (they can’t check contents) to give us fast, accurate data and reports
  • identifying if there are areas of the district recycling less, or throwing away more rubbish - so we know which areas would benefit the most from communication campaigns / recycling awareness
  • helping to plan more efficient routes to reduce fuel consumption
  • improving the efficiency of the crews (they can see the collection route for the day) and reducing the number of missed collections.
  • Helping us to deal with customer queries better because we will have “live” information, for instance, why a bin hasn’t been collected or where the crew are on the rounds

We don’t intend to use the micro-chipped bins to introduce rubbish charging based on the amount of rubbish households throw away. However, these bins are expected to last up to 25 years and the Government may introduce legislation forcing us to introduce such a scheme, so this future-proofs us and saves money in the future as it will cost about eight times as much to fit chips retrospectively.

Will I get in trouble if I put items in the wrong bin?

If your bin does have the wrong things in it, we won't empty it. If this happens, we’ll leave a note to explain. You'll have to remove the incorrect items and we'll empty it on its next scheduled collection day.  

It might seem a bit harsh, but we have a real problem with contaminated recycling.  This happens when things that shouldn’t go in the green bin - often things like food waste and dirty nappies - get mixed in with normal recyclable materials, which then go to waste.  Food waste goes in your food waste bin and nappies all go in the grey bin.

See our recycling, food waste, and rubbish pages to find out what goes in your bins.

How do I keep my bins clean?

You can try dropping an old newspaper into the bottom of the recycling bin after it has been emptied to soak up any liquids, which will fall out when the bin is next emptied. You may want to clean your bin with a hose or tip a bucket of soapy water in from time to time. There are also companies that can clean your bin for you, details of which can be found in your Yellow Pages.

What if I'm elderly/disabled and need help with my bins?

We offer a service to collect bins from a more convenient place for our elderly and disabled residents. To find out more about this service please visit our assisted collection page or call our hotline 03000 610610.

I do not want to participate in the service, can I opt out?

If you decide you do not want to use the new service, you can opt out and we will pick up the bins we have delivered.  Please be aware, however, that you will have to make your own arrangements for your waste disposal (unless we are satisfied that you meet the criteria for using the sack service). Opting out of the service will not qualify you for any form of refund or reduction in your council tax

Last reviewed: 04 - 01 - 2019

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