Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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Household refuse collection

Green refuse bin - FAQs

Q: What can I put in my bin?

A: The green refuse bin is for the small amount of household waste left after you have removed all recyclable items and food waste. For details of how to dispose of different types of waste, please view our waste and recycling homepage.

Q: How often will the rubbish bin be emptied?

A: We will empty the green refuse bin every other week, alternating with the green recycling box.

The collection schedule is:
One week - green refuse wheelie bin and food waste caddy
Following week - green recycling box and food waste caddy

A more frequent collection will continue for certain blocks of flats and town centre properties where storage of multiple bins and boxes is not practical.

Q: What time must my bin be out?

A: All containers need to be out by 7am on the day of collection. Collection crews cannot return if your bin is put out late and you miss your collection.

Q: Will the collections be made at the same time every week?

The collection routes are planned and it is likely that your containers will be emptied at about the same time each collection day. However, occasionally operational difficulties (road works, vehicle breakdowns and so on) may result in the collection being undertaken at a different time, this could be earlier or later than the usual time. If your containers are not collected at the usual time, leave them out and if they haven’t been emptied by 3pm then please contact our customer services team. Containers which remain not emptied at the end of the day will usually be collected on the next working day.

Q: Where should I put out my bin for collection?

A: Your bin should be placed at the boundary of your property, as close as possible to the highway. The crew will return it to the same place from which it is collected.

Q. I live in a terraced house and put my waste out in bags. Do I have to use a wheeled bin?

A. If you do not have a wheeled bin and currently present your waste in bags you can continue to do so. You may present a maximum of 3 black sacks per household per fortnight.

Q: I am not physically able to put out my bin. What can I do?

A: Special arrangements can be made for residents who have difficulties putting out their bin for collection. Please contact us if you require assistance with this.

Q: My bin has not been emptied. What happens now?

A: Occasionally collections are missed. If the container has not been put out by 7am, it may well not be collected and the crew will not return until the next scheduled collection day - the collection crew’s record and report any instances where containers have not been put out for collection. If the bin contains items that should not be presented (DIY waste, stones/rubble, building material and so on), it will not be emptied.

If your collection has been accidentally missed and remains uncollected at 3pm on your collection day, please contact us or use our online form and we will aim to return on the next working day. Please ensure that you contact us within 48 hours of your scheduled collection otherwise we will be unable to return.

Q: My bin is damaged. What can I do?

A: Unsurprisingly, following many years of use, bins are subject to inevitable wear and tear. If your bin has become degraded in this way, you can contact us to purchase a replacement bin. When it is delivered, the old bin will be taken away to be recycled.

On rare occasions, a bin can be damaged during the emptying process. If you have experienced damage in this way (usually to the lid or the wheels), we will repair or, where necessary, replace your bin free of charge. Please contact us to report damage and to arrange a repair.

Q: Will you take as much rubbish as I put out?

A: No. To encourage residents to recycle as much as possible the council is restricting the amount of waste that can be collected. All rubbish and bags must be able to fit in the bin and the lid must be closed. Any other rubbish put out for collection to the side or on top of the bin will not be taken. The closed lid policy is a response to a tragic accident where a loader was killed when trying to put an overloaded bin onto the lifting mechanism on the back of the lorry.

Q: How do I dispose of bulky waste?

A: Bulky waste is usually recyclable. For details about how to dispose of different items, please have a look at our other ways to recycle pages. Alternatively, for a charge, the council will collect a maximum of 3 bulky items (domestic appliances, carpets, children's toys and so on). Find out how to arrange a bulky item collection.

Q: I have a child in nappies and we produce a lot of waste for landfill. How will I manage with the reduced frequency of the green refuse bin?

A: The council encourages all parents to use reusable nappies on their babies and toddlers, as it is a much more sustainable way to manage their waste. Gloucestershire County Council is offering all parents with children in nappies a £30 discount when you spend £50 or over on reusable nappies. Reusable nappies can save parents up to £600 on the first child, and much more by using the nappies again on subsequent children. More information on reusable nappies can be found at www.recycleforgloucestershire.com, including details and an application form for the offer.

Did you know that over 86,000 disposable nappies are thrown away in Gloucestershire EVERY DAY? And in the UK, it's over 7 million!

Q: Can I take waste to the Wingmoor Farm and Hempsted household recycling centres?

A: Yes, the recycling centres will still take the extra items of recycling that the council does not currently collect. You can also take excess waste that does not fit into your green refuse bin.

Q: I have a large family and we won't be able to cope with collections every other week for the green refuse bin. Can you help?

A: We recommend that you use the recycling services as much as possible to reduce the amount of waste in the green refuse bin. Where it can be demonstrated that there is a large household in residence consideration will be given in supply of a larger 360 litre wheeled bin, with each request judged on its merits.

Q: What happens if I put the waste into the wrong bin?

A: Putting rubbish into the wrong bin will cause contamination, so you will need to transfer it to the correct bin. Collection crews cannot collect any bins or boxes with the wrong waste in them.

Q: What do I do with my pet's waste?

A: Bedding and waste from vegetarian pets can be composted at home. Waste from other pets cannot be recycled or composted, and must go in the green refuse bin for general rubbish. Please make sure it is bagged.

Q: Isn't leaving the green refuse bin for two weeks a health hazard?

A: No, it is not a health hazard. By using the food waste recycling collection, which is collected weekly, any smells will be reduced. Please make sure the lid is closed and it shouldn't cause any nuisance at all.

Q: How do I keep my green refuse bin clean?

A: If a bin does become dirty, we advise that you swill it out with disinfectant or bicarbonate of soda after it has been emptied. (This does not apply to the brown garden waste bins.) You should rinse containers where appropriate.

Q: Doesn't the council have to collect my non-recyclable waste every week?

A: We have a duty to make arrangements to collect household waste. The law does not specify how these arrangements must be made.

Q: Why does my bin lid have to be shut for collection?

A: The bin lid has to be fully closed to allow the bin to be safely placed on the lifting equipment at the back of the vehicle. If the bin lid is open (even by a small amount), there is a real risk that the contents could stop the bin attaching properly and result in it falling from the lifting equipment during the emptying cycle. This would seriously jeopardise the safety of not only the collection operative but potentially a member of the public passing by. Our refuse collectors are not permitted to place their hands into wheeled bins to flatten down waste due to the risk of sharps (needles, syringes and glass etc) potentially being present.

Q: You have been collecting bins with open lids for years so why has safety suddenly become an issue?

A: There have recently been a number of fatalities in the waste collection industry and we need to ensure that we are doing all that we can to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees.

Q: Why isn’t this happening across the whole of the town?

A: It is a big change which needs to be mananged with existing resources.

Q: I have a problem with neighbours putting their rubbish in/next to my bin?

A: You need to have a conversation with your neighbours as the Council is not able to take any action.

Q: I live in a flat and the bins aren’t being emptied. Why is this?

A: This may be due to a problem with the way your bins are being used or stored. Our collection crews are only able to empty bins that are presented correctly with the lid closed. If the bin lid is open, or if there is an amount of side waste/flytipping blocking access to the bin(s), the crews will not be able to empty them. Also, please ensure that the bin store is unlocked by 7am on collection day to enable crews to access the bins.

If the communal bins are overfilled, or if your bin store is in a mess, please refer this problem to your management agent who will need to make arrangements to dispose of any excess waste before our crews return on the next collection day.

Further information on waste and recycling