Recycling service redesign FAQs

When does the new service start?

How often will collections be?

What will I be able to recycle?

Is there any change to what I should put in my green wheeled bin?

I have put out my waste (bins or boxes) on the correct day but my collection was missed, what do I do?

I put my bins out on the wrong day, what do I do?

My garden waste was missed and I did put it out on the right day, what do I do?

Will you collect black plastic?

Why do you collect black plastic in the new service but you couldn't before? What happens to it?

Will you collect foil?

We don't have a recycling collection in our street at the moment; will we be able to from October 2017?

Why should I separate my recycling now, why can't the crews continue to do this?

I live on my own, do I have to have two boxes and separate my recycling?

I do not have room for more than one recycling box, what do I do?

I live in a small house and don't have room for a blue bag – can I put toilet rolls and cereal boxes in my recycling box?

What do I do with shredded paper?

I live in a flat – are my collection days changing?

I live in a flat – where do I leave my textiles and small electrical items?

What happens if my textiles get wet while waiting to be collected?

Is there a limit to the number of textile bags I can present?

I present my bins on the road at the back of my house – how do I know when the collection will be?

Why is my garden waste collected on a different day from my residual waste?

I subscribe to the garden bag scheme – how do I know when my garden waste bags will be collected?

Do you collect Tetra Pak now (fruit juice or milk cartons)? Why?

Can I order more recycling boxes?

I have received a blue bag, what do I do with it?

When will my blue bag for cardboard arrive?

Can I have more than one blue bag for cardboard?

Why do we need to put cardboard in a blue bag now?

I live in a flat with communal recycling bins which are kept in a bin store. How do we recycle cardboard?

What do I do with my food waste?

I haven’t received a letter telling me about the new service, what do I do?

Why is my collection day/week changing?


When does the new service start?

The new service starts week commencing Monday 16 October 2017. Full details can be found in the information pack sent to residents during September. Further information, including an online search facility enabling you to check your collection date, is available on our new service web pages at www.cheltenham.gov.uk/waste-recycling-redesign

How often will collections be?

Food waste collections will continue on a weekly basis as it does now. A separate crew collects food waste so this may be a different time from your refuse or recycling. Please make sure the food caddy can be easily seen so it is not missed.

You can use compostable liners, paper or any suitably sized plastic bag to line your food caddy.

Refuse and garden waste collections (if you subscribe to the garden waste service) will continue to be collected on a fortnightly basis although your garden waste may be collected on a different day from your refuse.

Recycling collections will continue on a fortnightly basis and for most residents this will be on the alternate week from refuse. Please refer to the letter you have been sent setting out your own collections dates or refer to the search tool at www.cheltenham.gov.uk/bin-collection-days

What will I be able to recycle?

You will be able to recycle more than you can now. You can now recycle more cardboard, including brown corrugated cardboard by presenting it all in the separate blue bag. Please note that the collection teams can only take cardboard which is presented in the blue bag.

In one recycling box all plastic pots, tubs and trays can be recycled in addition to plastic bottles, this even includes black coloured plastics. Tin cans, clean foil and tin trays can be recycled in the same box as the plastics along with aerosol cans.

In a separate recycling box please put all your clean rinsed glass (bottles and jars) and mixed papers.

Small electrical items like toasters, DVD players, remote controls, mobile phones and handheld power tools can be put in a separate carrier bag with the handles tied and put out on top of or next to either of the recycling boxes.

Household batteries can also be presented in a separate tied carrier bag and put out on top of or next to, the recycling boxes.

Old clothes (textiles) and shoes can be put in separate bags with the handles tied to keep dry (textiles in one bag, shoes in another bag etc) and presented in, or on top, of either of your recycling boxes. Please note textiles must be kept dry or they cannot be collected.

Please remember that high quality textiles and paired shoes can be donated to charities – either to a shop or in the bags that charities post through your doors.

You cannot recycle Tetra Pak (milk or fruit juice cartons) at the kerbside, but these items can go to one of the recycling banks or be taken to the Swindon Road Household Recycling Centre.

Is there any change to what I should put in my green wheeled bin?

All recycling such as paper, clean rinsed glass and all mixed plastics and tin cans, should be put in your green recycling boxes. Cardboard should be put in your blue cardboard bag. All food waste should be put in your food caddy. Any other items that cannot be recycled can go inside your green wheeled bin but please make sure the bin lid is closed. Your refuse is then compacted and sent to landfill. Please remember garden waste cannot be put in your green wheeled bin, just refuse. You can subscribe to the garden waste service by calling customer services on 01242 262626 or by applying online at www.cheltenham.gov.uk/garden-waste

I have put out my waste (bins or boxes) on the correct day but my collection was missed, what do I do?

You can report missed collections online. Alternatively, please telephone customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk who will request that the crews return. Please report a missed collection within two working days or after 3.30pm on collection day. Crews normally return the following day, however immediately after the service change on 16 October 2017 this may take a little longer so please leave your bins, boxes, food caddy or blue bag for cardboard out at kerbside until collection.

I put my bins out on the wrong day, what do I do?

If this happens in the first 2-4 weeks after 16 October 2017 please telephone customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk who will request that the crews return where possible however this cannot be guaranteed and you may need to wait until your next collection day. Please note: it is not possible to refund or reduce council tax liability if you are unsatisfied with the service you receive.

My garden waste was missed and I did put it out on the right day, what do I do?

You can report missed collections online. Alternatively, please telephone customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk who will request that the crews return. Please report a missed collection within two working days.

Will you collect black plastic?

Yes, black plastic can be put in your recycling box with the other mixed plastics and cans/tins.

Why do you collect black plastic in the new service but you couldn't before? What happens to it?

Previously only plastic bottles were collected, including black bottles however pots, tubs and trays could not be put into the recycling box. The new service enables residents to recycle all plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays including black plastic which is recycled with all the other plastics collected.

Will you collect foil?

Yes, clean foil can be put in your recycling box with your cans and mixed plastics or taken to one of the recycling bring sites.

We don't have a recycling collection in our street at the moment; will we be able to from October 2017?

The letter the council sent you in September 2017 advised all residents which collections they would receive. Our new recycling vehicles make it easier to access more areas than before. If you have any queries about this please telephone customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk

Why should I separate my recycling now, why can't the crews continue to do this?

The council sells the material it collects for recycling meaning that the cleaner and better sorted it is, the more the authority will receive which then goes to offset some of the costs of collecting it and helping to keep council tax rises low. In addition it takes a lot of time presently for the crews to sort recycling at the kerbside, all the while using diesel and so to support the service, and to ensure that it is provided as cost effectively as possible, it is important that residents do sort their recycling to assist us in speeding up the collections. This also means that the crews spend less time blocking roads and pavements providing another benefit to the residents and visitors of Cheltenham.

I live on my own, do I have to have two boxes and separate my recycling?

If you live on your own and do not generate much recycling or do not have room for more than one box you can put glass, paper, plastic and tins in one box and use the blue bag for cardboard.

I do not have room for more than one recycling box, what do I do?

You will need one recycling box for glass, paper, plastics and tins and one blue bag for cardboard. If you have more recycling than will fit in one box you will need to request more recycling boxes and the recycling should be sorted.

I live in a small house and don't have room for a blue bag – can I put toilet rolls and cereal boxes in my recycling box?

No. Any cardboard must be put in the blue bag provided.

What do I do with shredded paper?

Shredded paper must be put inside an envelope or paper bag and put in the recycling box with your glass and paper or taken to one of the recycling bring sites or the Swindon Road Household Recycling Centre.

I live in a flat – are my collection days changing?

If your collection day is changing you will have either received a letter or you will have a sticker put on the lid of the bins in your bin store on the day of your first collection on or shortly after 16 October 2017, stating which collection day your waste/recycling will be collected.

I live in a flat – where do I leave my textiles and small electrical items?

Your textiles, small electrical items and household batteries must be left in your bin store or presented next to or on your recycling boxes if you currently use the green recycling boxes that are presented at kerbside. Please remember that these items can only be presented in a tied carrier bag and textiles must be kept dry. We cannot collect wet textiles and these will be rejected.

What happens if my textiles get wet while waiting to be collected?

We are unable to collect wet textiles so please ensure they are put in more than one bag that is sealed to keep textiles dry and also place them in either recycling box.

Is there a limit to the number of textile bags I can present?

No limit, but everything must be presented in supermarket sized carrier bags with the handles tied to keep them dry. We are unable to collect wet textiles/shoes and these will be rejected so please ensure they are put in more than one bag that is tied up or sealed to keep the textiles/shoes dry.

I present my bins on the road at the back of my house – how do I know when the collection will be?

Our records should tell us where your collection is made from and your letter should be correct taking into account your presentation point, however if you are unsure please telephone customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk and we can check the details for you.

Why is my garden waste collected on a different day from my residual waste?

Garden waste is a standalone service and different areas of the borough have differing concentrations of garden waste customers. The rounds have had to be reorganised to balance out the collections across the borough meaning that the minority of residents now have a different collection day.

I subscribe to the garden bag scheme – how do I know when my garden waste bags will be collected?

Your garden waste collection will stay on a Wednesday for the time being. This may change in the future and you will be notified prior to any change by letter. Please note, membership of the garden bag scheme is limited for operational reasons and is mainly for those residents who do not have enough space for an additional wheeled bin.

Do you collect Tetra Pak now (fruit juice or milk cartons)? Why?

No, we do not collect Tetra Pak cartons, however this can be taken to the household recycling centre at Swindon Road and some of the recycling bring sites located around the town (Morrisons - Canaervon Road, Church Piece Car park, Sainsbury's - Manor Road, Household Recycling Centre - Swindon Road).

Tetrapak is very expensive to process because the cartons are made up of four different layers of material which have to be separated in order for those component parts to be recycled. There is currently only one facility in the UK which recycles Tetrapak and it is based in Halifax so in addition to the high recycling process costs, it is also expensive to transport it there.

Tewkesbury Borough Council and Stroud District Council do collect Tetra Pak (fruit juice or milk cartons) because they operate a co-mingled/partial co-mingled service which means that all the recycling is mixed together in one wheeled bin and collected by a normal refuse style collection vehicle which compacts it. Cheltenham Borough Council is retaining a kerbside sort method of recycling collection, meaning that each of the materials goes into separate compartments on the vehicle and there isn't enough room for Tetra Pak in addition to paper, mixed plastics, tin cans, glass and cardboard as well as small electrical items, batteries and dry textiles/shoes.

Can I order more recycling boxes?

You can have up to four recycling boxes. Please order extra boxes using our online form or contact customer services on 01242 262626 or email cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk who can order more for you if you need them. Recycling boxes are normally delivered within a month of the request however due to the increased volume of recycling boxes requested this may take longer.

I have received a blue bag, what do I do with it?

Please keep your new blue reusable cardboard bag until the new service starts on 16 October 2017. From 16 October you can put all types of cardboard in the blue bag and present it at kerbside for collection on the same day as your recycling boxes are collected. From this date mixed plastics and cans need to be presented in one recycling box, not the blue cardboard bag, and your glass and paper should be put in a second recycling box, not the blue cardboard bag. If you need an extra box, you can order one online or contact customer services on 01242 262626. Any textiles or shoes must be kept dry and presented in a tied plastic bag and placed in either recycling box to keep the contents dry. Household batteries can be presented in a tied plastic carrier bag on the top of your recycling boxes. Small waste electricals can also be presented in a tied plastic carrier bag on top of either recycling box.

When will my blue bag for cardboard arrive?

All blue bags for cardboard are being delivered during September. If you have not received yours by the beginning of October please contact customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk who will be able to help you.

Plastics, cans, paper and glass cannot be put in the blue bag for cardboard.

Can I have more than one blue bag for cardboard?

Please contact customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk who can order one extra blue bag if you are unable to manage with just one bag.

Why do we need to put cardboard in a blue bag now?

All the recycling that is collected is sold on to re-processors and this income helps pay for the waste and recycling service in Cheltenham. To maximise our income it is important to keep the recycling materials (glass, paper, plastics, cans and cardboard) separate.

The decision taken by Cheltenham Borough Council's cabinet and full council as part of approving the new service took into account how cardboard is collected in neighbouring and other authorities.

The new blue bag for cardboard which is provided to residents in addition to the recycling boxes for other recycling materials like plastics, cans, paper and glass, has a weighted bottom to prevent it blowing away in the wind and a lid with a Velcro flap to keep the worst of the rain out.

Plastics, cans, paper and glass cannot be put in the blue bag for cardboard.

I live in a flat with communal recycling bins which are kept in a bin store. How do we recycle cardboard?

Please contact your landlord or managing agent who can contact customer services on 01242 262626 or e-mail cleansing@cheltenham.gov.uk to request an extra bin for cardboard subject to storage space and a health and safety inspection by Ubico.

What do I do with my food waste?

Food waste should be put in your large green food caddy and presented every week where your bins and recycling boxes are put. A separate crew collects food waste so this may be a different time from your refuse or recycling. Please make sure the food caddy can be easily seen so it is not missed.

You can use a compostable liner, paper or any suitably sized plastic bag to line your food caddy.

I haven't received a letter telling me about the new service, what do I do?

If you or someone you know hasn't received a letter, please look online at www.cheltenham.gov.uk/waste-recycling-redesign for details of your new waste and recycling collection. For those residents who are unable to access the internet please contact customer services on 01242 262626 who will be able to help you.

Why is my collection day/week changing?

We are changing some of the collection areas to balance collections more evenly and cost-effectively across the borough. This will mean that around 80 per cent of households will see their refuse, recycling and food waste collection days change.

For some people both the day and week of your refuse and recycling collections will change. This means that you may have to go for more than 14 days before your first refuse or recycling collection after the change has been introduced. As a result, we appreciate that you may produce more refuse and recycling during this time. Ubico crews will collect additional refuse – as long as it's placed in refuse sacks by your green bin on your first new collection day. If necessary, additional recycling can be presented in an additional cardboard box on your first new collection day.