Published on 15th October 2020

Recycling peresented at kerbside

Residents thanked for their recycling performance and encouraged to think differently about waste at home and at the household recycling centre.

At the end of March this year, the borough recycled 51.23% of its waste and the council wants to thank residents for their amazing effort so far but thinks Cheltenham can do even better.

To improve recycling rates even further and to keep crews safe, particularly during the pandemic, from Monday 2 November 2020, changes are being made to kerbside waste and recycling collections, and at the household recycling centre, as approved by the council’s cabinet on 13 October.

The council is launching an advice and information campaign called ‘waste nothing’ to help residents reduce how much they waste which could save them money and will encourage more recycling of precious resources with better separation and sorting of materials.

Changes at the kerbside:

Sorting recycling in green kerbside boxes

Many residents already sort all their recycling into different boxes however everyone is being asked to do so now. This helps the crews stay safe, particularly during the pandemic, complete their rounds more efficiently and enables them to collect better quality recycling.

Additional side waste

From 2 November 2020 all household rubbish will need to be placed inside wheeled bins with the lid fully closed. Properties without a bin are able to present a maximum of four black sacks per household per fortnight.

Households presenting additional side-waste or not sorting their recycling will get a pink sticker on their bin or box and can get help and advice from the website or by talking to the council.
Eventually, after a letter and a final warning sticker, additional bags of waste put on top of or next to bins - and unsorted recycling - will not be collected.

This would be a last resort, we want to help residents get it right.

Changes at the household recycling centre (HRC)

To ensure that less recycling is put into the residual waste skip at the HRC, householders will be encouraged to swap to either clear re-usable plastic bags or another type of reusable container which can easily be tipped into the skip. Householders will be encouraged to stop using single use black plastic bags over the next 12 months.

Cllr Chris Coleman, cabinet member for clean and green environment, says: “We want Cheltenham to be a clean green and sustainable town that recycles more and wastes less, and this work forms part of the council’s pledge to address the climate emergency.

“Despite the challenges of COVID-19, between March and May 2020, residents put out about 47 per cent more recycling than for the same time last year, and this trend is continuing so it is really important we sort it well so as much as possible is recycled again and again.

“We would like to thank everyone for their hard work and we’re thrilled with how well residents are recycling, however there’s still room for improvement, particularly around sorting the recycling in our boxes. There is lots of information on our website to help residents do this.

“We’d also like residents to consider how they can reduce the amount of single use plastic that they both use and throw away.

“The ‘bag splitting’ exercises carried out at the centre last year showed that about 50 per cent of the contents of the black bags could actually be recycled, and we want to stop this.

“This is a joint effort for us all and we ask that everyone plays their part.”

For further information on waste and recycling, visit the council’s website:

For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 464154, email


Read the full report on the council’s website under agenda item 6.

For kerbside collections, residents are asked to:

  • Make sure all rubbish is placed inside the bin with the lid fully closed. Bin lids must be closed for health and safety reasons following a fatal accident elsewhere in the country.
  • Bags of waste left on top or by the side of bins will not be collected.
  • Bins/boxes/bags need to be placed at the kerbside by 7am on collection day.  
    Receptacles can be presented from 6pm the day before the scheduled collection day.
  • Properties without a bin may present a maximum of four black sacks per household per fortnight.
  • Wheeled bin/recycling box(es)/food caddy must be returned to the property within 24 hours of collection.
  • Correctly sort and separate recyclable waste into designated receptacle in line with guidance.
  • Households presenting additional waste will, in the first instance, be contacted via a letter, bin tag or sticker, explaining how they should fully use their waste and recycling bins, bags and boxes.
  • The materials collected at kerbside are loaded into different compartments on the vehicles to keep them separate and ensure they are of good quality so they can go on to be recycled easily. Residents are asked to please remember to sort their recycling. Getting it right makes a big difference and means Ubico can recycle even more from the kerbside.