Last updated:

18th January 2024

Why we're introducing rubbish bins and keeping recycling bags

Why we're introducing wheeled rubbish bins

Most councils now use wheeled bins because they’re durable and easier to move around than loose bags. They hold 180 litres, the equivalent of two full blue bags.

Wheeled bins can help keep your street clean as, unlike loose bags, animals like rats, birds and foxes can’t tear wheeled bins open and scatter their contents.

They have a lid, which reduces smells and stops rubbish getting wet if it rains. You can label your wheeled bin with your property number and they’re easy to clean.

They last up to 20 years and can be recycled into new bins at the end of their life, so they’re sustainable and good value for money.

They also restrict how much rubbish can be thrown away, which is key to increasing recycling.

Why we're keeping green recycling sacks

We know some of you would like to have wheeled bins for your recycling as well, and we will consider this when we renew our waste collection contract in 2026.

However, when we committed to these changes, the Government had announced that councils would have to collect different types of recycling from different containers in future.

There have been further announcements since then, but we couldn’t risk wasting money by adopting wheeled recycling bins when we were unlikely to be allowed to use them.

Additionally, our existing collection vehicles couldn't take wheeled recycling bins because they couldn’t finish the rounds on time.

Recycling can't be compacted as much as rubbish, so it takes up more space inside the vehicle and the crews must return to the depot for emptying more often.

Despite this, they can take recycling when it's put out in sacks because these can be emptied quicker than bins. If the crews had to empty a recycling bin for every household on the rounds, it would take too long.

Taking steps towards a greener future

We couldn’t have waited any longer to make these changes because they’re urgently needed to make savings and protect our finances.

In the meantime, however, our green recycling sacks are absolutely fine if you close them tightly to prevent the contents getting wet in the rain.

As we explain on the next page, plenty of other councils have increased their recycling rates after switching to fortnightly rubbish bins and recycling sacks.

By phasing in changes to waste collections gradually, it will be easier for you to get used to them and change your habits if you need to.

Helping you make a difference 

When we last took a sample, about 62 per cent of what some residents were throwing away could have been recycled instead.

About 20 per cent of their blue bags’ contents was food waste, while another 20 per cent was items that should go in green recycling bags like paper, card and magazines, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays or tins, cans and aerosols.

By limiting the amount of non-recyclable rubbish that you can throw away, and changing the frequency of collections, you’re encouraged to think more carefully about what you could recycle – or consider other ways of reducing your waste, like buying items with less packaging.

Don’t forget: we aren’t limiting the number of green recycling bags that you can put out for kerbside collection. Find out how you can get more, free of charge, if you need them.

We only ask you to seal your green bags properly when you put them out, so the contents don’t get wet and can be recycled.

You can also collect your free food waste bins or subscribe to our garden waste collections - and we strongly recommend that you do.

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