Waste collection changes FAQs
What's happening with green bin collections?
Green bin collections have now been reinstated on the normal schedule of collection. If your green bin was due to be collected during the two week suspension, it will now be collected on your next scheduled collection i.e. due Monday 6 April, it will be collected as normal on Monday 20 April.
Green bin collections were suspended on Monday 6 April for an initial period of one month. We reduced the number of crew members per vehicle from three to two which caused delays in the collection of recycling and refuse, so green bin collections were suspended so that those crew members could support the recycling and refuse crews. Now, thanks to help from Warwickshire County Council, we are able to increase crew numbers back to three to make green bin collections happen again.
This method will be trialled from Monday 20 April and we will be reviewing this on an ongoing basis, so please bear with us.
How are you ensuring the safety of your crews?
With support from Warwickshire County Council’s School Transport team, a third crew member will be transported behind the recycling vehicle in a taxi. This means that two of the crew can safely distance inside the main vehicle, and the third crew member will be safely distanced from the transport driver in the second vehicle. The crew will ensure they keep a safe distance from each other when emptying the green bins.
How are these taxis being funded?
There is no cost to Warwick District Council for the use of these vehicles. As with many other Councils, resources that are not currently in use due to the Coronavirus restrictions are being used to support the delivery of vital services.
What's happening with recycling & refuse collections?
Refuse collections will operate in the same way as green bin collections, with 2 crew members in the vehicle and a third crew member being driven by a County Council transport vehicle.
Recycling collections will continue to operate with 2 crew members per vehicle so there may be a longer delay than usual in these being collected. Please leave your containers out at the roadside and we will get to them as soon as we can.
What alternatives are there to the green bin?
One of the best environmental solutions is to compost food waste at home if you’re able to. Information about home composting can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/composting along with various compost bin offers from £9.99 (plus delivery) for households interested in getting started.
Residents may also be interested in www.lovefoodhatewaste.com which has useful tips on reducing food waste including food storage, making the most of the food we have, portion sizes, recipes for leftovers and more.
After the above, the only other option is to put food waste in the grey bin if you don't have a green bin. We would advise that food waste is wrapped or contained in newspaper, plastic carrier bags, refuse sacks, etc. to help keep your grey bin clean and contain any smells.
What should I do with the food and garden waste that’s already in my green bin when collections were suspended?
Garden waste can be left in your green bin until your next scheduled collection.
Where possible, remove any food waste from your green bin and put it in your grey refuse bin for collection. Alternatively, cover food waste with a layer of garden waste and store your green bin in a shady place with the lid firmly shut.
Please do not put garden waste in your grey refuse bin.
Will you collect additional garden and food waste now that the service has resumed?
We will only be able to collect garden and food waste that is contained in the green wheeled bin. It is too dangerous for the collection crews to manually empty garden and food waste into the back of the collection vehicle due to the automatic bin lifting mechanisms.
Please try to manage your garden and food waste at home. Residents may wish to:
- Compost at home - please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/composting for information about home composting along with various compost bin offers from £9.99 (+ delivery). Alternatively, create a compost heap in your garden for free.
- Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com which has useful tips on reducing food waste including food storage, making the most of the food we have, portion sizes, recipes for leftovers and more.
- Put food waste in your grey refuse bin – wrap or contain it in newspaper, plastic carrier bags, refuse sacks, etc. to help keep your grey bin clean and contain any smells.
Will there be any further changes?
It may be necessary to make further changes to services over the coming weeks. Please visit the waste service disruptions page and follow us on WDC News on Facebook and Warwick_DC on Twitter for regular service updates.
Wouldn't it have been better to suspend recycling collections?
There are a number of reasons why the decision was made to suspend green bin collections rather than other waste collection services:
- The Council has a statutory duty to collect refuse and recycling. Provision of a separate garden waste collection service is discretionary.
- With residents staying at home the amount of refuse and recycling being produced has increased. The decision was made to focus resources on these services.
- Not all households would be willing or able to store their recycling at home if the recycling service was suspended. Recycling may end up in the grey refuse bin.
- Recycled material plays an important part in the health of the economy, providing raw material to make new products, as well as protecting the environment.
- There are alternative ways of managing garden and food waste such as composting at home, reducing food waste, putting food waste in the grey refuse bin, etc. This is not the case for refuse and recycling.
Why weren’t residents given more notice about the green bin service suspension?
We’re sorry that more notice couldn’t be given on the green bin suspension. It became necessary to reduce the size of our collection crews for their own protection and safety during this emergency. The Council was investigating different options to try and maintain all waste collection services but unfortunately none of these were feasible.
Why is my recycling being put into a refuse truck?
To help protect our recycling crews we have reduced the size of crews down to 2 operatives to help with social distancing. This means that collections are taking a lot longer, particularly for this labour intensive service.
Additional recycling crews are supporting the normal red box/bag collections to ensure the continued provision of the service. The recycling vehicles used in Warwick District are specialised and not readily available for hire if additional vehicles are needed. Therefore, the support crews are using refuse trucks and are mixing recycling in the back of these vehicles. The mixed recycling is then taken to PURE Recycling in Ettington, Stratford-Upon-Avon, where it is sorted into different materials and then sent on for recycling.
Please continue to sort your recycling as much as possible and present it in the normal way as the majority of crews will still be sorting as they collect.
What happens to recycling that is mixed together in the collection truck?
We have additional recycling crews out at the moment supporting the normal red box/bag collections to ensure all recycling is collected as scheduled. These support crews are using different vehicles which hold all materials mixed together. We are asking residents to continue to sort their recycling as much as possible and present it in the normal way, because the majority of crews will still be sorting as they collect.
Any mixed recycling will be taken to PURE Recycling in Ettington, Stratford-upon-Avon where it is sorted by hand and machine into different materials before being sent to manufacturers to be made into new products.
This video helps to explain the basic principles of the process.
Why can’t I have a wheeled bin for my recycling?
Warwick District Council operates a kerbside sort method of recycling where recycling is sorted into different material types during collection. Although this method asks for more input from residents and is more time consuming for the collection crews, the benefits in terms of the end use of the recyclable material are greater and it is a more cost effective system for the Council.
Recycling companies have placed much greater restrictions on the quality of material that they will accept for recycling. Material from kerbside sort systems will often be prioritised over material from systems where recycling is mixed together in a bin. Where recycling is mixed in a wheeled bin, there are sometimes issues with materials becoming contaminated with food, liquids, glass shards, etc. or being mixed with non-recyclable items.
In most cases, the material from Warwick District can be sold onto recycling companies, whereas with a mixed recycling collection, Councils have to pay to send the recycling to be sorted at a sorting facility before it is then sent for recycling.
Can I put additional waste out for collection?
We are asking residents to look at ways of reducing their waste to help our refuse and recycling collections crews. The collection crews are working even harder than normal with reduced numbers to collect your refuse and recycling. Please help support your amazing collection crews and these important services by reducing your waste and sorting your recycling. Please visit our recycling pages for help on sorting your recycling.
Households can present extra recycling next to their red boxes/bags in carrier bags (untied), small cardboard boxes or your own tubs. However, each additional container should only contain one type of material e.g. paper in one container, tin/cans in another, etc.
All refuse should be contained in your grey wheeled bin. Please do not leave additional bags of refuse beside your bin.
Residents may also be interested in Love food hate waste which has useful tips on food storage, making the most of the food we have, portion sizes, recipes for leftovers and more.
Will I get a refund on my Council tax due to suspension of the green bin service?
Your Council Tax will not change as a result of any changes to your recycling and waste collections during this crisis.
Can I burn my waste at home?
Please do not burn your waste at home. Coronavirus can cause significant respiratory problems and smoke coming from fires could further worsen breathing difficulties. There is also the danger that fires could get out of control. Please think of your neighbours and the environment and try to manage your waste in the following ways:
- Use your grey refuse bin for non-recyclable waste. All refuse should be contained in your grey wheeled bin. Please do not leave additional bags of refuse beside your bin.
- Use your red boxes and bags for recyclable materials. Find out what we collect and how to present it for collection.
- Compost garden and uncooked food waste at home - please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/composting for information about home composting along with various compost bin offers from £9.99 (+ delivery). Alternatively, create a compost heap in your garden for free.
- Put food waste in your grey bin whilst green bin collections are suspended. Wrap or contain it in newspaper, plastic carrier bags, refuse sacks, etc. to help keep your grey bin clean and contain any smells.
- If you have items that you would normally take to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre, please hold onto them until the sites re-open