COVID-19 - Bins and recycling

Last updated: 4 June 2020 at 11.30am

We have temporarily changed the frequency of our bin collections and your waste bin is now being collected every fortnight to protect the service and bin crews during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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We are changing how often we collect your bins during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a temporary change and we will keep this under review and resume normal collections as soon as possible after the government restrictions have been lifted and we can safely do so. Five out of six local authorities across the country already have a waste collection service every other week – ours is a temporary change during the pandemic.

Please only put out your green recycling bin and glass container on your normal recycling collection date and your grey waste bin out on the opposite week. Check your bin collections dates.

We are sorry for the disruption and thank you for your understanding and ongoing support during this difficult time.

Key points:

  • This is a temporary change.
  • If you have a grey 140 litre waste bin you can leave out two additional bags for collection.
  • If you have a grey 240 litre waste bin this will be sufficient and no additional bags will be taken.
  • If you have a large family in your home you can apply for an additional bin if you do not already have one.
  • Assisted collections will continue.
  • Clinical waste collections will continue.
  • Recycling and glass collections will continue.
  • Please recycle – check you are recycling everything you can and get the whole house involved. Visit our recycling webpages to find out what you can put in your recycling bin.
  • Start looking at how much waste you throw away and how you can reduce this.
  • Start squashing your waste like yoghurt pots to maximise the capacity of your grey bin.
  • Love Food Hate Waste – never before has it been so important not to waste food. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for some great tips and advice.

We understand that having fortnightly waste collections is a concern for some people, please read our tips and advice on reducing your waste.

Household (black/grey bin) waste

Why are my waste collections now fortnightly?

As with councils up and down the country, following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID–19), our waste contractor Serco has seen a reduction in staff due to self isolation.

Due to the reduction in staff we have had to move to a temporary fortnightly collection of waste to ensure all residents receive a regular waste collection.

What if my bin isn't big enough, what should I do?

The bins we provide: In 2016 we moved to providing 140 litre wheeled bin for waste as standard for households of up to four people. Most residents across Basingstoke and Deane still have a 240 litre bin for their waste and this should provide plenty of space for a household's fortnight worth of waste.

Your temporary collection: Your grey/black waste bin is for items you would normally put in your kitchen bin. For those who have a 140 litre wheeled bin you will be able to leave up to two bags of extra waste next to your bin on collection day.

Leaving extra waste: We strongly suggest using your bin for ‘dirty waste’ such as food waste and nappies. Pop your ‘clean waste’ such as plastic packaging and cartons in a separate bin liner to leave next to your bin. This will really help reduce the chance of cats and foxes trying to rip open the bags. In all cases, please double bag your refuse.

Recycling: Now is an ideal time to check you are recycling everything you can. Put all plastic bottles (no other kind of plastic) tins, cans, aerosols, paper and card in your green bin and glass bottles and jars in your glass crate.

All recycling bring sites and charity shops have had to close so please keep hold of any items that you were going to take.

Composting: Now might just be a great time to try composting. It is the perfect time of year and you can put all garden waste and fruit and veg peelings in/on a compost bin or compost heap. Visit https://getcomposting.com for more information.

Why can’t I put out any extra rubbish? It’s only a bag or two?

We understand this is going to be difficult for people but we cannot take extra waste. A collection round is made up from 1000-1300 households, If everyone left an extra bag or two of waste that would be over 2000 bags. This fills the vehicle up more quickly meaning more trips to the incinerator and is an extra time pressure on limited staff, which may result in not all bins on a round being emptied.

Will I be able to get a bigger bin?

This is a temporary measure and we will not be providing larger bins for this period.

Does having fortnightly collections pose health risks?

No it doesn't, five out of six councils across the UK collect waste fortnightly or less frequently, some have been doing so for as long as 21 years. Waste should be in liners and put inside your bin. For excess waste you can double bag it or tie your kitchen liners before placing them in a bin liner to tie up and put out for collection.

Will my bin smell more and will I get maggots?

It is up to each householder to keep their bin clean. If your waste is bagged and tied tightly this will help with odours. On a warm day a fly egg can turn from egg to maggot in just eight hours where it will stay and feed for five days. Maggots can be found on bins no matter if the collection is weekly or fortnightly. The key is keeping your bin clean and free of spillages.

If you are concerned about maggots and keeping your bin clean, please take a look at 'how to stop maggots in your rubbish bin'.

How to stop maggots in your bin

Flies are naturally attracted to rubbish, but there are a number of ways you can minimize the maggots finding their way into your bin.

  • Make sure your bin closes firmly – avoid overloading your grey waste bins, so that the lid does not shut properly.
  • Cover all food left out on your kitchen counter and use fly spray or fly papers in your home to keep it fly-free.
  • Rinse food packaging – including recyclable containers – before putting them into the bin.
  • Make sure food scraps are kept in a sealed container in the kitchen, or even the freezer, until they can be disposed of on your collection day.
  • Wrap disposable nappies, the contents of litter trays or other pet waste, and meat or fish scraps before putting them in the bin.
  • In hot weather, empty your kitchen bin more often and store the contents in a cool place.
I live in a flat and our communal bins are always full

We will be making separate arrangements for those flats who cannot accommodate a fortnightly collection.

Why we aren't cancelling recycling collections?

Recycling is a very important part of our service which residents keenly use. We have a duty, under the Environmental Protection Act, to provide a recycling service to residents and we are committed to recycling for environmental and economical reasons. This is why we are also maintaining this service along with the waste collection service. However, we must also consider the disposal of waste and recycling and not only the collections. Infrastructure in Hampshire has been developed based on all local authorities offering a waste and recycling service. If authorities chose to cancel recycling services the infrastructure would not be able to deal with the vast increase in waste to the incinerators.

We know that not everyone is recycling all that they can and that over 30% of recyclables are put into the grey bin. If people recycle everything possible they will create more space in their grey bins.

I have children in nappies/incontinence waste, what should I do with it?

This waste is fine to be bagged and placed in your black/grey wheeled bin.

What happens if I forget to put my bin out?

You will have to wait until your next collection so it is really important to remember. IF IN DOUBT, PUT BOTH BINS OUT. Your black/grey bin will be collected on the opposite week to your recycling. If you don’t put your recycling out on every collection or you are unsure of what week your waste is being collected pop it out for collection on your normal day just to make sure.

I don't have a bin and I am waiting for it to be delivered. Where am I supposed to store the waste for a fortnight?

We are prioritising the delivery of grey bins to those who don’t have them and have ordered one. If you have a shed, garage or container where you can leave the bags in the meantime please do.

Will the council provide me with waste sacks?

No sorry, you will have to provide your own waste sacks.

What if rats, cats, foxes or other animals try to rip open bags?

We strongly suggest using your bin for ‘dirty waste’ such as food waste and nappies etc. Pop your ‘clean waste’ such as plastic packaging and cartons in a separate bin liner to leave next to your bin. This will really help reduce the chance of cats, foxes, rats or other animals trying to rip open the bags.

What happens if my bin is missed?

We will still be returning for bins where staff have missed them. We will not be able to return if your bin was not out for collection.

Will this increase fly-tipping?

We are still offering a regular waste collection so ask people to keep hold of their waste until their collection day.

I am on an assisted collection and have a small kitchen bin as I can’t carry much to my bin. What should I do if my bin is full and I cannot carry a black bin liner to the bin?

Keep a bin liner next to your wheelie bin and place your kitchen bin bags inside as you go. It is also a good idea to keep your extra bin bag for things like plastic packaging and cartons, things that won’t attract cats and foxes.

Now that we are at home, we are creating more waste, what happens when my bin is full?

We will not be able to collect extra waste if you have a 240 litre wheeled bin so now is the time we really need you to look at what you are wasting and take recycling seriously.

Are you recycling all of your plastic bottles, tins, cans aerosols, paper and card?

Can you buy items in less packaging or swap for items that can be recycled, for example fruit juice in bottles instead of cartons, butter in a wrapper instead of tubs

Waste less food by loving your left overs and planning your meals.

I am self-isolating and I can't put my bin out - what should I do?

Self-isolation should not prevent you or a member of your family from putting your bin out. If you are so ill and there is no other able bodied person to assist you, or you live alone, then please contact us.

Will I receive a reduction in my council tax as my waste bin is being collected fortnightly?

Council tax is not a measure of the services provided to each home. The borough council only retains approximately 8% of the council tax that you pay, as the rest goes to Hampshire County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority and, if appropriate, your town or parish council. Basingstoke and Deane always strives to give residents value for money, which is why Basingstoke and Deane’s part of the council tax is the lowest of all district councils in Hampshire, while most of those councils have an alternate weekly waste collection on a permanent basis.

The decision to go to fortnightly collections is not about saving money. It is about ensuring that waste services are able to continue through this difficult period whilst protecting the front line staff. Crew members have to self-isolate if they have symptoms in order to protect themselves and residents. Without the changes, overstretched crews would find it difficult to make it to all homes on each round, but by doing this we can make sure everyone gets a collection.

Why are you bringing back garden waste and bulky collections before weekly waste collections?

We do not yet have the number of staff required to reintroduce weekly collections of waste in Basingstoke and Deane. We continue to monitor the number of staff available to do this. The number of staff needed to carry out garden waste collections is less than the number needed to carry out household waste which is why the garden waste service and bulky collections are being reintroduced first. We are reintroducing services in stages with those requiring the fewest staff being reintroduced first.

Recycling collections

Collections are operating normally. If your collection has been missed please visit our bin collection update page to check if there have been any issues in your area.

Garden waste collections

The garden waste service will restart from Monday 15 June 2020 for existing customers.

Visit our garden waste webpage for further information.

When will garden waste collections start again?

Plans are in place to restart the service in mid-June, we will publicise the date as soon as it is confirmed.

Can I have a refund for garden waste?

Sorry no, but your subscription will be paused and then re-started when the service does so you will still receive a full year of collections for your annual service charge.

Why can't I have a refund?

Our staff are focused on providing key and essential services and we will not have the resource to carry out refunds. The service ‘Terms and Conditions’ state that the cost of the service is non-refundable. Although you will miss collections while the service is suspended. The number of collections to which you have subscribed will remain the same and your contract end will be changed to reflect this.

How else can I dispose of garden waste?

Please consider making a compost heap at home. We also do not want to encourage residents to make non-essential journeys at this time. For information on composting containers please visit www.getcomposting.com.

The household waste recycling centre (HWRC) will re-open on Monday 11 May 2020. The HWRC will open under temporary revised daily opening hours of 10am to 4pm. Social distancing rules will apply. Some materials are not accepted.

Healthcare waste

Collections running as normal.

Assisted collections

If you currently receive an assisted bin collection from us, we will continue to provide you with this service. Letters are being sent out to all customers who have assisted collections.

Bin deliveries

From Tuesday 26 May we will be resuming our normal service and taking orders for all waste and recycling containers.

Recycling bring sites

The bring sites are all open with the exception of Morrisons.

Many textile and clothing banks are currently closed. Please do not leave bags around these banks.

Household waste and recycling centre (the tip)

The household waste recycling centre (HWRC) re-opened on Monday 11 May 2020.

The HWRC has re-opened for those who cannot store waste safely at home. The HWRC is open under temporary revised daily opening hours of 10am to 4pm.

Social distancing rules will apply. Some materials are not accepted. For further information, visit Hampshire County Council's website.

Bulky waste collections

From Tuesday 26 May you will be able to book a collection for bulky household items.

General waste and recycling FAQs

What shall I do with my rubbish if someone in my home has or suspects they have Coronavirus?

Guidance states: Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Will waste and recycling collections be disrupted?

It is likely that other waste and recycling collections will see disruptions or changes in frequency. Provision of services will be based on staff availability.

Can you hire more staff?

Unfortunately no. There has long been a national shortage of HGV drivers and their services are going to in even greater demand over the coming months in supporting the NHS and food supply industries.  Waste collection services can be dangerous and a higher ratio of less experienced staff increases the risk of accidents.

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    Basingstoke
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    Fridays
    8.30am to 4.30pm
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