Frequently Asked Questions
To learn more about the refuse and recycling collection service, view our frequently asked questions.
The collection services changed during mid to late September 2013. Refer to the guidance below for more information on the changes to the collection services.
The changes come into effect once you've received the last recycling/composting collection detailed on your old recycling calendar. So once your bin has been emptied, please remember card and cartons now go in the blue bin and you can no longer recycling soft, flimsy plastics.
No, your collection day will remain the same. Please refer to your calendar or check your collection day here.
Why does my card need to go into my blue lidded bin now?
This includes all cardboard and brown paper products.
The contents of your brown bin are used to make compost and the national standards for compost have become stricter to ensure that it is of the highest quality. Unfortunately, cardboard with plastic coatings or sticky tape, staples and labels, as well as that which is heavily inked can lead to poor quality compost.
Taking cardboard out of the brown bin will enable us to create quality compost which can be spread to farmland. Recycling cardboard is even better for the environment, and it has a value, so the income generated will help to support council services.
Soft plastics include all plastic bags such as carrier bags and those for bread, fruit and vegetables for example, as well as flimsy food wrappings such as plastic films and shrink wrap. These should no longer be recycled.
Policy changes have led to less types of plastic accepted for recycling. There is no longer a secure outlet to recycle the very low quality soft plastics, so recycling facilities no longer want them. Soft plastics make a very small contribution to our recycling tonnage, but they significantly devalue our recycling. By removing these we can boost the quality of our recycling and therefore the income we receive for it. In turn this can be used to sustain council services in these financially challenging times.
You can continue to recycle all other types of plastic as you do currently in your blue lidded bin. This includes plastic bottles (drink, detergent, shampoo) and loose lids, yoghurt pots, ready meal trays, fruit/veg/meat trays, margarine/ice cream tubs and flower pots.
Please note, items such as crisp packets, chocolate/sweet wrappers, plastic netting, as well as plastic toys and buckets etc, should never be put in your blue lidded bin.
You can now recycle liquid food and drink cartons (for example Tetra Pak) in the main body of your blue lidded bin. This includes all juice, soup and milk cartons.
Historically cartons have not been collected because there were very few outlets that could recycle them. Over time, the markets for selling and the facilities for processing cartons have developed, so we are pleased that we can now collect these through the kerbside collection scheme.
Remember to make the most of the space in your bin. Squashing your plastic bottles and flattening cardboard will make space. Extra recycling can be taken to your local recycling centre. Remember that cardboard can be recycled at many recycling centres.
We expect most homes to be able to accommodate the changes, especially if people take care to flatten card and squash bottles. Unfortunately the council cannot provide additional blue lidded bins. Although the changes relating to cardboard and plastic must be made, we don't have the resource to fund the collection of additional blue lidded bins. If on occasions you have excess recycling, it can be taken to your local recycling centre.
Please try to avoid this by reading the information available on our website and in your recycling leaflet carefully and contacting us if you are unsure about anything. Unfortunately we won't be able to collect your bin if it contains something it shouldn't. We'll leave a notice to say why it couldn't be collected and the item(s) will need to be removed before the next collection.
Yes, shredded paper can continue to go into your brown bin, or even better, is ideal for home composting.
You can use newspaper or paper bags to wrap your food waste; you should no longer use cardboard. Please remember, we are unable to empty brown bins that include food waste contained in plastic bags or corn starch 'plastic looking' compost bags, so please do not use these.
You may find it takes longer to fill up your brown bin. Neighbours may share bins if they wish, contact the council to ask for a bin to be removed. However, please be aware if you wish to have the bin returned after its removal a charge will apply.
This should be a last resort. We encourage you to find a way to recycle items before placing them in the black refuse bin. If you don't have enough space in your recycling bin, consider taking items to your local recycling centre or one of Hertfordshire County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres.
No, your inner paper box collections remain unchanged. In your inner paper box you can recycle all paper including newspapers and magazines, junk mail, catalogues and directories, white office paper and envelopes.
Yes, if you don't have much paper and have more mixed recycling you can remove the inner paper box to create more space in your blue lidded bin. However, in order to collect your paper your paper box needs to be presented inside your bin.
No, please do not bag your recycling. Recycling contained within bags will not be collected.
Some homes genuinely cannot accommodate wheelie bins. These homes continue to receive the box service for recycling collections. Alternatively, recycling can be taken to your local recycling centre.
The services have been expanded to enable residents to recycle most generally collected kerbside materials.
We will collect:
This does not include polystyrene (foam) trays/cups.
The household waste that we throw away ends up in landfill - but over 80 per cent of it is recyclable! By recycling responsibly and using simple techniques like squashing containers, we are confident that the bins will offer adequate capacity for most households.
If you've given the standard sized bin a chance, and genuinely cannot manage, we will consider requests for larger bins from homes with six or more permanent residents, a family with two babies in nappies or those with healthcare waste. If appropriate we will issue a larger bin (240 or 360 litres). This will then be re-assessed annually.
You will need to demonstrate that you recycle, but still find the refuse bin to be too small.
I have a baby in nappies, can I get a bigger bin?
We offer £50 cashback to residents who use real nappies on their babies. If you are struggling to cope due to the quantity of nappies produced, why not consider reusable nappies as an alternative. This is more environmentally friendly and kinder to your baby. It is estimated that a baby will use an average of 5,000 disposable nappies, all of which end up in landfill sites.
Please also see above.
We will only collect material that is contained within your wheelie bin. Any additional rubbish will not be collected. But, if you recycle as much as you can then there should be little waste that needs to go into your rubbish bin.
Alternatively, if you have too much waste then please take it to one of Hertfordshire County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres. However you will need to be aware that they will expect you to recycle what you can.
Any excess glass, tins, paper, cardboard or plastic bottles can be taken to the local recycling centres.
You will receive information leaflets and a calendar detailing your collection days.
Please present your bin on the boundary of your property, unless you have an assisted collection.
No. The bins remain the property of the council and are allocated to your property, not you as the householder. Please do not take them with you when you move. It is advisable to mark the bins issued to you with your property details.
Your bins should be stored within the boundary of your property, where you keep them is your decision. You can keep them inside or outside.
The council recognises that a small number of residents will be unable to use wheeled bins, for example terraced properties opening directly on to pavement or road, with no accessible rear storage.
Properties which genuinely have no storage space for three wheeled bins will be considered on an individual basis and we will arrange alternative methods of collection if required.
Receiving only one collection of landfill waste each fortnight will encourage people to think very carefully about how they manage and take responsibility for their waste. See our page about minimising waste for more information.
We will also be making recycling easier by providing plenty of capacity in the new, single recycling bin, as well as expanding the items we recycle, to include plastic. Together with the extension to recycling in 2009 (food waste and cardboard), there should now be very little left to throw away as refuse.
This council believes in providing information and raising the awareness of residents so they can use the recycling service fully and correctly. If residents continue to misuse the service we will implement our enforcement policy, which can result in a fixed penalty notice being issued.
We provide assistance to residents in genuine difficulty, if there is no one else who resides at the same property who is able to help. If you would like to request an assisted collection please contact us.
However, residents should find wheelie bins easier to manoeuvre than heavy sacks or boxes of recycling.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to collect household waste but the law does not specify how often this must be done. Under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act (1990), the council can stipulate the types of receptacles and how householders should manage their waste materials correctly.
This page was last updated on 16/10/2013