in rural Nottinghamshire  
Back to normal..thank you wheely bin staff...big hand claps go to you

Wheely bin restrictions and collections

PLEASE NOTE:. Silver Bins reinstated as of 13th April.
Back to normal (ie green on 9th April Silver on 16th April etc).
Make sure out by    6AM as they are taking different routes.

POSTED 5th April

Frequently Asked Questions – Changes in Waste Collection Services
It is with deep regret that, with effect from Monday 30th March, collections of recycling (silver bin) and garden (brown bin) waste will temporarily cease across Newark and Sherwood. This is to ensure that collections of the critical waste (green/black bin) and medical waste can be prioritised at this challenging time. We apologise sincerely for the inconvenience this will inevitably cause.
Temporarily, people should place their recycling waste in with their critical waste (green/black bin). Any residents who have subscribed to the garden waste collection service by 1st April 2020, will receive a reduced rate if they choose to continue with this service in 2021-22.
We remain firmly committed to recycling efforts and to our Cleaner, Safer and Greener policy but, in theses unprecedented times, this action has been unavoidable. We will of course keep our operating model under review in line with social distancing measures and continue to explore alternative solutions where feasible. We will provide updates regularly and will take every measure we can to clear any backlogs of waste when the current advice is relaxed.
Newark and Sherwood District Council have received some questions in relation to these temporary changes in the waste collection service.  These are listed below and hope that they may answer some questions that other residents may also have.   If you require any additional information, then please contact Newark and Sherwood District Council by calling 01636 650000. 

  • Are residual waste bins (either green or black) being collected weekly or fortnightly?

Residual waste bins will still be collected fortnightly on your normal collection day.  You should continue to put your black or green bins out for collection by 6am on these days.

  • Why can’t collections of residual waste (either green or black bin) be weekly at the moment?

To adhere to social distancing guidance for the waste crews we’ve had to reduce the number of staff within each vehicle so that it is only a driver and one operative.  To ensure the residual waste work can then be completed we are doubling the number of vehicles carrying out each round.  The priority is always to collect residual waste (black and green bins) which is dirty and could cause significant problems for individuals if not collected.

One idea that has been suggested and the council did consider was to get the third operative to follow the vehicle in their own car so the round could be then be completed as normal. 

However it was decided that this just was not workable for the following reasons:

  • As Newark and Sherwood district is a large area to cover, many of our collection rounds drive over 50miles in a day, the start of a round is often a huge distance away from where the work finishes.  This creates the difficulty of how does the operative get back to their car, without getting back into the cab, which is what we must avoid.
  • If our staff were to be using their own car to follow along, then they would not be covered by our insurance or their own unless they had business use.  This would effectively mean they would be uninsured.
  • Some of our staff don’t have cars, and make other arrangements to get work and therefore have nothing to follow in.  Others do not have a licence to drive.
  • To constantly move cars at the end of every street would delay the rounds a lot and on many of our streets, with everyone at home there isn’t parking provision.
  • Newark and Sherwood District Council have modelled this idea and predicted it would add around five hours to each route which then means we are outside contracted and permissible hours for waste operatives.
  • The requirement to pay for the fuel used to operatives using their own vehicles would mean additional admin that currently isn’t set up

The reduction of any service for residents is unfortunate but unavoidable in this instance due to the necessary social distancing measures for waste crews. Our cabins are just over two metres wide and normally seat three operatives when driving between rounds. In order for our staff to keep a safe distance from each other and help to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), it has been necessary to reorganise our operating model. There has also been a notable increase in recent weeks of soiled tissues being placed in recycling bins which contaminates the whole bin. In the current climate, this is putting our staff and other residents at increased potential health risk.  By temporarily suspending collections of recycling and garden waste, NSDC can adhere to social distancing measures for its staff, help to keep them and residents safe, and still maintain the critical waste (green/black bin) collections. Waste crews are already going above and beyond in their duties and we all want to keep them as safe as possible.

  • Why is no discount being offered on Council Tax? 

Newark and Sherwood District Council only receive 9% of the Council tax you pay. This pays for all Council services including housing, benefits, management of Council tax, legal teams and more.  Waste collections only form part of the service offered by Newark and Sherwood District Council.

  • Will extra black bags of waste be collected alongside the residual (black or green bin) waste collections?

Extra bags of waste will not be collected.  If everyone put out additional waste, the vehicles would need to keep returning meaning that all rounds would not get complete.
Additional handling of bags also increases the risks to our staff of coming into contact with infectious material.  There has been guidance issued on how to manage waste from households with possible COVID-19 infections, by keeping to only to bin collections then this risk is reduced greatly.

  • How can residents safely store recycling waste and how can residents reduce the volume of waste stored?

There are a number of ways recycling waste can be stored.  Recycling waste is clean waste e.g. cardboard or washed out plastic bottles.  Cardboard can be flattened and plastic waste bottles can be reduced significantly in size by squashing.  Residents can store recycling waste in any out building (a shed or garage) or inside the house in a spare room or cupboard.  Recycling waste can also be upcycled for different purposes.  Cut plastic bottles can be used as containers for children when painting.  Cardboard can be cut up and used as a craft material.

  • Will there be an increase in rats and vermin as a result of residents being asked to store recycling waste?

No, recycling waste is clean waste meaning it can be stored without the fear of rat or vermin infestation.  All recycling waste should be cleaned out properly to avoid contamination in the recycling load when collected, so it is perfectly safe to store.  Residual waste (green or black bin waste) is dirty waste and it is critical that this service continues at all times as this cannot be stored safely.  Therefore residents need to prioritise filling their black or green bins with food, nappies and so forth before using any remaining capacity for recyclable waste – a lot of which can be squashed and compacted.

  • Is it right to send recyclable waste to landfill?

No it is not.  Virtually none of the waste produced throughout the whole of Nottinghamshire County Council goes to landfill.  It goes to an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) and is transformed into renewable energy to help power people’s homes.  Unfortunately the contaminated recycling waste (this is recycling waste that has incorrect items in it) level is currently 18%.   This means that 18% of recycling loads that get to a MRF (Mixed Recycling Facility) are rejected due to contamination levels being too high.  Equally 20% of all current residual waste (black or grey bin waste) is recyclable but that ends up going to the ERF instead.  Newark and Sherwood District Council would like all recycling items to be processed and re-used but these are extraordinary and unprecedented times. The Council are also waiting for guidance from the MRF’s as to whether services will continue there as many tissues are being put into recyclable waste.  At a MRF, the recycling items are sorted by machine and by hand.   Management at the MRF have a duty of care to their staff and we anticipate that changes will soon be made to this service.


  • Can recycling waste be burnt at home?

Newark and Sherwood Council do not accept the burning of business waste and residents can be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act. Burning garden waste is acceptable but you must have consideration for nearby neighbours. The Council do have enforcement powers if the smoke becomes a nuisance. The burning of other domestic waste is strongly advised against as residents can be served with notice or a fine. 


  • What can we do if we see a neighbour burning waste which will cause an impact on the environment?

If you have concerns about neighbours burning waste please report it to the Council’s Public Protection team by calling 01636 65000 to investigate.

  • Why can’t the Reuse and Recycling Centres (tips) open again if recycling and garden waste collections are temporarily changing?

The Reuse and Recycling centres are run by Nottinghamshire County Council and they made the decision to close based on the fact that doing a “tip-run” is not an essential journey based on the government guidance.

  • Is the Council expecting to see a rise in fly- tipping and if so, what will the Council do about it?

Newark and Sherwood do not expect to see an increase in fly-tipping as we believe that residents will be able to store their recycling and garden waste during this pandemic.  However, if any resident finds a fly tip, then this should be reported by visiting

  • How do residents renew their brown bin collections?
    We have stopped taking renewals and new subscriptions for the Garden Recycling service temporarily.  We will open this back up when we can continue with the collections.


  • How is Newark and Sherwood Council trying to get businesses to reduce the amount of packaging on products as it is this which causes the problem?
    Newark and Sherwood District Council are working alongside other District Councils, County Councils and waste disposal authorities in the creation of a wider Circular Economy offer.  This is an issue that needs to be addressed national from Central government directly with businesses.
  • Have Newark and Sherwood District Council looked at what other Councils are doing to keep all waste collections services running normally?
     We are in regular contact with the rest of the Nottinghamshire Councils and keeping an eye on how other councils and companies are carrying out their waste collection services.  At this time, we cannot see an alternative option that would feasibly work in Newark and Sherwood in order to keep all services up and running normally but we are continually looking to others to see what is possible in our district.


  • What’s the Council’s longer term solution if we live like this for months?
    Newark and Sherwood Council are currently looking at a number of options to try and reinstate some sort of recycling collection service whilst ensuring we adhere to all Government advice in relation to social distancing and protecting our staff.  We will continue to try and find an alternative solution.
  • If we don’t have a shed or garage to store recycling and our residual bin is full, what should we do?

Recycling waste can be stored safely inside the home as it is clean.  Garden waste can be stored within a home composting system.  These are easy to set up and provide gardeners with a good source of compost.

  • Are recycling bins free to residents?

Replacement refuse or recycling bins are available for missing/lost or damaged bins.  A form is available on the waste section of the Newark and Sherwood District Council website.

  • Can there be a priority recycling collection, along with residual waste collections, for those on specific medications where the volume of packaging required is huge?

  We are constantly reviewing our service and part of that review is to see if there is a way to help residents with additional waste needs such as those with medical issues.

  • Will residents be issued with larger residual waste bins?

No, Newark and Sherwood District Council would not have enough bins to offer this.  Larger bins are only available to residents who have 6 or more people in the household or have additional needs due to medical issues. Forms are available for this service on the Council’s website.

  • Can you put a waste vehicle into a supermarket car park and allow residents to take their own waste to it?

This is not possible during this pandemic.  This is essentially offering the same service as a Reuse and Recycling Centre which have been closed due to the government’s advice about stopping non-essential journeys.  Further a mobile ‘tip’ could lead to fly tipping in those areas.

  • If clinical waste is still being collected, why can’t recycling and garden waste as well?

Clinical waste is collected in a very different way to all other collections due to its contents.  This is collected by one person in a van who by the nature of travelling alone can adhere to advice in relation to social distancing.

  • Why can’t the residual and recycling bins be emptied into the same vehicle temporarily?

Whilst two vehicles will be doing rounds, the number of staff on these rounds will still only be enough to fully complete the collection from one bin.  The number of staff cannot increase as then staff would not be adhering to guidance in relation to social distancing.

  • Why did the Council announce this change in service when some residents had full recycling bins – why weren’t they emptied beforehand? 
    The rate at which everything is happening at the moment is unprecedented.  As employers, we have a duty of care to adhere to all guidance in relation to social distancing and protecting our staff.  This information came very quickly from central government and as a local authority, we must adhere to that advice as soon as it is released.
  • If residents store recycling, will the recycling collectors cope with the huge demand when the service operates again.
    Once social distancing measures are relaxed and we can return to normal service we anticipate the recycling crews will need extra help to ensure they can finish their days work.


  • Can the Council train leisure centre staff to work on waste collection rounds as the leisure centre is now closed? 

Any staff that we could redeployed to waste collection rounds have already been trained up and put into these positions.  However, we do not have the number of vehicles available to complete anymore rounds.

  • Can’t additional crew just follow the van in their own cars so they are not together?

Newark and Sherwood Council did look into this and unfortunately it wouldn’t work.  Two waste operatives are required for each side of the road to collect bins and then there needs to be driver.  There would be huge complexities, especially in rural areas of operatives jumping in and out of two vehicles having completed a road.  Newark and Sherwood District Council have modelled this idea and predicted it would add around five hours to each route which then means we are outside contracted and permissible hours for waste operatives.  Further information is available in question


Posted 3rd April 2020 

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