New refuse collection service


The Council has introduced a new refuse collection schedule – keeping recycling uplifts as they are, and moving to a three-weekly schedule for one green (general waste) bin. Your local arrangements for recycling will remain the same including the use of a recycling bag or where food waste and glass are collected.

The new service was introduced in three phases:

  • Mull, Kintyre, Bute, Islay and Jura – w/c 3 October 2016
  • Helensburgh, Lomond and Mid-Argyll – w/c 31 October 2016
  • Cowal, Oban and Lorn, Lismore, Tiree, Coll and Colonsay – w/c 28 November 2016

This is in line with the Council’s aim of achieving the benefits possible through recycling and its need to deliver savings, following a significant reduction in its funding. The Council is also working towards Scottish Government targets for recycling and reducing the amount of waste it sends to landfill.

Recycling saves space for household waste and money for other services that communities have told us are important to them - for every tonne of waste that goes to landfill the Council has to pay tax of over £80 –and figures show that every household in Scotland could save £460 a year by throwing away less food.

There are still a lot of things people put in their green bin which could easily go in the blue bin. By recycling more there will be space in green bins for more non-recyclable materials. A survey of the composition of waste in green bins showed that over 35% of material could be recycled – in one area the figure was over 45%.

In advance of the change each household will receive detailed information and an individual waste calendar to ensure they know when their waste will be collected.  Additional information will be also available on Facebook, Twitter and in your local press.

To help manage the move to a three weekly green bin collection, and increase recycling, households that use recycling bins can request a second. If you use a recycling bag you can request additional bags. Local arrangements for recycling will remain the same.

Waste can also be taken to any of the Council’s civic amenity sites.

We are  working to ensure disruption to the service you receive is kept to a minimum during the transition. Environmental wardens will be available if you require assistance or advice on what can be recycled and what you can do to recycle even more.

Find out more in our Questions and Answers section - including dates for the changes

If you have a question about 3-weekly bin collections, and you can't find the answer here or in our questions and answers section, you can send us your questions using our online contact form

Ask a question about 3-weekly bin collections

Alternatively you can call our contact centre on 01546 605514 during office hours

What can I recycle and put in my blue bin?

Your blue bin is for mixed dry recyclable material such as:



  • Envelopes
  • Paper food packaging
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Yellow Pages
  • Brochures
  • Catalogues
  • Leaflets
  • Wrapping paper


  • Plastic lids
  • Food trays
  • Hand wash bottles
  • Drinks bottles
  • Milk bottles
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Sauce bottles
  • Yoghurt pots


  • Cereal boxes
  • Cardboard packaging
  • Brown corrugated boxes
  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Soup, juice and milk cartons
  • Egg boxes


  • Drinks cans
  • Food tins
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Aluminium
  • Metal lids

There are some local variations to what can be recycled. You should check your area on the council website for details.

What can I put in my green general waste bin?

Your general waste bin is for non-recyclable household material. Please don’t put recyclable waste in your green bin.