Changes to Bin Collections - Questions and answers

Changes to bin collection

The Council has introduced a new refuse collection service – keeping the blue (recycling) bin or bag uplifts as they are (every two weeks) and moving to a three-weekly schedule for one green (general waste) bin.

Here you can find information on why we are changing the service, and the benefits that we can achieve with your help through recycling.

If you have a question about 3-weekly bin collections, and you can't find the answer here, 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

Some questions about how the new service works

How often will bins be collected?

​One green (general) waste bin will be collected every three weeks. The blue (recycling) bin or recycling bag will continue to be collected every two weeks and other local arrangements for recycling will remain the same."

I don’t want a recycling bin / recycling bags; do I have to have one?       

No you don’t have to take a recycling  bin, however if you choose not to have one your green mixed waste bin will still only be emptied once every three weeks.

Why can’t I put glass in my blue recycling bin / recycling bags?

​Glass will contaminate other recyclates if it breaks and is a significant health and safety hazard for workers at recycling plants where hand sorting takes place. Glass bottles and jars can be recycled at all recycling centres and points.

Are Kintyre residents getting blue bins?

​No - they will be receiving recycling bags.

What about flatted properties that have no room for recycling bins?    

Those areas that are currently kept on a weekly uplift due to insufficient space will remain so

What about commercial properties?

​Some very remote properties may be affected, however for most there will be no change 

Will additional space be allocated for current properties that have no room for extra bins?

​No

Will transitional arrangements ensure no household will wait more than 3 weeks for their first green bin uplift under the new schedule?

​Yes

Recycling on Gigha?      

Recycling will be picked up from the householders normal collection point fortnightly and bags will be replenished as per numbers presented, additional bags will be available from the heritage trust office.

Does Tarbert come under Kintyre area like Campbeltown?        

Tarbert will be serviced by Lochgilphead, Campbeltown only covers as far as Kennacraig

Should I mark my green bin with a house number or name of my house?

Yes, customers should mark their bin so that it can be identified as belonging to their household as only one green bin will be uplifted unless they have had a successful assessment for an additional bin.

Some questions about additional bins

What is the timescale for an assessment for an additional green bin?

Contact will be made with the customer within 10 working days from the receipt of the request.

What if I have two green (general waste) bins?

Only one green bin will be collected every three weeks. Some exceptions will apply. If you bought a second green bin from the Council after 11 February 2016 (the date the move to a three-weekly collection was agreed) you are welcome to claim a full refund and return it. To arrange this please email enquiries@argyll-bute.gov.uk or call 01546 605514.

Which households will have two green bins collected?

Arrangements can be made for certain households to have a second general waste green bin - where there are five or more people, where someone has a medical condition that generates waste, or where families have children using nappies and all recycling options have been considered.

Can I request an additional recycling bin or additional bags for recycling?

Yes a second recycling bin is available on request for those areas that use them, please use this online form to apply for a blue bin, please use this online form to apply for a grey glass bin (Helensburgh and Lomond, Mull and Iona, and Tiree only), and please use this online form to order a food waste bin, caddy or liners (Helensburgh and Lomond area only). For bags in Kintyre contact Kintyre Recycling on 01586 553858 and for green bags on Bute contact Fyne Futures on 01700 50318.

I previously opted to have a smaller green domestic mixed waste bin or blue recycling bin. Can I get a larger one?

Yes – contact us and we will get you a larger standard sized 240Ltr green or blue bin swapped for your existing smaller bin.

I don’t have a recycling bin, what should I do? (all areas except Kintyre)

If you still do not have a bin please contact us and we will deliver one out to you.

I don’t have recycling bags, what should I do? (Kintyre and Bute)               

If you still do not have bags please contact Kintyre Recycling  on 01586 553858 and for green bags on Bute contact Fyne Futures on 01700 503181

Will large families be issued with additional bins?

If there are 5 or more residents in a property they qualify for a second bin and can request one using our online form 

How do customers access the provision for the uplift of second green bins for large families and medical waste? Will it just mean 2 bins picked up at the same time or will one be uplifted one week and the second a week later?

Uplifted at same time bin will be identified as second bin with a red lid

Are assessments for medical waste being given priority over large families and households with children using nappies

There is no priority, all assessments will be going forward as they are received and dealt with.

Has it been confirmed that additional green bins will have a red lid?    

Yes that is correct, when a customer has had their assessment for an additional green bin and it has been successful. Their additonal green bin will be delivered and will have a red lid.

Some customers who have applied for an additional green bin and been successful may already have two green bins will they get another one delivered with a red lid?

No if a customer has already got 2 bins and they have had a successful assessment carried out by the warden, then a new red lid will be put onto their existing 2nd bin.

Some questions about the new bin calendars

How will I know when each of my bins will be emptied?

​You will receive a collection calendar that has a colour key to distinguish between general waste collection, recycling collection and days when both collections coincide, lets you know your specific bin collection dates from week commencing;

  • Mull, Kintyre, Bute, Islay and Jura – 3rd October 2016 onwards
  • Helensburgh, Lomond and Mid Argyll – 31st October 2016 onwards
  • Cowal, Oban, Lorn, Tiree, Coll and Colonsay – 28th November 2016 onwards

At the beginning of the roll out will there be areas where there will be more than 3 weeks between collections?

No

What about the calendars, how will they show the overlaps with recycling and domestic?

A colour key will distinguish between general waste collection, recycling collection and days when both collections coincide

Some questions about how extra rubbish can be dealt with

I don’t have enough room in my green bin what can I do?

​Excess general mixed waste can be taken to your local recycling centre. In certain circumstances the householder can purchase a second green bin for mixed household waste. This is subject to assessment by the council and you have to demonstrate a genuine need for the additional bin.

You can also request a visit from one of our wardens who can provide advice on how to get the most out of the new collection service. Over 60% of the average bin contents can be recycled using the blue bins and local recycling centres and points.

Contact us by by using our online form or calling the enquiries line on 01546 605514.

I’ve missed my green bin collection day and my bin is full what can I do?

​Unfortunately if you miss your collection day we cannot come back out and empty your bin for you.

If you know in advance that you are going to be away on your bin collection day try to make arrangements with a family member or neighbour to get your bin out.

Excess general mixed waste can be taken to your local recycling centre.

I have side waste that will not fit in the green general waste bin or blue recycling bin, will you pick it up?

​No, side waste or recycling will not be picked up from beside or on the top of your bin. Excess general mixed waste can be taken to your local recycling centre. If you have additional recycling that won’t fit in your blue bin this can be taken to your local recycling centre or point.

Will excess bags be lifted?

​No

What happens if excess bags are not uplifted and rats or seagulls burst the bags?

​Any environmental health complaints will be addressed as per council policy.

I have missed my 3 week collection as I have been on holiday, what can I do?

​​Unfortunately if you miss your collection day we cannot come back out and empty your bin for you.

If you know in advance that you are going to be away on your bin collection day try to make arrangements with a family member or neighbour to get your bin out.

Excess general mixed waste can be taken to your local recycling centre.

Some questions about food waste collections

Are there plans to introduce food recycling in areas other than Helensburgh?

​Not at present. It is Scottish Government requirement to collect food waste in Helensburgh due to the population size.

Buying and preparing only what you need can help cut down the amount of food thrown away - every household in Scotland could save £460 each year by throwing out less. See http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for information on how you can cut down food waste.

Home composting can also save space in your green bin – see https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/content/home-composting-advice

Why are we not being provided with food recycling like Helensburgh & Lomond?         

​Under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations all of Argyll and Bute apart from Helensburgh and Lomond area is classed as rural – this exempts these areas from the legal requirement to be provided with separate food waste collections.

This coupled with the additional costs of providing a food waste collection service in a rural area - means that this service is not being rolled out to any other areas at the moment.

Some questions about possible problems with the new collections

Is keeping my general mixed waste in my green bin for three weeks likely to cause a problem?

​There should be no issues with waste being in the bin for three weeks if you:

  • Wrap up or bag any potentially smelly waste before placing it in your bin.
  • Make sure your bins lid is kept closed

Three weekly collections of general mixed waste are carried out in other Scottish local authorities without issue.

What will happen with people of live in flatted properties and they use any bin for recycling and refuse and then recycling bins not uplifted due to full of domestic waste?

​Environment wardens will visit premises

What about noise from early morning and late night collections?

​Most of the Lorries have electric lifts which are very quiet; however any noise complaints will be addressed as per council policy.

What can I do about any smell coming from bins?

​Customer should bag any waste and keep bins clean. Any environmental health complaints will be addressed as per council policy.

Will environmental health be dealing with any vermin issues caused by accumulated rubbish?

​Any environmental health complaints will be addressed as per council policy.

There are constant service disruptions as it is due to vehicle breakdowns, are new vehicles being purchased?

​A programme is in place for replacement vehicles

What time do we class a bin as being missed? Currently it is 4pm.

It will still be 4pm for most areas, except for Cowal and Lomond where the bin men will work till 10pm. A missed bin in these areas will be the next day.

Some questions about recycling

What can I recycle?

​A list of what can be recycled in each area is available on the Council website – see www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/planning-and-environment/recycling

Where else can I recycle?

​Waste can also be taken to any of the Council’s civic amenity sites – see www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/planning-and-environment/recycling

What should I do with garden waste?

​Garden waste should be composted wherever possible. For advice please see - https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/content/home-composting-advice

Some questions about the timescales for changes

Are there household packs being distributed to residents?

Yes. Packs will be mailed out from:

  • Mull, Kintyre, Bute, Islay and Jura – 12th September 2016 onwards
  • Helensburgh, Lomond and Mid Argyll – 17th October 2016 onwards
  • Cowal, Oban, Lorn, Tiree, Coll and Colonsay – 7th November 2016 onwards

When will the new collection schedule start?

​We are making every effort to ensure the introduction of the new service goes as smoothly as possible, so we will introduce it 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

I already have a recycling bin when can I start putting plastics & cans in it?

​You can start putting plastic bottles, tubs, trays and cans in the recycling bin

You will receive a collection calendar that lets you know your specific bin collection dates from week commencing:

  • Mull, Kintyre, Bute, Islay and Jura – 3rd October 2016 onwards
  • Helensburgh, Lomond and Mid Argyll – 31st October 2016 onwards
  • Cowal, Oban, Lorn, Tiree, Coll and Colonsay – 28th November 2016 onwards

Your current fortnightly blue bin recycling day will continue up until then

Some questions about why your bin collection arrangements are changing

Why is my green general waste bin only being emptied every three weeks?

​The increase in the range of materials accepted in the blue recycling bin will mean that households generate less general mixed waste to go in the green general waste bin. This reduction in general mixed waste will allow Argyll and Bute Council to empty the green bin every three weeks, alternating with the blue bin which will be emptied every two weeks.

Why was it decided to put Kintyre from a weekly collection straight to a 3 weekly collection?

​This was a Council decision to provide a consistent approach across all of Argyll

Why is the Council changing the service?

​We must all work together to meet the Scottish Government’s targets for increasing the amount we recycle and reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

Due to reduced funding we have to make choices about what we do and in how we work – so that we can continue to support our communities where most needed, to continue to invest in a prosperous future for Argyll and Bute and continue to deliver a wide range of services and be a key employer.

Recycling delivers various benefits, from on-going savings to better care of the planet on which we all depend.

We are therefore providing a service that maintains recycling collections. Recycling saves space in bins and saves money for services.

Recycling saves money for Council services that communities have told us are important to them - for every tonne of waste that goes to landfill the Council has to pay over £80 tax.

Reducing waste can also save you money - figures show that every household in Scotland could save £460 a year by throwing away less food.

By recycling more there will be less in your green bin. While we have seen an increase in recycling we still tend to find some of what goes in their green bins could be recycled in your blue bin.

Why is this new service being introduced?

​To increase the amount of materials that can be recycled from household and commercial collections, to reduce costs, increase recycling rates and to decrease the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

There are a number of reasons for doing this including:

  • Much of the waste we produce is a resource that can be recycled or composted
  • The Scottish Government has set a recycling target of 60% by 2020
  • Landfilling waste is becoming more expensive, with large landfill tax levies imposed by the Government.
  • To help reduce CO2 and methane emissions.
  • To reduce collection costs
  • To assist in compliance with Waste (Scotland) Regulations