Waste services – collections, sites – back on schedule

Following day changes and recycling site closures at times across Christmas and New Year, all usual services – including clinicalassisted and paid-for garden waste collections – and recycling sites are now operating on their standard schedules.

Hard work and long hours by all crews, and the help of many residents spreading the load of recycling across several collections or taking materials to recycling sites, means all delayed collections should now have been caught up.

We are sorry for the recent delays and appreciate residents’ patience and support. Any remaining missed collections should be reported in the usual way, by contacting district council customer services.

With continuing high levels of recycling, especially cardboard, SWP urges residents to speed up collections and help hard working crews with these steps:

  • Flatten large cardboard under recycling boxes (any more than equivalent of two recycling boxes should be dropped off at a recycling site).
  • Sort and segregate all materials in recycling boxes.
  • Rinse all containers, discard tops into rubbish.
  • If possible, squash all items except glass and aerosols.
  • Ensure all textiles, clothes and shoes are carefully bagged (not in black sacks) to stay completely dry.
  • Containers out by 7am, weighed down if windy.

Recycling sites accept the “dry” recycling materials from home collections; check here for details of exactly what is taken where and when, plus any entry fees or charges for non-household materials.

As well as home composting, decoration-free natural Christmas trees can be recycled by taking them to any recycling site for composting.

If you pay for a garden waste collection, put out your decoration-free natural Christmas tree (under six feet – remove top if necessary) next to your bin or sack on your usual garden waste collection day. As a last resort, for disposal in costly, polluting landfill, put your tree next to your refuse on your usual collections day until 15 January 2016.

Waste services experienced delays and disruptions around Christmas and New Year, when bank holidays brought day changes and extra recycling slowed down collections.

Storm damage to a recycling depot prevented collections for thousands of homes after Christmas, while a crash blocking the M5 had a similar impact in the New Year.

And despite extra crews and vehicles at Christmas, waste levels leaped 25% this year over 2014 – far more than expected – and almost two thirds above regular weekly tonnages, forcing many extra time consuming trips to unload.

In particular, there was been an “Amazon avalanche” of bulky cardboard from internet shopping, filling trucks faster than any other material, while waste food was three times usual levels after Christmas, again far more than expected.

With more than 5,000 homes due a recycling collection every hour, any disruption from blocked roads, bad weather, unexpected breakdowns and extra unloads had a substantial impact.

A SWP spokesman said: “We are sorry for the recent delays, most of which were beyond our control, and appreciate residents’ patience and support, as well as the hard work of our crews.

“We plan for far more waste at Christmas by adding staff and vehicles to the kerbside service, but this year vastly exceeded our estimates, while the storm damage and M5 chaos delayed many thousands of collections and created a backlog, which our crews have now cleared.

“Anyone still experiencing collection problems should contact their district council customer services to arrange a return pick-up.”


For more information on all aspects of waste services, check these links:

Bad weather, from missed collections and principles to what you should do

Recycling sites, from where and when to what and, sometimes, how much

Christmas waste and recycling, including tips for your tree

Food waste, which must never go in your rubbish, and how we recycle it

Recycling, all the dozen items you can add to your kerbside collections

Rubbish, what to add, what never to add

Garden waste, including when collections are suspended

Clinical waste, the key points and how to arrange a collection

Furniture and appliance reuse (if replacing furniture, white goods or electricals)

Freecycle and Freegle groups (for unwanted presents)

Leftover recipes, menu planning and portion control

Making the most of your clothes, especially at Christmas

If not in your kerbside box, Christmas card recycling with the Woodland Trust