Book a visit to the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)

Questions and answers

This page provides answers to questions about making an appointment to visit the HWRC.

Swindon is in a unique position compared to most other councils. We only have one HWRC for over 97,000 households. It is in an urban area and the site has one entry/exit road, which is shared with other council operations and businesses.

The booking and smart barrier system has been put in place to support the HWRC to be modern, efficient, and effective, whilst aligning to the feedback received from our customers.

This system:

  • costs less than the previous management system
  • reduces traffic queuing at and near the site entrance
  • mitigates the amount of carbon emitted by vehicles standing in the queue, contributing towards the council's goal to achieve net zero emissions
  • removes dependencies on additional staffing levels and resource demands associated with managing the HWRC bookings system (where manual work and checks can be performed by technology)
  • improves customer experience, for example:
    • reducing advance arrival time at site
    • removing the need to provide personal information for manual checks
    • removing the need to bring paperwork to site
  • improves on-site safety for HWRC staff
  • improves operational efficiency and enables data-driven decisions

No, there is no height restriction on vehicles that can enter the HWRC.

A QR code is a bit like a square barcode.

You will need to scan the QR code, provided in your booking confirmation email, to open the barrier at the entrance to the HWRC. You can choose to either display the QR code on your phone or print it.

Each booking QR code is unique and only contains your booking reference number. As such, this system:

  • removes the need for you to provide any personal information (for example, your address) when you arrive
  • removes the need to have an operator at the barrier to manually verify bookings
  • enables more efficient and effective use of data, with no change to how your data is collected or the purpose of its use

No. To gain entry you need to have a valid booking. You can make a booking online or by contacting Customer Services.

If you are unable to book a slot at the HWRC, please try again the following day. We release new slots every day. In some cases, slots may also become available on the day, if another resident cancels an appointment. 

We recognise the demand for slots is high. However, the number of slots released daily has been calculated to maintain safety on site, and as an added benefit, queuing times on site are also significantly reduced.

If you are unable to book a slot, please continue to store your waste until you find a slot.

Yes, you can book as many slots as you need.

There are a number of ways you can make a booking if you don’t have access to a computer or smart device, including:

  • Family and friends can make a booking on your behalf, and share the booking’s QR code and/or Reference Number (RCnumber) with you
  • You can visit a council-owned library and use the computer there to make a booking
  • You can make a booking by contacting Customer Services

You can book a between up to two weeks before visiting (depending on availability) and as late as one hour before visiting (depending on availability).

Yes. If you have made a booking online or by calling Customer Services, and have provided your email address, you will receive a booking confirmation email.

Additionally, if you have made a booking more than 24 hours before your slot, you will also receive a reminder email on the morning of your appointment.

If you have booked by calling Customer Services and haven’t provided an email address, you will be given a Booking Reference Number (RCnumber) during the call.

You can gain entry by:

  • scanning the QR code sent in your booking confirmation/reminder emails
  • pressing the CALL button on the Intercom and stating your unique Reference Number (RCnumber)

The RCnumber can be found at the top of your booking confirmation/reminder emails. If you booked by calling Customer Services and didn’t provide an email address, you would have received your RCnumber during the call.

You can choose either, display the QR code on your smart device or on paper.

Hover the QR code about six inches away from the QR scanner (where the arrow of “Please scan here” is pointing), and the scanner will automatically detect and scan the QR code.

  • Increase the brightness of your mobile device. At times, if your screen brightness is too dim, the QR scanner can have difficulties reading the QR code.
  • Try holding your mobile device straight. At times, if your device is tilted unexpectedly, the QR scanner can have difficulties reading the QR code.

You can gain entry by pressing the CALL button on the Intercom and stating your unique Reference Number (RCnumber).

The RCnumber can be found at the top of your booking confirmation/reminder email.

If you booked by calling Customer Services and didn’t provide an email address, you would have received your RCnumber during the call.

No problem. You can gain entry by bringing the QR code they received in the booking confirmation email, or if they booked by calling Customer Services (01793 445500) and didn’t provide an email address, you can gain entry by bringing the Reference Number (RCnumber) they received.

No, you just need to bring your QR code.

If you aren’t able to bring your QR code, please bring your Reference Number (RCnumber).

Yes, you can amend your booking online up to one hour before your slot. The link to this page is also available in your booking confirmation and reminder emails.

Slots are allocated on a first come, first served basis. However, you can amend your booking online. The link to this page is also available in your booking confirmation/reminder emails

If you can’t make your booking or you don’t need your slot anymore, please cancel your slot as soon as possible so that someone else can use it.

You can cancel your slot online. The link to this page is also available in your booking confirmation/reminder emails.

If you are more than 15 minutes late, you will have to re-book.

There is no need for you to arrive early. However, you can gain entry up to 15 minutes before your booked slot.

An ANPR system requires you to book your appointment with a specific license plate number, making it hard to hire out a vehicle for your appointment or arrive at site in a different vehicle.

To give residents the flexibility to arrive at the site in the vehicle of their choice, we have chosen to use QR codes over an ANPR system.

Yes, you can. We always welcome your valuable feedback. If you provided an email address when you booked your appointment, you will receive an email with a link to our survey after your visit.

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