Recycling guide

Compulsory recycling

In December 2018, the council’s Cabinet agreed a waste strategy which sets out to reduce the amount of waste produced in Swindon. The aim was to make sure that what we collect does not have a negative impact on the environment.

We currently offer a number of waste and recycling services to our residents. Despite offering these services, our recycling rate is currently below 40%. Large amounts of recyclable materials are being disposed of in black wheelie bins or blue bags, costing the council around £6m in disposal fees a year.

In Swindon, it is compulsory to recycle:

  • paper and cardboard
  • tins, cans, foil and aerosols
  • glass bottles and jars
  • textiles
  • plastics

Households that are not participating in recycling will be identified by our crews when they are collecting your black wheelie bin/blue bags and recycling boxes. The methods of identification will include:

  • the weight of the bin
  • seeing recyclable materials in the bin as it empties into the truck
  • no or little recycling being presented in the recycling collection
  • other non-invasive methods

Once a potential issue has been highlighted by our crews, our waste wardens will monitor the situation. Where necessary, they will communicate with the resident and offer support and guidance.

As a last resort we reserve the right to encourage participation with formal enforcement, as set out in Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 EPA. This prohibits certain recyclable materials within the black wheelie bin/blue bag for which alternative collections are supplied.

Up to this point we will work with residents to assist them and give them every opportunity to participate in recycling. However, we are not obliged to collect waste that is not presented in the correct way.

If it becomes necessary to suspend the collection of waste, the resident will be required to dispose of the waste themselves. This would be either at the household waste recycling centre or via a licenced contractor.

It is a resident’s responsibility to make sure that any contractor who takes away their waste is a licenced carrier who is able to provide a waste carrier's licence number. If a resident does not use a licenced contractor, they will remain responsible for the waste taken from their property, and may incur a fine.

If a resident’s waste collection has been suspended, it is their responsibility to request a waste warden assessment. Our waste wardens will need to see that the household is recycling correctly before their waste collection resumes.

If a resident remains non-compliant or does not contact our waste wardens, their service will remain suspended.

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