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 sevices 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.

From 1 August 2019, it will be 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 refuse to collect waste, the resident would be required to dispose of the waste themselves either at the household waste recycling centre or via a licenced contractor. Any waste not disposed of correctly will be treated as fly-tipping, which could potentially incur a fine.

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