Changes to waste and recycling collections

From autumn 2023, we’ll be collecting food waste from the majority of households across Swindon to increase recycling and improve our environmental impact. This means we need to make changes to how we collect your waste and recycling.

We will be delivering your new containers over the summer. Please keep hold of them, but don’t use them just yet. You’ll receive a letter before the changes to confirm exactly when to start using them.

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When the change happens

You’ll need to put your waste and recycling out like this:

Plastic and metal

In your new weighted bag.

Food waste

In large outdoor food waste bin (collected weekly).

Paper and card

In one of your black or orange recycling boxes.


In one of your black or orange recycling boxes.

General waste

In your wheelie bin or blue bags.

Frequently asked questions

Some answers to common questions about the changes we're making to waste and recycling collections.

The main reason we are making these changes is because we are rolling out weekly food waste collections to the majority of households in Swindon.

To do this in an efficient way, we need to change the way we collect other materials as we need new vehicles that have food waste sections in them. 

This also aligns with national changes as the Environment Act 2021, which was passed in November 2021, says that local authorities need to provide a separate food waste collection from 2023.

Once the changes have been implemented, you’ll need to put your waste and recycling out as follows: 

  • General waste in your black wheelie bin or blue bags 
  • Plastic and metal recycling in new weighted bag
  • Paper and card recycling in one of your existing recycling boxes 
  • Glass recycling in one of your existing recycling boxes
  • Food waste in large outdoor food waste bin 

You don’t need to do anything differently just yet. We will write to you closer to the time to confirm exactly what you need to do and from when. 

There are two methods of collecting recycling in England:

  • kerbside sort, where residents separate their waste
  • co-mingled where all the recycling goes into a bin and it is then sorted mechanically in a Material Recycling Facility

Swindon uses the kerbside sort method of collection as it helps us recycle more and recycle closer to home.

It has also been shown to:

  • produce better sorted recycling with less ‘contamination’ by other materials, which the UK processors prefer and find more valuable
  • save carbon – there’s no need for the very heavy carbon footprint of an energy hungry material recycling facilities that separates everything
  • be financially better – a better price is given for the recycling that we sell to re-processors

You can use the black and/or orange recycling boxes you already have. If you don't have these already, you can order them through our website.

We will deliver the new containers you need over the summer, but please don't use them just yet.

Most households will receive a new weighted bag and indoor and outdoor food waste caddies (unless you are already on the food waste collection trial). 

We will write to you with more details, including your new collection days, closer to the time of the changes being rolled out.

Once one blue weighted bag has been delivered to all affected households, you will be able to collect a second bag from your local library if needed, at no extra cost. There aren't any more blue weighted bags available just yet. Please look out for communications on when you are able to collect one.

Remember to wash and squash your recycling to fit as much in each bag as possible. You can also place additional recycling in any other recycling box, as long as it is separated correctly, for instance, metal and plastic recycling together.

You will be sent a letter before the changes to confirm exactly when to start using your new containers.

We won't change how often we make collections, but your collection days may change. Food waste will be collected weekly.

Not yet. The new service will be rolled out to some communal properties at a later stage of the project.

No, we will still collect your waste from your agreed assisted collection point.

Visit this A-Z guide to see what you can currently recycle. This page will be updated when the new service rolls out.

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