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By Michael Brown

Senior Staff Writer

20 October 2020

| | 4 min read

Families urged not to overfill their wheelie bins

Families in Newcastle are being reminded not to overfill their wheelie bins and store any excess waste or take it to a local recycling centre.

Overfilled bin images

Overflowing rubbish is a health and safety risk for residents, bin crews, delays collections and can easily lead to more litter on the streets should animals, weather or criminals lead to it spilling out.

'We need bins not to be overfilled'

Cllr John-Paul Stephenson, cabinet member for environment and regulatory services, said: “With everyone at home during lockdown, and many people not yet back in the office, shielding or self-isolating, we appreciate that many households may be producing a higher volume of waste.

“However, that doesn’t change the fact that in order to carry out bin collections safely and efficiently we need bins not to be overfilled, with lids that are closed.

“Placing too much rubbish in, or putting it on top or to the side of your bin is potentially dangerous for our staff, who are already collecting more than 30 tonnes of waste per wagon each day, as they may have to lift and move bags with no idea of what is inside them or how heavy they are.

“It also slows down our crews, meaning they might not be able to complete their rounds and communities might not have their waste collected on time.

“And it increases the chance that rubbish or recycling could spill out, making our streets unsightly – Something nobody wants."

'Visit our recycling centres'

“If you do have excess waste then our three recycling centres at Brunswick, Byker and Walbottle are open seven days a week, and since the introduction of our ‘odds and evens’ access system queue times have reduced significantly, so please use them," Cllr Stephenson said.

Household bin collections continue

All household bin collections have continued during the Covid-19 pandemic, and since May the council’s three HWRCs have dealt with almost 1.1 kilotons of waste – that’s equivalent to almost five Angel of the North’s in total, or a large African elephant made of rubbish and recycling every day.

Shared bins

However, as well as the issue of overfilled individual household bins, residents who are provided with shared bins are also being reminded that they can use other bins in their street, not just the one that may be nearest to their home.

Cllr Stephenson said: “I recently surveyed areas of the South Jesmond, Ouseburn, Benwell, Elswick, Wingrove and Arthur's Hill wards in which we provide shared bins and it was clear that many people may still be a little confused about which bins they are allowed to use.

“Some bins were overflowing while others just a metre or two away are near empty – But if residents find their nearest bin is full, they should just walk down to the next one."

Find out more

Cllr Stephenson said: “Anyone who is unsure about what they can and can’t do with regards bins should check the bin calendars that were sent out earlier in the year or see our website at"