Bin policies and rules

Bin policies and rules

If you are new to the area or living on your own for the first time, you might have some questions about what to do with your bins and what the Council does with your bins.

If you live in high rise flats, low rise blocks, shared bin areas or student flats the arrangements and offers might be a bit different. Please check with your neighbours, building managers or landlords. If you are moving into a new build check with your developers.

We have details here to help answer some of the most common questions about bins.


What bins do you offer?

Newcastle City Council collects as standard one 240 litre green bin and one 240 litre blue bin with a black glass caddy. You can chose to pay for the garden waste service and that includes a brown 240 litre bin.

We will empty a green bin one week, and a blue and brown bin the next.

The bins have a lid and 2 wheels.

We will only empty approved bins supplied by Newcastle City Council. You can order and pay for bins via our online forms



What time should I put my bins out?

Bins must be placed on the kerbside by 6.30am on the day of collection. Crews can attend at any time from 6.30am to 4.30pm.If you have a back lane please make sure bins are out in the lane.  If your bin was not out in time the crews will not return for it.

Bins should be visible and not hidden by walls, cars or hedges.

They should be brought back in to your property as soon as possible the same day.

We strongly advise customers to put their bins out early morning on collection day to prevent people contaminating the bins or sifting through the contents. If you are not able to put bins out in the morning, you can put them out as late as possible the night before. Please be aware though you run the risk of your bin being contaminated if you leave it out.

Please clearly mark your bins with your house number. We ask that residents do not leave bins out all the time, especially in back lane areas.


Where should I put my bins?

You should always keep your bins within the boundaries of your property and not just leave them out all the time on pavements or in lanes. Keep them in your front garden, on your drive or inside your garage or back yard. Please always be considerate to your neighbours and pedestrians.

Bins must be placed out on the kerbside by 6.30am on the day of collection. Crews can attend at any time from 6.30am to 4.30pm. If you have a back lane please make sure bins are out in the lane only on collection day.


How often are bins collected?

Collections are made every week, alternating between recycling one week and general waste the next.


What if I cannot move my bin?

We offer assisted collections for any resident who may experience genuine difficulties in placing their bin out for collection due to a disability or health need.

This may be due to illness, frailty or not having a neighbour, carer or having anyone aged 16 or over in their household to assist them.

You can apply via our online forms or if you have difficulty with this you can phone 0191 2787878 and for "Your Local Services."

Please note that we will withdraw this service if users are found not to meet the criteria.


Why has my bin not been emptied?

Before contacting us to report a missed collection, please ensure : 

  • The correct bin was put out for collection. Always make sure you have put out the right bin on the right day. We cannot come back if you have made a mistake.

  • The bin was out at the kerbside or the designated collection point by 6.30 am. Crews will not return for bin that was not out or put out late.

  • The bin was not too heavy to be lifted by the collection crew. Crews have to be able to move the bin to the truck. Our bin trucks have sensors that will not let too overweight bins tip - this can damage the lifting equipment.

  • The correct items were in the correct bin.  Make sure that the lid is fully closed.

  • If it is a blue bin, the caddy must be inside the bin - not on top of the bin lid or on the ground.

  • The bin was not blocked by side waste or had extra bags on top.

If you want to enquire about missed bin collection, please contact us on the day after your collection was missed. This is to make sure that the vehicle tracking data has uploaded and route maps have been handed in to the managers.

If our records show:

  • Our vehicles were on your street, then the bin will be collected at the next scheduled collection. The tracking shows what time the vehicle was in the street. If you have queries about this please phone Your Local Services on 0191 2787878.

  • An assisted lift has been missed, it will be collected within 3 working days. Please note crews keep records of instances where gates were locked.

  • A  whole street or half street has been missed, then the street will be collected within 3 working days. Missed streets could be because of inaccessibility due to parked cars, roadworks, traffic delays or because a vehicle has broken down. Crews report this issues at the end of the day and managers arrange a catch up.

The bin crews working week is Tuesday to Friday. Monday is not counted as a working day so please remember this does not count in the '3 working days' return time.

Residents are reminded that waste can be taken to any of our household waste and recycling centres.

What if my bin hasn't been fully emptied?

All waste or recycling in the bin must be able to freely fall when tipped.  Make sure that any cardboard is not wedged into the bin as that can prevent recycling falling into the truck. Please do not squash waste or recycling down too much in the bin or it might get stuck.

If the bags, recycling or garden waste does not all fall out when it is tipped and shaken, we will not return for it.

If you have too much waste to fit in your bin you can:

  • Take the extra bags to a household waste recycling centre. Remember to check our site rules and access details before attending.

  • Store extra recycling for the next collection.

  • Arrange a bulky collection of black bags or boxes.

  • Ask your neighbours if they have any space in their bin.

Remember we do not collect bags or recycling left by the bins. It is your responsibility to manage your waste.


What do I do with my bin after collection?

It is your responsibility to return your bin to within your property boundary on the same day as they have been emptied.

Leaving your bin on the street or out in lanes can lead to problems including:

  • Other people dumping their waste in your bins.

  • Other people contaminating your bins.

  • Your bins being stolen.

  • Anti-social behaviour (including bins being set alight and bin sifting).

  • Causing an obstruction on the highway.

  • Your bins being moved and blocking driveways.

Can I get a bigger bin?

You cannot buy additional bins or buy larger bins. The Council is committed to increasing the amount of household waste that is recycled. Standard domestic properties are entitled to 1x 240 litre green bin and 1x 240 litre blue bin.

Crews may remove unauthorised bins if found.

Some properties have 140 litre blue and green bins which are suitable for couples, single people or people with very small yards. If you move into a property with one of these skinny bins you can request a 240 litre bin instead. You have to phone 0191 278 7878 and ask for "Your Local Services" to do this.

If you are part  of a large household, such as a student house share, you may be able to apply for an additional 240 litre blue bin. You have to phone 0191 278 7878 and ask for "Your Local Services" to do this. If you feel you have additional medical needs and may need a second container, you must phone Your Local Services to see if you qualify. This cannot be done online.

We do not provide larger green or blue bins.


What happens if my bin goes missing or is stolen?

If your bin is missing, badly damaged or stolen you can order a replacement standard bin for £25. There is no charge for a replacement caddy.  You can order these via our online forms or by phoning 0191 2787878 and asking for "bins."

If you think your bin may have fallen into the collection vehicle, please contact Your Local Services on 0191 2787878 the day after your collection was due.

If the crews have made a report, it would show on our systems the next working day.

Remember the crews should put a card through your door to let you know if this has happened.

What happens if my bin is vandalised or burnt?

There are no exemptions to the replacement bin charge, even if you have a crime number from the police or are in receipt of benefits.

So if your bin has been badly damaged or set on fire,  you need to order a replacement standard bin for £25. There is no charge for a replacement caddy.  You can order these via our online forms or by phoning 0191 2787878 and asking for "bins."

If the bin has a broken lid or wheels, you can request a free of charge bin repair.

We strongly recommend that residents only put their bins out on the morning of collection, for 6.30am. Doing this lowers the risk of having your bin contaminated, stolen or vandalised. 


What goes in each bin?

Please visit these pages:

What is a brown bin?

Please have a look at our Garden Waste Service pages to find out more about the brown bins.


Can I put garden waste in my domestic refuse bin?

Take your garden waste to a Household Waste Recycling Centre for recycling. You can also arrange for a bulky waste collection. This will be charged at £20 per collection for up to 8 bags of garden waste (this does not include soil, turf or rubble) or 8 small bundles of prunings. These must be tied into manageable bundles.

You can also put a small amount of garden waste in your green bin, but remember this will not be recycled into soil conditioner. Remember soil, turf and rubble would be classed as a special collection and these items cost more to remove.

What happens on bank holidays?

Collection days will remain unchanged with the exception of Easter: Good Friday and Christmas (depending what days they fall on).

Please check your calendar regarding Christmas collections as they change each year. There will also be updates on our Recycling on Holidays page.

The garden waste service does not carry out collections in the Winter months so it is not affected by Christmas and New Year.


How can I stop my bins from smelling?

It is your responsibility to look after the bins.

  • Always bag your waste and do not throw lose waste into the green bin. Always tie up your bin bags.

  • Try to reduce the amount of food waste in your bin.

  • Compost your fruit and vegetable waste if possible.

  • Securely double bag and tie up any food waste, incontinence pads or nappies. Also double bag things like cat litter and dog waste.

  • Make sure that you do not leave any food, including pet food, uncovered inside the house. Flies could lay eggs on it before it goes in the bin. 

  • Avoid using supermarket type carrier bags as they tend to have small holes for flies to get in and for waste to leak out. 

  • Ensure the bin lid is always closed.

  • Try to avoid storing the bin in direct sunlight if possible.

  • Occasionally rinse out the bin with disinfectant.

Remember you blue bin should not smell as it is for clean and dry recyclables only.

There should be nothing in the blue bin that would generate smells or flies or any other hygiene risks. It is in your own interests to look after your bins.

The Council does not operate a bin cleaning service, however there are companies that offer this service and they can be found via online searches.


What happens in windy weather?

Sometimes bins can be blown over in windy weather. If you have a collection due and it is a windy day, we advise that you try and keep the bin against something to try and prevent it being blown over.

If bins are blown over, you can request a street sweep via our online forms. Crews will not be able to come back to pick up bins that may have blown over after they have been on the street.


What happens if my bin isn't collected due to bad weather?

If we are unable to empty your bin because of bad weather we will try to collect it again at the earliest opportunity that is operationally possible.

This might be due to heavy snow, ice or torrential rain.

If crews have not been able to empty a bin by 4pm, please bring the bin back onto your property and put it out the next morning till the crews have been able to catch up.

You can get updates from our social media channels or from Your Local Services on 0191 278 7878 during spells of bad weather.


What if I have too much waste to fit in my bin?

If you have too much waste to fit in your bin you can:

Remember we do not collect bags left by the bins. It is your responsibility to manage your waste.


What if I have items too big for my bin?

Take your waste to a Household Waste Recycling Centre. Remember to check our site rules and access details before attending.

You can also see if any charities or recycling companies would take items in good condition.

You can also arrange for a bulky waste collection.

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