Waste and recycling policy HTML version

Gedling Borough Council Waste and Recycling Policy 

1.  Introduction               


The Gedling Borough Council (GBC) Waste & Recycling Policy fits the Gedling Plan vision “Serving People Improving Lives” and stated priority within this to promote a sustainable environment through the objectives set out below:


  • Provide an attractive and sustainable local environment that local people can enjoy.
  • Promote and protect the environment by minimising pollution and waste and becoming carbon neutral.

Domestic waste collection across the borough is undertaken by GBC as the Waste Collection Authority, whilst the recycling, reprocessing, treatment and disposal of waste from the seven district and borough councils in Nottinghamshire is managed by Nottinghamshire County Council as the Waste Disposal Authority. It is important to note that although both Gedling Borough and Nottinghamshire County Councils have a role in collecting, processing and disposing of waste, as local authorities, we cannot control where waste comes from or significantly influence the manufacturing process.

A long-term waste disposal contract between Nottinghamshire County Council and Veolia also dictates what can and cannot be recycled. Gedling Borough Council have no influence over this decision.

Policy Aims

This policy aims to provide the framework for the following:


  • A proportionate and considered approach to waste collection across the Borough of Gedling
  • Clarity and communication for residents to support GBC’s recycling targets
  • Reduction in residual (black) bin waste
  • Increase in recycling rates
  • Reduction in contamination of waste streams
  • Clarity of measures that will be taken for those who continually contaminate or do not comply with this policy
  • Minimisation of the carbon impact of the Waste Service including fleet in terms of mileage and route optimisation

Legal Framework

This policy operates within the current legal framework set out below. 

The Environmental Protection Act 1990

This deals with the protection of the environment and specifies responsibilities relating to litter and waste. The Act places a legal duty on local authorities to collect controlled waste and to recycle.  S46 of this Act provides the legal powers for enforcement.

Environment Act 2021

This sets out legal frameworks for environmental governance (part 1) and includes commitments to secure improvement on five priority areas – waste and resource efficiency (part 3); air quality and environmental recall (part 4); water (part 5); nature and biodiversity (part 6), and conservation covenants (part 7). It legally binds the government and future governments to address these priority areas in order to improve the state of the environment. With regards to waste, it included details on a new direction for resources and waste management.


One of the proposed changes is that the Waste Collection Authorities will be required to introduce weekly separate kerbside food waste collections from 2023.  This will be dependent on current contractual obligations, with the aim of increasing capture rates for organic material, allowing the banning of this material from landfill in due course. This will necessitate changes to this Policy once further details are known.


Other Legislation


A range of directives, strategies and guidance are also relevant to the work of the Council in setting policy for waste, which include but are not limited to:


  • Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) (2003) - sets targets for electronic waste recycling and lays out rules for recycling electronic waste.
  • The Waste (England and Wales) Regulation (2011) - this regulation requires that metal, glass, paper and plastic are collected separately where it is “technically and environmentally and economically practicable” (TEEP) to do so.



  • The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations (2012) - states that household, industrial and commercial waste are classed as controlled waste and are subject to the Environmental Protection Act
  • The Circular Economy Package (2018) - sets ambitious, legally binding EU targets for waste recycling and reduction of waste to landfill, including:
    • Recycle 65% of waste by 2035,
    • Recycle 70% of packaging by 2030,
    • Reduce landfill to a maximum of 10% of waste by 2035.


It promotes a shift towards a more circular economy. This is an economic model that optimises the use of resources within the economy by increasing the duration of a product’s useful life and ensuring when a product has reached the end of its life its resources can be productively used repeatedly.


  • The Revised Waste Framework Directive (2018) - introduced in 2006 and revised in 2008 and again in 2018. The Waste Framework Directive provides an overarching legal framework for the management of waste across Europe, covering recycling targets and waste management plans and introducing the concept of the Waste Hierarchy.
  • European Directive on the Landfill of Waste (2020) - aims to reduce reliance on landfill as a disposal option and seeks to decrease the impacts of landfill to both the environment and human health through rigorous operational and technical requirements.



  • Waste Management Plan for England (2021) - provides an analysis of the current waste management situation in England and outlines how the plan will support the implementation of the objectives and provisions of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.
  • Food waste (raw or cooked)
  • Branches over 10cm diameter
  • Garden furniture
  • Treated wood
  • Soil/rubble
  • General household waste
  • Turf
  • Animal bedding or waste



2.  Gedling Borough Council Waste & Recycling Policies

The Standard Service for Individual Domestic Properties

All bins provided remain the property of GBC. The domestic waste collection comprises of three types of collection:


Bin Colour/Type


Bin Size



Black wheeled

Residual Waste

180L / 240L


1-5 residents in a property = 240L

6-7 residents in a property = 2 x 180L

8 or more residents in a property = 2 x 240L


Note 1: when a residual waste bin is lost, stolen or damaged, the above household size criteria is used to determine the replacement bin size. 

Note 2: apart from the situation above, there are no plans to replace bins unless required under government legislation.

Note 3: residents are able to request a smaller 180L bin if that suits their personal requirements.


Green wheeled

Mixed Recycling (excluding glass)




If the demand is justified, residents can order additional recycling bins, free of charge.




Four Weekly

If the demand is justified, residents can order additional glass boxes, free of charge.






Optional Services for Domestic Waste from Individual Properties where Fees/Charges Apply

GBC sets fees and charges annually and these reports specify the definitions and application of each fee and charge to be applied.


Bin Colour / Type


Bin Size



Brown wheeled



Fortnightly (note 1)

Hedge trimmings, leaves, grass cuttings, plants, weeds, pruning are collected fortnightly for around 10 months of the year March – December. Contracts for this waste service run from April 1st – March 31st.


Note 1: as garden tonnages drop substantially during the winter months, it is

not efficient or cost effective to run the Garden Waste service over the winter months.


Note 2: the Garden Waste service excludes the following materials (refer to section 5 for acceptable weights):



Individual items

Bulky Waste

Type 1 - domestic fridges/freezers and electrical items

Type 2 - bulky non-electrical items


As and when ordered

State pension-aged residents are entitled to a one-off collection per year in Gedling.

A bulky waste amnesty is currently offered for all residents for a limited number of weeks per year, normally in January/February.


Multiple Occupancy Properties (flats or apartments)

In areas where separate collections are not possible, large communal wheeled bins are provided where this is practical. GBC will provide sufficient bins to allow residents to recycle all of their recyclable waste and to dispose of any general waste that cannot be recycled.


All multiple occupancy properties shall receive the same alternate weekly collection service as other single occupancy properties in the borough, including recycling services.




Provision is equivalent to that provided to their domestic neighbours. Any additional requirements will be treated and charged as Trade Waste. There will be no glass collections.



3.  Requirements of Residents (Service Users)

Bin Collection (Presentation)

GBC has the right to determine how refuse and recycling materials are presented for collection, and to decline to collect refuse and recycling materials that are improperly presented.  GBC will not return to a property where the bin has not been presented in accordance with the requirements below. 


If a bin is not put out (presented) correctly it is the responsibility of the resident/ householder to dispose of their waste at the Household Recycling Centres in the locations listed below.  At the discretion of GBC, residents may be authorised to leave or re-present their bin for collection within a timeframe agreed.


Residents should put bins out (present bins) in line with the following requirements:


  • 6.30am (6.00am Bank Holidays) on the collection day
  • Correct colour and contents of GBC supplied bin, as directed
  • Recycling bins should not be contaminated with incorrect items (refer to section 5)
  • Easily seen ideally with handles facing ‘out’ towards the road
  • Not causing an obstruction for pavement users, at the curtilage (boundary) of the property (unless a variation is agreed with GBC)
  • Residents must label their bin with the property number/name clearly visible – this will enable the crew to return the bin to the correct address
  • No form of advertising is permitted on bins unless authorised by GBC
  • Residents are responsible for the cleaning and general hygiene of their bins
  • All bins must be presented with the lid fully closed – lids partly open can get caught in the collection vehicle’s machinery and cause a hazard
  • Bin contents should not be compressed (excessively pushed or forced down), or overloaded in the case of a box
  • If using the bulky waste service, items should be presented on the scheduled day of collection in line with the applicable booking

It is the responsibility of the householder to dispose of waste that is not collected by GBC due to a bin not being presented correctly.  This may be done at one of the Household Recycling Centres (managed through Nottinghamshire County Council as the Waste Disposal Authority) listed below, and should always be done in a legal and compliant way:


  • Calverton Recycling Centre, Hollinwood Lane, Calverton, NG14 6NR
  • Nottinghamshire Recycling Centres. A full list is found on the County Council website HERE .

Prohibited Items – Residual Bins

The following items are not to be deposited in residual (black) bins:


  • Soil and rubble
  • Building materials
  • Liquid waste, including paints and oils
  • Furniture
  • Hot ashes
  • Car parts
  • Electrical items, batteries
  • Fluorescent tubes/low energy light bulbs
  • Chemicals
  • Weed killer
  • Infectious materials
  • Any item that does not fit in the bin
  • Any item exceeding 25kg

Prohibited Items – Recycling Bins

Prohibited items in recycling bins/boxes (green and glass) are covered in section 5 under contamination.

Battery Recycling

GBC provides a kerbside battery recycling collection service. Residents should place batteries in a bag or other secure container on top of either the residual (black) bin or recycling (green) bin and this will be collected on the same collection day. Batteries are kept separate from the general waste and will be recycled.

Small Waste Electronic Electrical Equipment (WEEE)

GBC provides a kerbside small WEEE items (laptop size) collection service from domestic properties. Items left on top of either the residual (black) bin or recycling (green) bin will be collected on the same collection day. WEEE items are kept separate from the general waste and will be recycled. 


There is limited capacity for collection so on occasions where an item cannot be taken a sticker will be left informing the resident that the item(s) will be removed on the next collection date.

Side Waste - Residual bin

No residual (black bin) waste left outside of the black bin, whether in bags, on the ground, or on top of the bin, will be collected, with the exception of small WEEE items and batteries (see above).  The responsibility for the disposal of excess residual (black bin) waste, including that in communal areas, falls to the householder.


Side Waste - Recycling bin

Recyclable materials presented as side waste on the recycling collection date will be collected, provided that it is not contaminated, and is presented in a way that is easily handled.  Recycling materials must never be presented for collection in plastic bags or black sacks.

Trade or Commercial Waste from Residential Properties

Householders are responsible for their bins.  If commercial or trade waste is contained in a household waste bin, then the bin will not be emptied. If this occurs, then enforcement action may be taken.

Bin Return

After emptying, GBC staff will return the bin/box as close to the collection point as possible.


Residents should store their bin back within the curtilage (boundary) of the property no later than 24 hours after midnight on the official council collection day (unless advised to leave out by GBC because it was uncollected).

Assisted Collections

Residents with disabilities or additional needs may request an assisted collection if there is no one else in the household (16 years and over) who is able to take the bin to the curtilage (boundary).  The request is authorised at the discretion of GBC. Validation by a Council officer, a home visit or an evidence request may be required.


Residents are required to ensure that the bin is in an accessible location, gates should be unlocked and in good working order to allow entry.  Aggressive or dangerous animals should be secured to allow safe access.  


If a household’s circumstances change, the Customer Services department must be notified to cancel the assisted collection.  


Assisted bin collections may be subject to a periodic review and residents may be asked to re-submit their application if required.

Replacement/Additional Bins/Additional Bin Capacity (Larger Bin Request)

Recycling Bins/Glass Boxes - households that produce an exceptional amount of recyclables can request additional green recycling and glass boxes at the discretion of GBC free of charge, through the request function on GBC’s website or by phoning the Customer Services team. 


Garden Waste Bins - all Garden Waste Bins delivered form a part of the optional Garden Waste service for which a charge is made.  Additional bins may be requested and are subject to an additional charge for the service. 


Additional Capacity Bin (Larger bin Request) - requests for a large or additional general waste (black) bin will only be granted in the following circumstances:


  • Large Families - a large family can request a larger residual bin online. These applications are subject to verification and spot checks.
  • Medical Conditions - an application for a larger residual bin due to additional waste as a result of a medical condition may be made online. Evidence may be required, and these applications are subject to verification and spot checks.
  • Other Exceptional Circumstances – a resident should outline the exceptional circumstances for a request, and should also demonstrate full compliance with recyclable waste, for a request to be considered.

Residents that require a replacement black bin due to it being lost or damaged will be required to make a replacement request. 


For the avoidance of doubt, additional capacity residual (black) bins will not be provided to any property that does not have a full set of recycling bins unless there are exceptional circumstances.  If a household’s circumstances change, and as a result alter the volumes of waste being produced e.g. a member of the household leaves home, residents must inform GBC through the online process or by contacting the Customer Services team. 


The criteria for a larger bin or additional capacity for residual waste will be subject to an annual review.

Moving House

When householders move home, all wheeled bins and glass recycling boxes must be left at the property ready for the new occupant to use.  When moving house, residents who have an assisted collection must inform GBC so that amendments to the collection round can be made.


New Build Properties


There will be a charge for the provision of an initial set of bins for newly built properties.  Where appropriate, developers or the builder will be charged for new bins in accordance with GBC’s prevailing fees and charges policy.  If developers fail to make this provision, the resident will be liable for the purchase of the bins to the specified standard currently BS EN840 Standard (amended 2012).  No collections will be made from a new build property until such time as bins of the required standard are in place.


4Requirements of Gedling Borough Council

Bin Use

GBC has the right to determine how refuse and recycling materials are presented for collection and to decline to collect refuse and recycling materials that are improperly presented.

Damage during Collection and Replacement Bins

If the bin is damaged during collection, GBC will either repair or replace it within 10 working days at no cost to the resident, subject to stock availability.  A replacement bin may have been reconditioned, i.e. cleaned and repaired.

Waste Calendars

A calendar will be issued annually for residual waste and recycling showing bin collection days and can also be found either on GBC’s website, by contacting Customer Services, or by signing up to the bin reminder email.  During Bank Holiday weeks, collections may change.


Bin deliveries

Bin deliveries (either to new properties, as a replacement, or additional bins) will normally take place within 10 working days of request, but this can be delayed during periods of heavy demand, and are subject to stock, vehicle and staff availability.

Bulky Waste

GBC offers a separate paid for service for large household items from domestic properties. There are two different types of bulky waste collection:


  • Type 1 - domestic fridges/freezers and electrical items
  • Type 2 - bulky non-electrical items

There is an initial charge for the first item and a reduced charge for each additional item.  If there is a mix of type 1 and type 2, then there is a charge per type.


If an item is not presented in line with this policy in a visible location on the scheduled day, or if it is contaminated, it will not be collected.  It is the responsibility of the householder to present waste for collection correctly.

Healthcare Waste Collection Service

There are two types of healthcare waste currently collected from domestic households. The first type of waste is classed as offensive and relates to waste such as incontinence waste. This type of waste can go into the residual (black) bin. However, households producing exceptional amounts of this type of waste can request a larger or additional bin upon completion of an application.


The second type of healthcare waste is classed as infectious and relates to waste such as dressings and needles. This waste may contain blood and as such, may be hazardous. GBC offers a separate collection service (currently provided through Rushcliffe Borough Council), for infectious waste in orange sacks and/or yellow and orange lidded sharps boxes (please note: these sacks and boxes are not provided by GBC). Residents requiring an infectious healthcare waste collection should contact the Customer Services department.


Note: Purple-lidded boxes cannot be collected as these contain Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste, which require a suitably permitted facility.



5.  Uncollected Bins

Reporting an Uncollected Bin

All uncollected bins/boxes must be reported to GBC by residents within 3 working days (Monday - Friday).  Each uncollected bin report will be investigated and, where appropriate, GBC will aim to return within 7 working days after the reported day, unless advised otherwise by GBC or in unforeseen circumstances.


The uncollected procedure will only be actioned if a resident reports their bin/box as uncollected.  Bins will not be collected as a missed bin if the bin has been incorrectly presented (put out), or is contaminated (see below).

Bad weather

In the event of severe weather, when snow, ice, floods, or other conditions disrupt the waste and recycling collection services, GBC will attempt to maintain services. However, collections will only be made where the area has been assessed as safe by the collection vehicle driver. Key factors that will affect this include road conditions, safe access past badly parked cars, and risks to the public and crews.


If the decision to suspend the service is made depending on the duration of the disruption, GBC will return to uncollected bins within 7 working days. In the event of the disruption lasting a number of days, then extra waste may be accepted upon a return to collections.  In these circumstances, GBC will advise residents of issues, arrangements, and timescales for a return to services through social media, GBC website, and the waste email alert service.

Blocked Streets

If a road is inaccessible on the day of collection due to parked cars, road works or other obstruction, then the scheduled collection may not be possible. Wherever possible, GBC will attempt to maintain services, however the safety of the public and crews, alongside any risk to property, will be a priority. GBC will aim to return to make the collection on the first available collection date, or when the known obstruction has moved e.g. in the case of road works.


If a vehicle is blocking a street then GBC will initially seek to advise and educate the registered vehicle owner.  However if this fails to work and they continue to block streets/corners then the council may take enforcement action against them.

Inaccessible Bins

If a bin is inaccessible on the day of collection due to locked gates etc then the scheduled collection may not be made. Wherever possible, GBC will attempt to maintain services and collections. However, GBC will not take any action with regards to removing the blockage, e.g. alerting residents and requesting that they unlock their gates and/or remove the obstruction.


Contaminated Bins

‘Contamination’ refers to any item that has been placed in the wrong bin.  Details of what can be placed in each bin are available on GBC’s website. GBC’s collection crews are authorised to inspect each bin for contamination prior to collection. Under normal circumstances the bin will not be collected if it is contaminated with items that are not approved for that particular bin. Waste Supervisors have the authority to re-direct a recycling bin into the residual waste stream in exceptional circumstances to support efficient service delivery.


For any bin that has not been emptied a sticker may be placed on the bin and recorded by the relevant collection crew.  This sticker is designed to inform the resident to remove the contamination, as the aim for the council is always to advise and educate.  However, if a resident ignores that advice and continues to purposefully contaminate a bin, then the council may take enforcement action (refer to section 6).


If the bin contains a very small amount of contamination, i.e. a couple of small items, the collection crew may remove the contaminant where possible and collect the bin as normal.  However, a sticker may be placed on the bin informing the resident that the item(s) placed in the bin are not recyclable, and the incident may be recorded by the collection crew. 


When a bin has not been collected due to contamination, the resident must remove the incorrect items and either place them in the correct bin prior to the next scheduled collection for that particular bin, or, dispose of the waste at a Household Recycling Centre in accordance with legal requirements.


Crews will not return to a property until the next scheduled collection day for that particular waste stream.


Overloaded bin

Any bin that is too heavy to be moved by collection operatives or be lifted by the collection vehicle will not be collected. A guidance weight limit for any bin will be 60 kg, and for boxes the limit will be 25 kg. 


Rubbish that is compressed in bins may not empty when lifted and tipped into the vehicle. The emptying process does not permit the crew to get in and loosen materials, so if it sticks and cannot be emptied, then the bin may be unemptied or partially emptied. In such circumstances, it is the responsibility of the customers to loosen the contents. An additional visit for collection will be at the discretion of GBC and missed bin collections may be restricted in these circumstances.

Returning for uncollected bins

If a customer reports a bin as not being emptied and the resident is unable to wait until the next scheduled collection, GBC will assess the reason for non-collection as follows:



  • Uncollected due to staff error – this is the responsibility of GBC and we would aim to return with 7 working days. Residual (black) bins will always be prioritised over recycling (green) bins due to the nature of the waste stream.
  • Uncollected due to prevailing weather conditions or a blocked street – this is the responsibility of GBC and we will aim to return to all affected properties on the first available collection date.
  • Uncollected due to bin ‘not out’ – this is the responsibility of the resident and crews will not revisit properties categorised as ‘not out’. Note: GBC uses a real time monitoring system to monitor the collections. All bins/boxes not presented will be logged as ‘not out’. Bins reported as ‘not out’ on the system will be accepted as factual.  It takes longer to report a bin than it does to collect, so there is no incentive for the crew to report available bins as ‘not out’.
  • Uncollected due to contamination – this is the responsibility of the resident, who will be directed by means of a sticker on the bin/box to remove incorrect material from the appropriate bin/box, to properly dispose of it, and to advise GBC that this action has been taken. The resident can then request an additional visit for the bin to be emptied.  An additional visit will be at the discretion of GBC and, if agreed, will only be undertaken on the first instance of contamination within a 12-month period.

Damaged during collection

If a bin is damaged during collection, GBC will either repair or replace it within 10 working days at no cost to the resident, unless advised otherwise by GBC. Only bins that have been numbered by the householder will be repaired or replaced.

Abandoned bins

Residents can report an abandoned bin through Customer Services. When an abandoned bin has been reported to GBC, it will normally be removed within 10 working days.



6.  Education and Enforcement



GBC’s approach to education and enforcement in relation to instances of non-compliance with this Waste and Recycling Policy broadly follows the Nottinghamshire Principles for the Reduction of Contamination, approved by the Joint Waste Management Committee (JWMC) which sets out measures to reduce contamination of recycling and minimise levels of residual waste.


The approach adopted is proportionate and fair.  Information to support householders in their understanding of waste requirements is provided on GBC and County Council websites.  GBC has a duty to take action where a resident’s behaviour is causing a nuisance to the environment or impacting on others by causing a detriment to local amenities.  In such circumstances, GBC will implement legal powers. 


Building awareness and having an educational approach is vitally important to help residents understand their role, and assist with improving recycling and operating efficient services. However, when a resident does not abide by this Waste and Recycling Policy, the process from education through to enforcement will follow a staged approach:




In the vast majority of cases, contamination of a bin is due to a lack of understanding of requirements. For example, the current long-term recycling contract between Nottinghamshire County Council and Veolia accepts some but not all types of plastics, and that can be difficult to understand. In this situation, the Council will always seek to provide clearer guidance, advice and education as follows:


An initial contravention/contamination will result in a sticker being placed on the offending bin, and a note added to the Council system.


A recurrence of that contravention/contamination will result in education, support and advice being provided to ensure that the Policy is fully understood, and allows the resident time to address any issues or misunderstandings regarding the presentation of their waste for collection. This may be through a personal visit, or by provision of information.


In almost all situations, this education process will resolve the issue.




In very exceptional circumstances, the Council will need to progress to enforcement though a Section 46 Notice.


A Section 46 Notice is issued to inform the resident how they must present their bin correctly in order to avoid further action, including the type of waste, and number of receptacles to be used.


If a resident continues to present the waste incorrectly and/or fails without reasonable excuse to comply with the requirements of a Section 46 Notice, a warning letter will then be sent detailing how the resident has breached the Notice, what they need to do to rectify this, and the consequences of any further breaches.


If the resident continues to present the waste incorrectly, the Council may issue a Notice of Intent to Issue a Fixed Penalty Notice, which will detail the reason why, the amount of the penalty, and the right to make a representation to the council within 28 days.


Following the 28 day period and subject to consideration of any representations made by the householder, a fixed penalty notice will be issued.  This will explain the reasons why, the amount payable, how payment can be made, the period in which it must be paid, the right to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal, and the consequences of non-payment.

Enforcement of Blocked Streets Preventing Access for Waste Collection Vehicles


As with contamination, the Council will always adopt an educational approach to instances of a street being blocked by one or more vehicles parked inconsiderately as follows:  




Initially, information is placed on the windscreen of the vehicle(s) preventing access.


A recurrence would mean a letter is sent to the registered vehicle owner notifying them of the issue, and providing information about the email reminder service for waste collection.


If it continues then a second letter is issued to the registered owner.


Again, in almost all situations, this will resolve the issue.




In exceptional circumstances, the Council may instigate the following process in line with the required process for the issuing of Community Protection Warnings and Notices, the application of the applicable tests, and its Environmental Enforcement Policy:


  • Community Protection Warning to the registered owner.
  • Community Protection Notice to the registered owner.
  • Fixed Penalty Notice issued to the registered owner.