Recycling and rubbish FAQs

Summary

This page aims to answer some on the most common questions we are asked about your recycling and rubbish. Before contacting the Council with your question you might like to check the list below to see if the answer is there.

Frequently asked questions

  1. I do not have any bins, how can I get some?
  2. Where should I put my bins for collection?
  3. What can I put in my Green Recycling bin?
  4. What can I put in my Black Rubbish bin?
  5. How can I get rid of items that are too big to fit in my bins?
  6. How to I get rid of my old fridge or freezer?
  7. How can I dispose of dressings, needles or incontinence pads?
  8. How do I report a missed collection?
  9. I'm finding moving my bins/bags out on collection day difficult, can I get some help?
  10. I've had a yellow or red card, what do I do now?
  11. My bin has been stolen/damaged, how do I get a new one?
  12. Can I have a bigger bin?
  13. I've run out of clear rubbish and recycling sacks, where can I get some more?
  14. What should I do with old electrical items?

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  1. I do not have any bins how can I get some?

    You can request new wheeled bins here.
  2. Where should I put my bins for collection?

    Your bins should be placed at the edge of your curtilage by 6.30am on your day of collection. This means that your bin must be within an arms reach of the edge of your property to enable our crews to collect it.

    If you are unable to move your bin to the edge of your curtilage or you live in a property where it is not possible to do so, please contact us on 01508 533830.
  3. What can I put in my green recycling bin?

    For a list of what can be put in your green recycling bin, please see 'what can I recycle in my green bin?'

    Our advice is to ignore any recycling symbols you see on your packaging and follow the advice given to you by your council about whether it can be accepted for recycling. 
  4. What can I put in my black rubbish bin?

    Most waste that cannot be re-used or recycled in your house can be put in the rubbish bin, however there are some items that we cannot collect in your waste bins.

    We advise that waste from your kitchen such as meat bones or fish should be wrapped carefully in a separate bag before being put in the bin.

    You can compost your vegetable peelings and garden waste at home, and composters are available to Norfolk residents at a reduced price.

    Garden waste and DIY waste is not collected in either of your bins but you can order a garden waste bin here.

    Some items of waste such as paint strippers, garden fertilizers, oils and paints are hazardous to the environment and need to be disposed of separately to the rest of your waste in a special way. To find out how to request a collection see Hazardous waste collections.
  5. How can I get rid of items that are too big to fit in my bins?
      
    Large items, such as furniture, can be taken away. A charge is made for this bulky collection service. If your items are still in working order or of reasonable quality you might like to think about donating them to charity for re-use. Some charities will collect items if they are in good condition. You could also post items you wish to donate/sell to a new home on Freegle [external link].

    For more information, please see our page on re-using your waste. If you are getting a new suite or washing machine etc. delivered, then remember to ask the supplier if they can take your old one away at the same time.
  6. How to I get rid of my old fridge or freezer?

    Fridges and freezers have to be disposed of very carefully as they contain cooling gases, which if released can be harmful to the environment. We can collect any domestic fridge or freezer from the edge of your property for a small fee within three working days - see fridge & freezer collections.

    Fridges and freezers can also be taken to your local household waste site. If you are getting a new fridge delivered ask the supplier if they can take your old one away at the same time.
  7. How can I dispose of dressings, needles or incontinence pads?

    Anyone who uses large amount of dressings or pads can contact the council for more information about clinical waste collections

    The safe disposal of needles (or sharps) is extremely important. Under no circumstances should needles be placed in your waste bins. This includes items like insulin injecting pens, syringes, finger prick lancets used to check glucose levels, and adrenalin treatments for severe allergies.

    Special boxes need to be used to dispose of needles and safely returned to your GP surgery. These boxes, called sharps bins, sharps disposal boxes, or sharps containers, from your GP as part of your prescription.

    GP surgeries in the NHS Norfolk area run a free collection service for sharps boxes from medical users, so you just need to take the sharps box in to the surgery and they will dispose of the contents. For more information on how to safely dispose of your medical sharps, please call the NHS Norfolk Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 587 4132.
  8. How do I report a missed collection?

    If your collection has been missed, please contact us before noon on the day following collection. Find out how to report a missed collection.
  9. I'm finding moving my bins/bags out on collection day difficult, can I get some help?

          
    We have an Assisted Collection Service to help elderly, disabled and infirm residents. Instead of collecting your waste from the edge of the property we will collect it from where it is stored.
  10. I've had a yellow or red card, what do I do now?
         
    If you have been issued with a card, our collectors have found something in your bin which should not be there, or there is another problem with your bins. For more information about what to do and why the cards are used please see red & yellow attention cards.
  11. My bin has been stolen/damaged, how do I get a new one?

    You will need to have the following information ready:

    - what colour bin has been stolen
    - the date when it was stolen
    - if it was left out overnight or during the day
    - if it was full or empty
    - check to see if the collectors left you a card to say there was a problem.

    On the very odd occasion bins will sometimes fall into the back of our collection lorry.

    Call the number under 'contact us' below giving as much detail as you can about how the bin became missing or damaged. We will then give you a reference number.

    If your bin was damaged, we will need to find out how this happened. If the damage to the bin was not your fault we will replace it free of charge. If you damaged the bin then we may ask for a contribution to the cost of providing you with a new one.
  12. Can I have a bigger bin?
         
    The standard size bins should provide enough space for the waste produced by an average family. If you have a large family and find it difficult to put all of your waste into the standard bins, request a larger bin here.

    We can also offer you help in reducing your waste by arranging to visit you and carrying out a 'mini waste audit'.

    Please note: it is your responsibility to correctly dispose of any extra waste that does not fit in your bins. Household waste can be taken to Norfolk County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres free of charge.
  13. I've run out of clear rubbish and recycling sacks, where can I get some more?
         
    All properties that use the clear sacks instead of wheeled bins receive a yearly delivery of sacks free of charge. If you run out before your delivery you can buy more from us, see clear sacks for recycling and rubbish.
  14. What should I do with old electrical items?

    You can bring along most household electrical items including computers, televisions, music systems, vacuum cleaners, small kitchen appliances, hairdryers, game consoles and televisions to our WEEE events.

    Many shops now offer to take away items when you buy a new one (e.g. fridge or washing machine). South Norfolk Council also offers a bulky waste collection and will collect large domestic electrical appliances as part of this service. Domestic electrical items can also be recycled at all of Norfolk County Council's Recycling Centres.

    If the item is in good working order, you could consider selling it on or offering it to a new home on Freegle [external link].

    We do not encourage householders placing electrical items in their rubbish bins, as it will go straight to landfill.

External links

British Glass website
The fun place to learn about glass recycling.

Community Recycling Network
The Community Recycling Network is the national umbrella organisation for community-based, not-for-profit and co-operative waste management groups which work in reduction, re-use and recycling.

Emmaus Homeless Charity
Emmaus homeless charity have a reuse furniture business with shops selling second hand items. Their contact number is: 01986 895444.

Global Action Plan UK
Practical help for households wanting to reduce waste and their environmental impact.

Mail Preference Service
Fed up with junk mail? You can get your name and address removed from up to 95% of direct mailing lists by subscribing free. Also see the Fax Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service linked from the Mailing Preference Service site.

Mini-Scrapbox
Norfolk based charity that collects specific business waste and sells it for art and craft purposes.

Norfolk County Council's Rubbish, Recycling and planning pages
Provides advice, guidance and assistance to residents and businesses on waste minimisation, reuse and recycling in order to reduce the impact of waste on the environment.

Norfolk Freegle
This is a network for people wanting to let go of items (or who may be looking for something in particular) to pass on to other people. Anyone can join the group and the only constraint is that all items posted must be free.

Norfolk Homemakers Furniture Project (no website available)
Unwanted furniture and other household items reconditioned and used for vulnerable in local community.
5a Beckham Place, Norwich NR3 3DZ
Tel: 01603 633340 12.00 - 4.30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Fridays. Saturday 12-3pm.

Plastic bag recycling
24 hour drop off point for plastic bag recycling. They can accept bags including: bin bags, cling film, mailing wrappers and bubblewrap. See website for more details.

Recycle for Norfolk
Norfolk County Council and the county's seven district councils work together, as the Norfolk Waste Partnership (NWP) to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill.

RecycleNow
The RecycleNow campaign is designed to encourage everyone to recycle more things more often. Recycling is easy and your efforts can make a real difference.

South Norfolk Freegle
This is a network for people wanting to let go of items (or who may be looking for something in particular) to pass on to other people. Anyone can join the group and the only constraint is that all items posted must be free.

South Norfolk Freecycle
This is the dedicated South Norfolk network for people wanting to let go of items (or who may be looking for something in particular) to pass on to other people. Anyone can join the group and the only constraint is that all items posted must be free.

The Greenhouse
The Greenhouse Trust provides environmental education and promotes and demonstrates ways in which we can all reduce our impact on the global environment.

Waste Watch Wasteline
Help line run by Waste Watch, an organisation promoting action on waste reduction and recycling, will advise on these issues as well as recycled products and labelling.

Which? advice
The 'Which?' guide to recycling household waste and electricals. Advice on how to dispose of difficult to recycle items and tips on making the most of recycling services.

Women's Environmental Network
Includes ideas and campaigns for waste reduction.

WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme)
WRAP's aim is to accelerate resource efficiency by creating efficient markets for recycled materials and products, while removing barriers to waste minimisation, re-use and recycling.


About links to other websites.

Contact us

contact officer/team: Customer Services Team
web: online enquiry form
email: envserv@s-norfolk.gov.uk
freephone: 0808 168 3333
telephone: 01508 533633
minicom/textphone: 01508 533622
address: South Norfolk Council
South Norfolk House
Cygnet Court
Long Stratton
Norwich NR15 2XE

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Last updated on: 22 April 2016