Bin collection information

Here you will find information on when your bins will be collected and what should go in them.

To check the collection days of your rubbish bin, recycling bin and optional garden waste bin, please check out the calendar link below:


Please click here to find out what you can recycle and tips to reduce food waste.
You can report your missed bin here.

  • Your bin should be at the collection point before 7am on your collection day. If you missed this time, we can only return to collect it on your next scheduled collection day. You can take any excess waste to the nearest household waste recovery centre or pay for a special bulk collection.
  • Check your neighbour’s bins have been emptied. Time of collection is between 7am and 5pm and can change from week to week.
  • Make note of any bank holidays. Please use the postcode checker above for changes in collection days.
  • Your recycling bin may have been missed due to contamination. There will be a tag on your bin or a note through your door so please read the advice given, remove the offending items and put it out again on your next scheduled recycling collection day.  
If the above guidelines don’t apply to you, please fill in the form using the link above.

Once this has been received, we will aim to empty your bin on the next working day (except Fridays when there are no collections) but it may take up to two working days.

What happens if my garden waste bin is missed
If we have missed your garden bin, every effort will be made to return to collect it, providing it was missed through our fault.  However, if it has been missed due to bad weather or other circumstances beyond our control, this may not always be possible.  Unfortunately, we cannot pay refunds or part refunds for missed garden waste bins.  
Check the lists below to see what can go in each of your bins.

Yes please No thanks
Items that cannot be put into a recycling or garden waste bin Anything which can be recycled
Food waste Very heavy or electrical items, e.g. television – check our bulky waste service
Nappies Garden waste (please enquire about the garden waste collection service)
Vacuum cleaner contents  
Plastic film and polystyrene
Pet waste
Shredded paper (if you don’t home compost)
Yes please No thanks
Clean paper and card (except shredded paper and paper towels) Shredded paper (put in general waste bin), tissues or paper towels
Junk mail, newspapers, magazines, catalogues and directories Tin foil or foil trays
Cardboard (please flatten) Plastics which aren’t bottles e.g. bags, carrier bags, cling film, plant pots, yoghurt pots, food trays, margarine cartons, bubble wrap
Clean food tins and drink cans (please rinse) Tetrapacks (juice and milk cartons)*
Empty aerosol cans Glass*
Plastic bottles, including drinks, shampoo and detergent bottles (please ensure they are washed and squashed but you can now leave the tops on)  Food waste
  Clothing, shoes and textiles
Disposable nappies
Very heavy or electrical items, e.g. television – check our bulky waste service
*Please remember
You can take your glass and paper-based liquid food and drink cartons (Tetra Paks) to our household waste recovery centres and local recycling points.
Whilst we appreciate that some other North East councils provide kerbside glass collection services by using a separate ‘caddy’ container within the household recycling bin. There are a number of reasons why Northumberland County Council has decided not to adopt this approach, which are set out below:
  • Paper comprises ~90% by weight of the recyclable materials placed in the recycling bin.  The paper-mills have stringent quality controls and will reject whole lorry loads of paper if they find even small quantities of contaminants mixed in with the paper – especially shards of glass which can compromise the paper making process. We consider that including glass within the kerbside recycling bins (even in a caddy) could compromise the quality of the paper and undermine the long term financial and environmental sustainability of the kerbside recycling service.
  • The Health and Safety of employees is also a high priority for the council, and the increased manual handling associated with collecting caddies full of glass along with the increased risks of cuts for staff who manually pick-off any obvious contaminants as part of a final ‘polishing stage’ in the highly mechanised sorting process we use at our Material Recycling Facility are both something that the council wishes to avoid.
  • It is also worth noting that local authorities who collect glass in caddies such as Newcastle City Council and North Tyneside, use compartmentalised vehicles to try and keep the glass separate from the other ‘mixed’ recyclables in the recycling bin. Whilst this may be appropriate in an urban environment with a high housing density and short distances to the recycling facilities, it would be inefficient in a much larger and less densely populated county such as Northumberland to require a collection vehicle with one full compartment and one half full compartment to travel long distances to the nearest waste disposal site with only a partial load.  It is also less cost effective to run with two different types of refuse collection vehicles (split compartment’ vehicles for recycling bins and normal ‘bin wagons’ for general household waste) as you do not have the operational flexibility to cope with vehicle breakdowns, as normal ‘bin wagons’ can’t be used to undertake recycling collections due to the requirement for segregation of glass.  In order to ensure that the Council provides a reliable collection service it then becomes necessary to operate with additional ‘spare’ vehicles – which at ~£140,000 each is not a cheap option.
  • The glass collected in caddies is also mixed rather than colour separated.  Mixed glass is normally only suitable to be recycled into aggregate which has limited environmental benefits.  In Northumberland we collect brown/green glass and clear glass separately so that these materials can be melted back down and manufactured into new glass containers, this ensures that the maximum environmental benefit is achieved from the recycling activity through avoided energy consumption and reduced carbon dioxide emissions when compared to the production of glass from virgin materials or its use as a secondary aggregate..

The Council does continually monitor changes in technology and best practice and will continue to investigate options that could offer improvements in our recycling services that are cost effective and environmentally sustainable.

It is also worth noting that ‘residual’ household waste placed in general waste bins for disposal in Northumberland is no longer disposed of to landfill, but is sent to an Energy from Waste facility where it is used as a fuel to generate electricity. Any inert materials in the waste processed at the Energy from Waste facility, such as glass, are recovered from the bottom ash and recycled into construction materials.
Yes please No thanks
Leaves Kitchen waste (such as fruit and vegetable peelings)
Grass Soil or rubble
Weeds General household rubbish
Small branches less than 10cm in diameter Plant pots or fence panels
Hedges Garden equipment, fittings or garden furniture
Tree cuttings less than 10cm in diameter  
Find out about our assisted collection service for your bins.

If you need help putting your bin out, we may be able to offer an assisted collection.

Residents who may qualify for this service are the elderly or infirm, or suffer from short or long-term illness.

There must also be no other able-bodied person over 16 years of age living at the address, and you will need to give a short explanation of why you are unable to move your bin.

Short-term assistance will be reviewed at two-monthly intervals if necessary. 
What to do if your bin is lost, stolen, damaged or you have moved into a house where there is no bin.

You are expected to pay for a replacement bin, unless:
  • the bin has been damaged by the council’s collection vehicle or staff when emptied
  • we have agreed that your bin should be permanently left on the roadside
We aim to deliver a replacement bin within five working days of payment being received. To order a new or replacement bin, you can:
If you have moved into a new home without bins, you will need to buy general waste and recycling bins.

Please see here for charges or for further information contact us.
How to change the size of your bin.

To downsize your rubbish bin free of charge please fill out this form. Our bin sizes are:
  • Large (340-litre)
  • Standard (240-litre)
  • Small (140-litre)
Alternatively you can phone: 0345 600 6400, or leave your contact details in person at one of our customer information centres.

To request a smaller recycling bin fill out this form. Please note it may not be possible to provide a smaller recycling bin, as this does not encourage recycling - an officer will be in touch to discuss your needs. 
To upsize your small rubbish bin (140-litre) to a standard (240-litre) bin there is a charge of £29. Please contact us on 0345 600 6400 or leave your contact details at one of our customer information centres.

In special circumstances you can request a large (340-litre) rubbish bin for a charge of £63, or £46 in exchange for a standard or small bin. Please contact us to discuss your needs with one of our officers. Call 0345 600 6400 or leave your contact details at one of our customer information centres.

You can exchange your recycling bin for a larger one free of charge, please contact us using the details above to discuss your needs. 

Commonly asked questions regarding bin collection.

If collections are disrupted due to severe weather, we will provide updates on our website homepage as well as our Facebook, and Twitter  accounts during these periods.

We always aim to rearrange missed collections caused by service disruption as soon as possible.  

What happens if my garden waste bin is missed
If we have missed your garden bin, every effort will be made to return to collect it, providing it was missed through our fault.  However, if it has been missed due to bad weather or other circumstances beyond our control, this may not always be possible.  Unfortunately, we cannot pay refunds or part refunds for missed garden waste bins.  
If your recycling bin has been contaminated you will find a tag on the bin or a letter through your door reminding you of the recycling guidelines. Please read the advice given, remove the offending items and put it out again on your next scheduled collection day.

Some points to consider:
  • small amount of contamination – usually the bin will still be emptied
  • large amount of contamination – the recycling bin will not be emptied
  • certain materials will cause problems at the sorting plant – materials such as food waste, nappies or glass will contaminate the bin beyond sorting and so the bin will not be emptied
  • continually and deliberately contaminating your bin – the council will either remove your bin or refuse to empty it. In order to have your bin returned you will need to agree not to cause further contamination and pay the standard charge for the re-provision of the recycling bin if applicable.
If you feel you don’t have space for a wheeled bin, then you may be able to use bin sacks. The council must determine this before you can start using bin sacks for collection. For more information on bins sacks, and to request free recycling sacks, please call 0345 600 6400 or visit one of our customer information centres.
Follow this simple checklist to ensure your bins are collected correctly:
  • Put your bin out before 7am on collection day, either at the kerbside or previously agreed collection point.
  • Don’t overfill your bin; the lid must be able to close.
  • Don’t leave excess waste alongside your bin as it will not be collected.
  • Any excess waste should be taken to your local household waste recovery centre.
  • Don’t put any clinical/healthcare waste in your bin; ask your doctor/nurse/pharmacist to recommend how you should dispose of this waste.
  • Take your bin back onto your property within 24 hours of it being emptied.