Refuse faqs

refuse questions

  1. Why does my bin need to be kerbside on collection day?
  2. Where should I keep my bin on non-collection days?
  3. What happens if bins are left out early or on the wrong day?
  4. What can I do if I have more waste than normal or it doesn't fit in the bin?
  5. What can I not put in the bin?
  6. How do I dispose of clinical waste?
  7. What can I do with food waste?
  8. What can I do with garden waste?
  9. Why do some areas have black sacks?
  10. What are communal bins?
  11. Have another question?

Why does my bin need to be kerbside on collection day?

In order for Cityclean to utilise resources as efficiently and economically as possible, the Council has set guidelines for the refuse and recycling rounds.  This is for the benefit of both the resident and the crews.  It means that all crews will collect bins and boxes from the same place for every household.  This aims to reduce reported missed collections and improve our service and your value for money.  Whilst it may seem to be only a few steps to collect from a driveway or a front door, then over the course of the day this can add a substantial amount of time on the crews’ workload, as they collect from over 1000 properties every day. Bins and Boxes should be kerbside from 6.00 am to ensure they are collected.

Where should I keep my bin on non-collection days?

We ask that residents should not be leaving their wheelie bins on pavements on non-collection days as this can cause problems for people with pushchairs and disabilities. Binx and boxes should be stored on your property on non-collections days.

large icon of black refuse bags split open

What happens if I leave my bin out early or on the wrong day?

Putting recycling or refuse out early or leaving it out all the time can:

  • look unattractive
  • cause obstructions on the street
  • create litter on the pavement
  • attract animals and pests

For these reasons we are strict on people who do not follow our guidelines. Problem addresses could receive a letter, a visit from a manager and potentially a fine. Report refuse or recycling being put out early or left out all the time

What can I do if I have more waste than normal or if it will not fit in the bin?

Wheeled bins were introduced to improve the efficiency of the service, safeguard the health and safety of our operatives, ensure the containment of refuse and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

To achieve these, only refuse placed within the wheeled bin will be collected. Over half of domestic waste can be recycled and there is no limit on how much recycling the crews will collect. Households who produce excess refuse are responsible for disposing of this in a safe and legal manner.

You can either take extra waste or bulky items which cannot fit inside the bin to your local recycling centre or our bulky waste collection service collects items which cannot be recycled or disposed of in your household boxes or bin. We run 25 collections per day and at the end of the day the items are taken for recycling where possible or alternatively for safe disposal.

What can I not dispose of through my refuse collections?

large icon of people moving a sofa

The wheelie bins are for household refuse only. It may not be collected if it contains anything that is not household waste. This includes electrical items, clothes and DIY waste including soil. Such waste should be:

How can I dispose of clinical waste?

By law only certain types of clinical waste my be put in a household dustbin - small quantities of sanitary waste such as disposable bed pans, bed pan liners, incontinence pads, stoma bags and urine containers may be put in the dustbin providing there is no risk of any infectious material being present.

Special arrangements are needed for the collection and disposal of infectious and some other types of clinical waste including syringes and cartridges. Please contact your clinic, nurse or hospital for expert advice. For more information on our clinical waste services please check our clinical waste web pages

What can I do with food waste?

A third of what we throw away is food waste. Food composters, wormeries and standard composters take food and garden waste and break it down into high quality compost.

We do not currently collect food waste directly from households due to the different specialist collection methods needed. Around 1/3 of housing in the city are flats, and we would not be able to run a food waste collection service from them due to the communal nature of their collections.

When designing a sustainable cost-efficient service we need to take into account participation rates, types of property, cost and value for money, to ensure the service is suitable for the city. Our projects team continue to explore options and funding.

Instead we offer subsidised compost bins to all residents to encourage composting at home, including kitchen caddies which allows residents to make use of their own compost and is better for the environment. Visit our home composting page for advice on the best option for you and details of discounted composters, food waste digesters and wormeries or check where your nearest public community composting site is. Otherwise food waste for the time being needs to be disposed of in general refuse.

What can I do with garden waste?

When collecting recyclable items, we need to think about other environmental factors. Garden waste is very heavy, and we would need another fleet of vehicles on the road to carry out the collections. This would use fossil fuels and produce more pollution through collections.

It is also likely to have only a small amount of users, as Brighton is an urban city with many multiple-occupancy buildings that do not have outside space, so the city as a whole produces a comparatively small amount of garden waste. We need to ensure that council tax payers receive value for money therefore we could not include a service which many residents would not benefit from. Its far better for the environment to deal with garden waste at the source such as in your garden rather than take it away for centralised composting.

Visit our composting page for advice on the best option for you and details of discounted composters, food waste digesters and wormeries. We are able to accept 1 bag per week with your normal household refuse collection.

Why do some areas still use black sacks?

Black refuse bags are used in areas of the city where wheelie and communal street bins are not suitable. It is important that black refuse bags are not put out early for collection as this can cause litter and obstructions.

What are communal bins?

large icon of a communal street bin

Brighton & Hove has over 700 communal street bins, mainly in the city centre. They are used in areas where properties lack space to store refuse; where people used to have to put black bags out. The bins help keep our streets clean by containing waste effectively and allowing residents to dispose of their waste whenever is convenient to them.

Have another question?

Visit our service information page or let us know if you have any further questions about our services through our online report form - these are passed directly to the customer service team. You can also check out our recycling FAQ.

The Facebook icon linking to our Facebook pageAdd us on Facebook - get our latest news and join in discussions

The Twitter icon linking to our Twitter page
Follow us on Twitter - ask us any questions and get mini updates