The industrial action was lifted on Wednesday, but there’s still piles of rubbish on our streets. What’s happening?

Cityclean is now in the first week of its major clear up of the city. Although the crews were working this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, it was only after the industrial action was lifted on Wednesday that operations were able to fully begin.

The scale of the operation is however a massive one. The very large piles of waste that have built up around our communal bins and recycling ‘bring sites’ take about one hour to clear.

With around 680 communal refuse bins, 1,500 communal recycling bins and 150 glass communal bins across the city, plus more than 60 recycling points offering recycling and glass collections, the clear up will take time.

We believe there is a two weeks backlog which means it will take a minimum of two weeks to clear. The work is also being carried out on top of the normal daily service to residents.

What extra is being done to tackle the problem?

We have additional crews working, and where possible extra crews are being used overnight to tackle areas where it is difficult to get access during the day to undertake the clear up.

For instance, we have a crew working tonight (Friday 22) from midnight on the roads where it is difficult to clear side waste due to the narrowness of the road and the frequency of buses passing through.

The council says it’s starting removing a lot of rubbish, but it looks like very little is being done. How much waste have you actually collected?

The crews are collecting far more than normal, as the following figures show. This week (Mon-Thu) the crews have collected almost 500 tonnes more than would normally collect.

An average daily collections total 209 tonnes. However, on Monday we picked up 265 tonnes; Tuesday 333 tonnes; Wednesday 314 tonnes and Thursday 391 tonnes. That is 1,303 tonnes compared to 836 tonnes.

We just want our city rubbish-free and back to normal. When will this happen?

We understand this is extremely frustrating for all our residents and businesses, and we apologise for the state of the city at present. But we are working really hard to remove all of the waste and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

The amount of waste that’s accumulated does make the clean-up job very hard. But we want to be honest about the situation.

We believe there is a two weeks backlog which means it will take a minimum of two weeks to clear. The work is also being carried out on top of the normal daily service to residents.

Collection information and advice to residents 

Although strike action has been suspended, there may be some disruption due to the volume of waste that has accumulated. 

On your normal collection day, please place your wheelie bin or box on or by the pavement at the front of your property, by 6am. 

Side waste in and around communal bins and recycling sites will take some time to clear.  

If you use communal bins, we would be grateful if you could - wherever possible - continue to safely store your recycling and rubbish in your home or outdoor space, or take it to one of the council’s Household Waste Recycling Sites, until you see side waste being cleared and collections being made from communal bins.

We apologise for this continued inconvenience.

What should I do with my waste and recycling when it’s not collected?

We are experiencing disruption due to the volume of waste that has accumulated and the need for trucks to tip more often. Please bear with us. If your collection is missed, please leave your bins and/or box(es) on the pavement and we will collect as soon as we can.

If you use communal bins, we would be grateful if you could - wherever possible - continue to safely store your recycling and rubbish in your home or outdoor space, or take it to one of the council’s Household Waste Recycling Sites, until you see side waste being cleared and collections being made from communal bins.

For recycling, if possible, do please flatten boxes, try to minimise waste and rinse.

Both of our Household Waste Recycling Sites are open and will be taking both waste and recycling.

Please report missed collections online.

What is happening to garden waste collections?

Garden waste collection will also be back to normal. If your collection was missed due to the strike, your subscription will be extended for one collection, to account for the missed collection.

Who can I speak to if my waste still isn’t collected?

Our Environment Contact Centre won't be able to provide you with any further information about the industrial action or the outcome of negotiations. 

They are available to help residents with things such as clinical collections, street lighting, City Parks queries, trees, allotments and sports bookings.

They will not be able to provide information about when household or communal refuse or recycling will be collected or take complaints about the impacts of industrial action. Please help to keep the phoneline free for those who need help with other services.

Will you provide updates on collections so residents know what’s happening?

We will always do our best to ensure our residents and businesses are communicated with as much as possible. We will keep this service page up-to-date and will publish the latest information in our newsroom.

How do I make a formal complaint?

The Local Government Ombudsman does not investigate complaints from members of the public about issues which arise as a result of industrial action. This is because these are issues which affect everyone in the council’s area, they are not individual service failures caused by something that the council has done wrong or failed to do.

Similarly, we will not be recording formal stage 1 complaints about lack of refuse and recycling collections in the city due to the strike.