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Bin waste advice

Important information

  • Please ensure that bins are placed out by 6.45am on your collection day.
  • Your grey food waste bin will be collected every week on your normal collection day along with your black or green bin.
  • If you are signed up for the garden waste service, your brown bin will be collected in the same week as your black bin. Please check our garden waste / brown bin page for your collection day.
  • Please do not block pavements with your bins.
  • Bins that contain unacceptable items will not be picked up (or returned for) and will require you to remove the unacceptable items before your next collection date.
  • Any bin exceeding 50kg will not be collected.
  • Bin lids must be fully closed.
  • Additional black bags, boxes of waste or any extra waste will not be collected, you will need to take this to the Household Recycling Centre.
  • The council may need to suspend collections during severe weather to ensure the safety of people and properties.

Battery and vape disposal service

You can now put some types of used household batteries and disposable vapes out for collection on the same day as your green or black bin. They must be placed in separate plastic bags and put on top of the bin lid. They must not go inside your binThis is to prevent fires in our collection vehicles.

For more information, please view the 'battery and vape disposal' drop down box on this page. We have also published our response to some frequently asked questions about this service in the same drop down box.

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What you can and cannot put inside each type of bin

Black bin (general waste)

Your black general waste bin should only be used for household rubbish that cannot be reused, recycled or composted.

Please make sure that all material is bagged and that you do not overfill your bin or push the contents down as this makes it difficult to empty properly.

Items we collect in your black bin

  • Nappies
  • Black bags
  • Polystyrene
  • Tissues and kitchen roll
  • Other household waste that can't be reused, recycled or composted

Items we will not collect in your black bin

  • Hot ash or soil
  • Electrical items
  • Bricks and rubble
  • Stone, gravel, concrete or sand
  • Paint tins (if they contain any paint)

Any items listed above that you can't put in your black bin can be taken to the Household Recycling Centre.

Batteries must not go inside household bins. Please see information further down this page about how to dispose of batteries safely.

Grey bin (food waste)

All cooked and uncooked solid food waste should go into your grey food waste caddy, no liquids, this will be collected every week on your usual bin collection day.

Collected food waste is sent to an anaerobic digestion facility where it's turned into fertilizer for agriculture and biogas which is used to generate renewable electricity.

Items we collect in your grey bin

  • All cooked and uncooked solid food waste
  • Cooking oil should be allowed to cool and then poured into a plastic bottle no bigger than 1 litre, it can then be put into the large grey food waste bin for collection.

Items we will not collect in your grey bin

  • Liquids other than cooking oil

Green bin (recycling)

Items for recycling are to be placed clean and loose in your green bin.

Items we collect in your green bin

  • Plastics - tubs, trays, pots, film, carrier bags and bottles (tops and caps can be left on but please remove any absorbent layers)
  • Metal - food tins, drink cans, clean foil, aluminium trays, empty aerosols, large metal sweet tins, biscuits tins (tops and caps can be left on)
  • Paper - newspapers, magazines, holiday brochures, junk mail, envelopes, telephone directories and catalogues
  • Cardboard - packaging card, egg boxes, juice and squash cartons
  • Glass - bottles, jars, (lids tops and caps can be left on)

You must place shredded paper within (for example) an envelope to ensure it's contained. Alternatively, place shredded paper in your black bin or home composter if you have one.

Items we will not collect in your green bin

  • Polystyrene, crisp packets, baby/pet food pouches, toothpaste tubes, shredded paper, black bags, pyrex or ceramics
  • Food - please use your grey food waste caddy
  • Textiles - can be taken to the Household Recycling Centre
  • Video tapes and CDs
  • Energy saving light bulbs or household batteries, these can be taken to the Household Recycling Centre
  • Electrical appliances - can be taken to the Household Recycling Centre
  • Hard non-packaging plastics (eg. washing up bowls, plastic toys, etc)
  • Non-household packaging metal items (eg. baking trays, saucepans, etc)
  • Any other waste not listed on the above 'Items we collect' list

Any acceptable recyclable items that are too large to place in your green bin may be left beside your green bin in either clear tied bags or open cardboard boxes if it is unlikely to rain.

Please note: Plastic packaging may detail a recycling classification code, or have on-package recycling information. We advise residents to look at the item itself as this information may not be relevant to items that can be collected in your green recycling bin.

Brown bin (garden waste)

Please see our garden waste service page for information on requesting this collection service.

Items we collect in your brown bin

  • Grass cuttings
  • Hedge trimmings
  • Tree and shrub prunings
  • Leaves
  • Weeds
  • Old flowers and plants
  • Windfall fruit and vegetable waste from the garden (not kitchen waste)

Items we will not collect in your brown bin

  • Food or kitchen waste
  • Soil or rubble
  • Pet waste and bedding
  • General household waste
  • Flower pots and plastic bags

Battery and vape disposal

Batteries and disposable vapes should never be placed inside household waste and recycling bins. They can cause fires in our collection vehicles. In 2023, we dealt with 10 fires in our collection vehicles.

How to dispose of household batteries and disposable vapes safely

You can put some types of used household batteries and disposable vapes out for collection on the same day as your green recycling or black general waste bins. They must not go inside the bins.

  1. Place batteries and disposable vapes in separate plastic bags - please don't mix them together
  2. Put the plastic bag(s) on top of your bin lid or food caddy on collection day (not inside the bin)
  3. Our Collection Team will put the batteries and vapes into a special compartment in the collection vehicle and take them away for recycling

If you live in a flat using communal bins, please continue to take your batteries and vapes to supermarkets, shops or the Household Recycling Centre.

Batteries you can put into plastic bags for kerbside collection

  • All everyday household batteries
  • Button batteries - e.g. from watches
  • Batteries from e-cigarettes
  • Disposable vapes

Batteries you must take to the Household Recycling Centre

  • Car batteries
  • Laptop battery packs
  • Mobile phone batteries
  • Power tool batteries
  • Lighters
  • Remote control units

How batteries can catch fire during waste collection

When batteries are thrown away with other household waste and recycling, they are likely to be crushed or punctured during waste collection and processing.

Some battery types, particularly rechargeable, can ignite or even explode when they become damaged. Once this happens, the batteries can quickly set fire to other materials present in the waste and recycling, such as paper. This leads to serious incidents that put lives at risk.

Responses to frequently asked questions

Can we use the food caddy bags for the batteries?

No, please don't use the food waste bin liners to put your batteries in. They are for use with the food waste collection service only.

I am worried about children or animals getting hold of the batteries left on top of bins, especially given that the bags could get blown off.

It is important that you place the batteries on top of the bins. If they are not separated, the batteries will go into the body of the vehicle where they risk being crushed. This can cause fires in the vehicle or at the processing facility. 

We carried out a four month trial of this collection service in Hampton and Woodston. During the trial, we have not experienced concerns with the bags being blown off or taken off the lids before collection. We have also not experienced concerns with young children accessing the batteries for collection.

Many councils already successfully collect batteries at the kerbside in this way. This system is the most popular as it is easy for both the residents and the collection crew.

Please place your bags out when full to avoid unnecessary plastic bag use.

Do you only accept disposable vapes, or can I put in standard broken vapes too?

We accept broken reusable vapes. Please put in a plastic bag on top of your bin lid.

Is it not possible for separate vape and battery bins to be created? Or for people to just take them directly to the Household Recycling Centre?

Containers for battery recycling can already be found at shops and supermarkets that sell batteries, as well as the Household Recycling Centre. This kerbside service is to complement the existing collection points in the city. It is designed to reduce the number of batteries placed in the waste and recycling bins which can cause vehicle fires.

What if my bin lid is missing?

Please let us know via our report it online page.

Do we leave the batteries on the bin lid on any of the bin days, or only the green recycling bin days?

Please leave the batteries on top of the black general waste or green recycling bins, not the brown garden waste bin.

Will you recycle all the plastic bags too?

Yes, as long as they are not contaminated in any way. For example, if a battery leaks, we would not be able to recycle the bag.

What about the flats that have the communal bins that lift from the ground?

The battery and vape collection service is not available to residents living in flats. We are working to find a solution so we can offer the service to all our residents in a safe way. In the meantime, you can still recycle your used batteries by taking them to any shop that sells them or the Household Recycling Centre.

Would this system also work for printer cartridges?

We are limited on the number of items we can currently collect at the kerbside. Printer cartridges can be taken back to the shop that sells them. You can also dispose of them at the Household Recycling Centre.

Will this affect Council Tax?

This will not increase Council Tax. The implementation of this service within the current collection service means the costs are kept to a minimum. Diverting batteries from the waste and recycling bins will reduce damage to the waste collection vehicles and will save repair costs.

Clinical sharps

Clinical sharps within prescribed containers should be taken to one of the following participating pharmacies. You can get an empty sharps container from your GP or other healthcare provider. If there are exceptional circumstances that a visit can't be made to one of the following (either by the resident, family member or friend) please contact Peterborough Direct on 01733 747474 to discuss collections.

A needle exchange program is also available.

  • Boots - Serpentine Green, Hampton Hargate, Peterborough, PE7 8BE
  • Boots - Queensgate Centre, Peterborough, PE1 1NW
  • Glinton Pharmacy - 4 Rectory Ln, Glinton, Peterborough PE6 7LR
  • Granville Pharmacy - 35 Granville Street, Peterborough, PE1 2QQ
  • Halls the Chemist - 57 Napier Place, Orton Wistow, Peterborough, PE2 6XN
  • Halls the Chemist - 14a Church Street, Thorney, PE6 0QB
  • Halls the Chemist - The Old Chapel, Church Hill, Castor, PE5 7AU
  • Halls the Chemist - 92 Peterborough Road, Farcet, PE7 3BN
  • Orton Pharmacy - 3 Bushfield, Orton Centre, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, PE2 5RQ
  • Mi Pharmacy - 12A Skaters Way, Werrington, Peterborough, PE4 6NB
  • Millfield Pharmacy - 387 Lincoln Road, Peterborough, PE1 2PF
  • Newborough Pharmacy - 42-46 School Road, Newborough, Peterborough, PE6 7RG
  • Odedra Rc - Rectory Gardens, Old Fletton, Peterborough, PE2 8AY
  • Thomas Walker Pharmacy - Thomas Walker Medical Centre, 87 Princes Street, Peterborough, PE1 2QP
  • Walton Chemist, 178a Mountsteven Avenue, Walton, Peterborough, PE4 6HN
  • Well - 2-6 Hampton Court, Westwood, Peterborough, PE3 7JA
  • West Town Chemist - 63-65 Mayor's Walk, West Town, Peterborough, PE3 6EX

Medical waste

We can collect and dispose of medical offensive waste for free only if you are an NHS patient treating yourself at home.

This includes :

  • Waste items that are contaminated with non-infectious body fluids e.g. faeces, urine, blood when you have an infectious disease
  • Dialysis waste

When requesting a collection, you must tell us about the waste you would like us to collect, and how frequently you would like it collected. Collections are always on a Wednesday and are made weekly, fortnightly, and monthly or on request as required.

Please note: This service is not for residents who are being taken care of by a community nurse or other health professional at home as this waste should be disposed of by the healthcare provider.

If you are self-treating at home, items such as sanitary towels, nappies and incontinence pads (known collectively as sanpro waste) which are not considered to be hazardous when they originate from a healthy population can be safely placed in your black household waste bin.

If you do not have enough room to put all your sanpro waste in your black bin, please complete the application for Additional Bins form below.

For any advice with regards to collections, please contact our Customer Service Team on 01733 747474 or email ask@peterborough.gov.uk.

Liners for your food waste bin / caddy

In March 2024, we delivered two rolls of food waste bin liners to all households presenting a food waste caddy.

The purpose of the delivery was to ensure residents have a consistent supply of food waste bin liners. Each roll has 40 liners, meaning every household should have received 80 liners. 

We urge you to think of the environment when using the liners. We estimate that around three liners a week is reasonable and provide liners free of charge on that basis. Please make sure they are full before transferring them from the inside caddy to the bigger grey food waste bin outside. If you need more liners beyond what we can provide, you will need to purchase them yourself from elsewhere or use an alternative as per below.

For further advice, please email recycling@peterborough.gov.uk.

Alternatives to bin liners

You can also place food waste directly into your caddy. If you want to try and keep your caddy clean, there are alternatives you could use such as newspaper, plastic bags, paper bags, supermarket-bought food waste bags etc. These will be removed as part of the treatment process.

Additional bins

If you have a large family with five or more people permanently living at your address you can apply for a large family 360L black refuse bin to replace the standard 240L bin. You can also apply for a second 240L green recycling bin.

You may also be eligible to apply if someone in your household has a medical condition which generates excess waste. For example, colostomy or kidney dialysis at home.

To apply please complete the application for additional bins form.

New and replacement bins

If you need to order new or replacement bins, please call us on 01733 747474 to arrange payment and delivery. The phone line is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

We now charge a fee to provide new or replacement bins. This is to cover administration and delivery costs. The fee does not cover the sale of the bins to you. The bins remain our property.

The costs are as follows:

  • 240 litre bin = £31.00 per bin (£15.50 if in receipt of Council Tax Relief)
  • 360 litre bin = £34.50 per bin (£17.25 if in receipt of Council Tax Relief)

The first replacement food caddy will be free of charge, a second replacement will be charged as below:

  • Outdoor (large) = £10.00 (£5.00 if in receipt of Council Tax Relief)
  • Indoor (small) food caddy = £10.00 (£5.00 if in receipt of Council Tax Relief)
  • Both Indoor and outdoor caddy delivered together = £12.50 (£6.25 if in receipt of Council Tax Relief)

New household bin set

Set of four bins = £73.50

New or replacement communal bin

Please note we only provide communal bins for landlords / managing companies of blocks of flats.

View the decision to charge for bins on the Democracy Peterborough website.

Assisted bin collections

Assisted collections are available to people who can't take their bins out themselves and there is no other person living at the household who is able to help. We can help you take your bin out if you are elderly, disabled, have mobility issues or visual impairment.

Please call 01733 747474 or email recycling@peterborough.gov.uk to arrange this service or for more information.

What to do with waste if your are self-isolating or have Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Anyone who is self-isolating, either as a precaution or because they are confirmed to have coronavirus, should follow this advice to get rid of their household waste to ensure the virus is not spread via personal waste.

  • Individuals should place all personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, securely in a plastic bag or bin liner.
  • This plastic bag should then be placed in another plastic bag and securely tied.
  • These bags must be stored separately to other waste for at least 72 hours before being placed in the general rubbish collection.

After 72 hours outside the body the virus is no longer viable and the double bagged waste can be put in the general rubbish collection as normal. Only waste that is heavily contaminated, such as tissues that have been coughed in and disposable cleaning cloths need to be treated in this way. Regular household recycling and waste should be treated as normal.

Individuals who are self-isolating should not visit Fengate Household Recycling Centre (HRC) to dispose of waste.