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Bin collections go fortnightly and green waste collections suspended in temporary move as COVID isolations hit

Monday, July 19, 2021

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Weekly household waste collections will be moved to fortnightly for most of the Borough’s households in temporary changes taking effect from tomorrow (July 20).

Green waste collections will also be suspended from tomorrow, though fortnightly recycling collections and bulky waste collections will continue as normal for now.

The temporary changes come after Government rules left more than a third of the Council’s bin crews workforce having to self-isolate.

They mean most people will have their recycling collected one week, and their household waste collected the next.

Weekly household waste collections will continue for people who leave their bin out in a back alley, and those who live on a farm.

How has this happened?

These temporary changes follow a steep rise in the number of staff having to self-isolate under Government rules.

Eleven of the 77 bin crews staff were having to self-isolate as of the end of Friday, but that number has now rocketed to 27 and may yet rise further.

Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “Sadly, we simply do not have enough staff to keep carrying out household waste collections every week and in order to protect and prioritise that service we need to make a temporary switch to alternate weekly collections – waste one week, recycling the next – from tomorrow.

“We also need to suspend green waste collections with immediate effect.

“I’m very sorry that this has come at such short notice but unfortunately we’ve been faced with a surge in staff having to self-isolate that has made it impossible to continue providing weekly household waste collections. A significant number of those staff are qualified HGV drivers – they can’t be replaced as there’s a national shortage of them.”

When will my green bin be collected?

The temporary move to fortnightly household waste collections affects most households in the Borough, but not all of them.

If you leave your bin out in a back alley, or if you live on a farm, then your weekly household waste collections will continue as normal.

But if neither of the above apply to you, then your household waste collection will temporarily switch from weekly to fortnightly as of tomorrow.

Your collection date depends on whether you are in Red Week or Blue Week for recycling collections.

If you are in a Red Week, your recycling will be collected that week but your household waste won’t be collected until the following week.

Similarly, if you are in a Blue Week, your recycling will be collected that week but your household waste won’t be collected until the following week.

Collections for the next four weeks will be as follows – this pattern will continue if staff shortages persist:

Week Commencing

RED Week


Green waste

July 19


Household waste (green bin)


July 26

Household waste (green bin)



August 2


Household waste (green bin)


August 9

Household waste (green bin)




How do I know if I am in Red Week or Blue Week?

You can find out using our postcode checker tool at

When will normal service be resumed?

Councillor Bob Cook said: “Things are moving so quickly it’s impossible to say how long this will go on, but we will be keeping the situation under constant review will do everything we can to restore normal service as soon as possible.”

Why are collections from farms and households with back alleys unaffected by this?

Collections from farms are done on a single round using a much smaller vehicle and so are unaffected.

Collections from back alleys have been prioritised as it is more difficult to change these areas to fortnightly collections at such short notice.

Can I leave my green waste in or alongside my household waste bin instead?

We are asking people not to do this as it will put even more pressure on our bin crews.

One alternative is to compost it and you can find a handy, how-to guide at

You can also take green waste to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre at Haverton Hill – from tomorrow (July 20) we will be opening up more booking slots and introducing a new, live booking system allowing people to book appointment slots on the same day if they’re available.

To book an appointment slot visit

Can I leave out extra bags of household waste alongside my green bin?

We are asking people not to do this as we do not collect “side waste”.

Can I order extra recycling bags/boxes?

Yes, you can collect these free of charge (while stocks last) from Billingham, Stockton and Thornaby Central Libraries. There is no need to pre-book.

Keep informed

Remember, you can keep up with all Coronavirus (COVID-19) related developments in the Borough via our webpage

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