Commonly asked questions and answers about Bins and Recycling and the Covid-19 crisis

What can I do to help?

We are working hard to maintain your waste and recycling services at this time. Here are some top tips for how you can help:

  1. Regularly check our website for updates on any changes to waste and recycling collections, including what can and can’t be recycled.
  2. Don’t stop recycling. With the global economy disrupted, it’s more important than ever to recycle your paper, card, plastic bottles, plastic food pots, tubs and trays, cans and glass to ensure that valuable resources are recycled and made into new products for people to buy.
  3. Avoid having a big clear-out while at home as this will only create more rubbish and recycling for our workers to collect. Please hold on to large items, such as furniture and mattresses, until the outbreak has subsided, and services return to normal.
  4. All charity shops are now closed so please do not leave donations on their doorsteps. But remember charity shops will be very grateful for donations once the crisis is over.
  5. Minimise the amount of rubbish, recycling and food waste you produce. Every bit we can reduce will make a real difference to maintaining a good collection service for everyone. Find tips for reducing food waste, including how to store food correctly and using leftovers, making your food last longer and reducing the frequency you need to buy more food supplies.
  6. Please park your car responsibly. Many more people are at home, and parked cars may restrict access to bins for our collection crews, making their job more difficult and increasing the likelihood that bins cannot be emptied.
  7. Do not burn your waste at home. This creates air pollution that could harm people nearby who may already have breathing difficulties. There is also the danger that fires could get out of control. Fire services around the country are reporting an increase in callouts due to garden fires.

When putting out your waste and recycling containers, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re doing this as safely as possible:

  • If you’re self-isolating and feeling unwell, double-bag your personal waste (such as tissues) and put aside for at least 72 hours (3 days) before putting them in your bin for collection.
  • Do not put tissues into your recycling as they cannot be recycled.
  • Disinfect your bin handles before and after you touch them.
  • Put your bins out the evening before your collection is due, as collection times may change during this period.
  • Keep your distance when our workers are collecting your waste and recycling.
  • Disinfect your bin handles again, before and after collection.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling and disinfecting your bins.
  • Put wipes, cloths, gloves, etc. used for cleaning your bins into your non-recyclable waste, as these can’t be recycled.

Keep those in your household safe. Your collections staff are key workers, please keep them safe too.

For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit Public Health England.

Are you collecting all of the recycling materials you normally collect?

Yes, what we accept for recycling has not changed.   

What changes are you making to my waste and recycling collections?

At the current time our services are operating as normal. We will continue to collect all your waste and recycling such as:

  • cardboard
  • paper
  • glass
  • plastics and cans
  • non-recyclable waste
  • garden waste

What changes do I need to make to the way I put out my waste and recycling?

  1. Your non-recyclable bin collection is currently continuing as normal.
  2. Your recycling collection (for cardboard, paper, glass, plastics and cans) is currently continuing as normal.
  3. Your garden waste collection is currently continuing as normal. You should continue to put your garden waste into your brown bin.
  4. Your bins will usually be collected on your normal collection day (although please see our changes over Easter).
  5. Your time of day your collection takes place may be different to normal. Please ensure your bin is out the evening before your collection is due and leave it out until it is emptied.
  6. Please continue to sort and recycle your waste as normal. Sorting and recycling your waste correctly is crucial at this time, as it will limit the amount of time our workers must spend sorting any misplaced waste, which will prevent the spread of the virus.
  7. Visit our website for more information about what you can and can’t recycle.
  8. We will communicate any other changes to you through our website and social media accounts.

What shall I do with my garden waste?

If you currently have a brown bin for garden waste collections, this is currently continuing as normal. You should continue to put your garden waste into your brown bin and put the bin out on your normal collection day.

Unfortunately, we have suspended new orders for our garden waste collection service at this time. 

Can I book a bulky waste collection?

Currently, our bulky waste collections are operating. To order a collection, please call our contractor Serco on 0330 109 9220.

Can I visit my local Recycling Centre?

Norfolk’s Recycling Centres are run by Norfolk County Council.  Check their recycling centres page for the latest information. 

If you choose to visit your local Recycling Centre and leave waste outside the gates while it is closed, this is classed as fly-tipping and you would be breaking the law and may receive a fine or have to attend court.

May I request an assisted collection?

If you are already registered for an assisted collection, your service will continue as normal. Leave your bins in the agreed location at your home.

If you haven’t already registered for an assisted collection, but would like to arrange this, please call our contractor Serco on 0330 109 9220.

If you live alone and are self-isolating, please follow the Government safety instructions for putting out your waste and recycling, under What can I do to help? above.

For the latest health and wellbeing information on COVID-19, please visit Public Health England.

I've had a missed collection – what shall I do?

Our crews are working hard to deliver our services during this crisis. Please bear with us at this time.  If you’ve had a missed collection, please call our contractor Serco on 0330 109 9220 or email norfolkwaste@serco.com and we will try to return and empty your bin as soon as possible. 

If you have enough space in your bin so that you are able to wait until your next collection, there is no need to contact us.  Please put your bin out as normal on your next collection day. 

What should I do with my recycling if it won’t fit in my bin?

Please do not place your recyclable items in with your non-recyclable waste. Instead, hold onto these recyclable items until your next recycling collection. Here are some tips on storing recyclable items safely until they can be collected from the Recycle Now website.

  • Paper and card must be kept dry and away from heaters, ovens and naked flames so that it does not catch fire.
  • Fold paper, flatten boxes and crush plastic bottles and other containers so that they take up less room. 

Where can I get the latest information?

For the latest information about your waste and recycling collections, visit our website www.north-norfolk.gov.uk

Updates or changes to services will be published on our website and social media channels as they happen.

Your online calendar is showing the wrong information, compared to the advice on your website and social media. Why is this?

We’re updating this information as quickly as we can across all our communication channels. We are operating with reduced resource due to staff illness and self-isolating. The situation is changing daily – please bear with us. For the most up-to-date information, follow the guidance on our website and our social media channels, as these are updated as they happen.