Alternate week bin collections

About alternate week bin collections

To make our bin collection service more efficient and reduce the cost of waste disposal, we introduced alternate week bin collections from May 2017.

If you live in a location which is hard to reach with a full size bin lorry your waste will be collected by a transit van but will still be collected on alternate weeks. Find out about transit collections.

Alternate week bin collections means that:

  • The council will still come to empty a bin every week, but will alternate between bins
  • Your general waste (green) bin will be emptied one week and your recycling (grey) bin will be emptied the following week
  • Your collection day will be the same day for both bins but emptied on alternate weeks
  • We will only empty one general waste bin
  • You can have more than one recycling bin

Please contact us on 01274 431000 to request a replacement or additional recycling bin. Our team will then contact you to assess your requirements prior to approval.

When will my bins be collected?

Your general waste (green) bin will be emptied one week and your recycling (grey) bin will be emptied the following week. You can check further bin collection dates online.

What can I put in my recycling bin?

Yes please

  • Catalogues
  • Junk mail
  • Cardboard
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Office paper
  • Envelopes
  • Shredded paper (to prevent spillage, please put in a small cereal or other cardboard box)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Aluminium foil
  • Drinks cans
  • Food cans
  • Glass bottles
  • Glass jars
  • Plastic bottles
  • New - plastic food trays
  • New - margarine/butter tubs
  • New - yoghurt pots
  • New - food and drinks cartons (eg Tetrapak)

No thanks

  • Plastic plant pots or seed trays
  • Plastic bags, bin bags, cellophane, cling film or bubble wrap – these are a low grade plastic which also get tangled in the sorting machine
  • Foam/polystyrene take away cups, food trays or packaging
  • Waxed/coated cardboard take away drink cups - the card and plastic cannot be separated
  • Mirrors or sheets of glass - these can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre
  • Pyrex jugs or dishes - made from toughened/treated glass
  • Paint tins or oil cans - these can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre
  • Wallpaper - some have adhesive or coatings on them which can’t be separated
  • Plastic toys or kitchenware such as kettles and washing up bowls
  • Greetings cards with glitter, foil or beads
  • Other items such as needles, colostomy bags, incontinence pads, nappies, dog poo, food waste, garden waste, car parts, car batteries, bricks, wood, carpets, textiles, electrical items including cookers, dryers, vacuum cleaners, gas bottles or hazardous waste should not be put in your recycling bin


  • All recyclable items can now go together in the same recycling bin, either grey bin or grey bin with blue lid
  • You do not need to separate your paper anymore, this can go in with other recycling items
  • You can also recycle plastic food trays, yoghurt pots, margarine/butter tubs and food and drinks cartons
  • Please rinse out to remove any remaining food or liquid
  • The Domestic Waste and Recycling Policy will be enforced

Excess waste or large items can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre where as much as possible will be recycled.

If you can’t take your waste to a Household Waste Recycling Centre you can request a bulky waste collection. A small charge is made for the service.

What other items can I put in my recycling bin?

You can now also recycle plastic food trays, yoghurt pots, margarine/butter tubs, food and drinks cartons.

Why can’t I put more items in my recycle bin?

We know that many residents are keen to recycle as much as possible but what we leave out is just as important as what we put in our recycle bins. There is not always a suitable or cost effective end market for all recyclable materials - but we ask you to reduce, reuse and find alternative ways to get rid of items you no longer want or use.

Do I still need to separate my paper and card?

No, you do not need to separate your paper/card anymore, this can all go together in your recycling bin with other recycling items.

Shredded paper can be recycled but to prevent spillage please put in a small cereal or other cardboard box.

Which bin should I use?

All recyclable items can now go in one bin, you will have a recycling bin or a grey bin with blue lid, either of these can be used for recycling.

Do I still need my bin insert?

No, if you have a bin insert you do not need to use this anymore.

I forgot to put my bin out last week so have extra waste next time.

It is the responsibility of each household to remember to put out the correct bin on the correct collection day. Excess waste because you forgot to put your bin out, must be taken to a Household Waste Recycling Centre.

I don’t think I will be able to fit all my waste in one bin which will only be emptied every two weeks.

If you put the right things in the right bin and recycle as much as possible, you will have enough room in your general waste bin for everything else. All other Council areas in West Yorkshire have been having their waste collected this way for a long time.

I have lots of recycling. Can I put extra recycling out with my recycling bin?

Householders should not place excess recycling or non-recyclable waste at the sides of bins.

Occasional excess recyclable waste should be taken to a local recycling bring site at the nearest supermarket for instance, or Household Waste Recycling Centre, where it will be recycled. However, if you regularly produce a large amount of recyclable waste, you should call 01274 431000 to request an additional recycling bin.

Why am I only allowed to put out one general waste bin?

Every tonne of waste in the general waste bin costs Council Tax payers on average £130 a tonne more than if it was recycled in the recycling bin, so the more green bins that are put out the greater these extra costs are to Bradford residents. As part of Bradford Council’s Domestic Waste and Recycling Policy, we will only empty one general waste bin per household per week. The Council simply cannot afford to carry on paying for residents not separating recyclable waste.

Why can’t I put extra waste out that won’t fit in the bin?

Excess waste should not be placed at the side of bins. It is unsightly, may create a hazard for pedestrians, attract animals and pests or result in littering. The Council reserves the right to take enforcement action where a household continues to present side waste.

Does the lid on my bin need to be closed?

All bins should be presented for collection with the lid closed. This is to prevent spillage or odour problems, access by animals and pests, nuisance or accidents to staff or members of the public.

If I squash my lid down is that ok?

Yes. We encourage residents to make the best use of the storage capacity of the bin by compressing the waste in it.

Is it OK to put my garden waste in my general waste bin?

Do not put garden waste in your general waste bin, contaminated bins will not be emptied. You can still sign up to the garden waste collection service. You can also take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre or you may wish to make your own compost.