Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates

Bins and recycling

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During this national public health crisis, we’re doing everything we can to protect our workers, protect our residents and ultimately to help save lives. We need you to support us in doing this.

We understand that you have questions and concerns about waste being uplifted over the coming weeks and months and we hope to answer many of your queries here. We have also produced some Frequently Asked Questions (see below) which cover many of the questions you might have.

Watch a video in British Sign Language (BSL) about changes to our waste services

Here’s why we’ve had to make changes to the way we collect your waste

  1. Due to the government’s physical distancing measures, we can only have two refuse collectors in the cab at any one time, rather than the usual three. This obviously has an impact on logistics and requires additional vehicles to support priority collections.
  2. We have reduced numbers of staff due to many of them having to self-isolate.

We have listened to your views and feedback regarding concerns you have over your waste collections. And with everyone staying at home, we know that you will probably have even more waste to dispose of than usual.

Which services have resumed?

  • Due to changes in government guidelines, we are now able to re-open our recycling centres at Western Road, Kilmarnock and Garlaff, Skares from Monday 1 June by appointment only. Find out more about the new procedures on our recycling centres page.
  • Recycling trolley and food waste collections will return to normal as of Monday 4 May 2020. 
  • Private skip hire for general waste and recycling is now available for householders. Please email waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk. If you are an essential business and need a general waste skip, please contact us.

Which services have been suspended?

  • The garden waste service.
  • The bulky uplift service.
  • The automatic public conveniences in Kilmarnock and Mauchline and the Tanyard public conveniences, Cumnock.
  • Please do not use local recycling points such as supermarkets as we don’t have enough staff at the moment to empty these or to clean up fly-tipped material.

Here’s what will be collected

  • From Monday 4 May, your recycling trolley and food bin will be collected as per your weekly collection schedule on your normal collection day. Any additional recycling should be separated into sacks (excess paper/card in one sack, excess plastics and cans in another) and presented alongside the trolley. Please consider presenting this over the next two weeks to allow collections to return to normal levels.
  • Your general waste bin will be collected as per your usual three weekly collection schedule on your normal collection day.
  • Your brown bin can be used for additional waste. Just put this out alongside your general waste bin and we’ll collect it. 
  • If you don’t have a brown bin, please contact us at waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk and we will make arrangements to help you. Please place up to three additional sacks out beside your general waste bin in the meantime.

What can you put in your bin(s)?

  • All food waste should be bagged and placed in the food bin.
  • All recyclable materials: paper, card, plastic bottles/containers/cartons, tins, cans, aerosols, glass bottles/jars should be placed in the recycling trolley.
  • Nappies - anyone who receives the weekly nappy service should place the sacks within the general waste bin (or brown bin). Or you can double bag them and place them at the side of the general waste bin on your normal collection day.

What should I not put in my bin(s)?

  • Batteries - please bag them and place alongside your recycling trolley and food bin.
  • Any garden waste (after the first collection cycle).

What should I do with my waste if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your general waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

We thank you again for your patience and co-operation and know that you will join us in being kind and caring to our waste team workers during this challenging time. We will keep you posted on any further developments on our website, Twitter and Facebook.

Recycling calendar

View or download your online recycling calendar.

Frequently asked questions about waste

We have tried our best to maintain all collections for as long as possible during an unprecedented period of disruption. The situation changes on an hourly basis as the UK attempts to control the spread of COVID-19. This has led to services (or parts of services) being suspended at short notice when resources and staff have become unavailable.

We have to balance this lack of resources with making sure that we remove all general waste and food waste on a regular basis to protect public health. We also have to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our staff in all of the decisions that we make.

This is the waste that you cannot recycle and is normally placed in your green or grey coloured bin. At the moment you can also use your brown bin for additional waste while the garden waste service is suspended.

Any extra waste that doesn’t fit into your general waste bin can be placed in your brown bin. Just put this out alongside your general waste bin on your scheduled collection day and we’ll collect this too.

Any additional recycling should be separated into sacks (excess paper/card in one sack, excess plastics and cans in another) and presented alongside the trolley in the normal way.

If you have stored or accumulated a lot of recycling material over recent weeks please consider presenting this over the next two weeks to allow collections to return to normal levels.

The coloured sacks are provided to householders who can’t have a bin, for example, terraced properties.

In normal circumstances there is a limit to the number of coloured sacks that can be put out on the three weekly cycle, however these restrictions have been temporarily lifted.

Please use your blue and red sacks for recycling in the normal way and present weekly.

We have had to focus all of our resources on the general waste and recycling trolley collections as described above. This service will be re-introduced as soon as possible. 

Please do not present any garden waste for collection until further notice.

 

Only one garden waste bin will be collected along with your general waste bin.

You could consider home composting or storing it within your garden. There are no health risks associated with storing garden waste in this way.

Please contact us at waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk and we will make arrangements to provide you with sacks. Please place up to three additional sacks out beside your general waste bin in the meantime.

Please place your bagged food waste in your green food bin as normal.

Please place bagged nappies in the general waste bin or brown bin. Alternatively you can double bag them and place them at the side of the general waste bin on your normal collection day.

Please do not place these in your general waste bin as they can be a fire risk if collected in a refuse collection vehicle. Please bag them and place alongside your recycling trolley and food bin.

All 32 Scottish local authorities' Household Waste Recycling Centres remain closed and are likely to remain closed until the government essential travel restrictions are relaxed.

We are actively looking at ways we can safely reintroduce this when we get the go-ahead. For example, managed appointment systems, extended opening hours, late night opening. We will provide an update as soon as this is likely to happen.

Personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

The general waste will still be collected as normal, and additional waste will be collected in the brown bin to prevent any build up. As long as all waste is responsibly bagged and stored (particularly food waste), there should be no additional risk of vermin.

Recycling trolley and food waste collections will be re-instated from Monday 4 May 2020 and we will uplift any excess bagged paper/card and plastics/cans alongside the trolley.

The general waste will still be collected as normal, and additional waste will be collected in the brown bin to prevent any build up. As long as all waste is responsibly bagged and stored, there should be no additional health risks.

Recycling trolley and food waste collections will be reinstated from Monday 4 May 2020 and we will uplift any excess bagged paper/card and plastics/cans alongside the trolley.

We have had to focus all of our resources on the general waste collections and recycling trolley and food bin collections. The bulky uplift service will be re-introduced as soon as possible.

Any furniture that you want to dispose of should be stored, preferably in a dry sheltered area, until bulky waste collections resume or our recycling centre re-opens.

Private skip hire for general waste and recycling is now available for householders and essential businesses. Please contact us via  waste@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

Yes it will, however, as it takes our crews considerably longer to undertake assisted collections we have accepted help from our local community led resilience teams.

Where possible, we are now making arrangements for volunteers to pull out and return your bins. If a volunteer is available, your bin will be pulled out the day before your scheduled collection day and returned once it has been emptied. All volunteers will have identification badges and you should be aware that they will need to enter your gardens or communal spaces to provide this assistance.

Using waste businesses

We all probably find ourselves generating even more rubbish than usual at the moment due to most of us being at home all the time, but please remember it is a criminal offence to dispose of it incorrectly.

Our current waste arrangements are:

  • Three weekly bin collections are still taking place
  • Recycling trolley and food waste bins will be collected weekly from Monday 4 May 2020
  • You can also use your brown bin for additional rubbish, collected at the same time. If you don’t have a brown bin you can place up to three extra bags out for collection with your bin.
  • Recycling centres are currently closed

If you feel you cannot wait to dispose of your rubbish as above then please be aware that:

  • East Ayrshire Council and Police are aware of a number of illegal waste businesses operating in the area
  • Many of these have no licence to remove, transport or dispose of your waste
  • Many of these will fly tip your waste
  • This implicates you in a criminal offence if this happens
  • The maximum fine a Court can issue for fly tipping is £40,000
  • A custodial sentence can also be imposed

There are, however, reputable businesses that will take your waste.

You should check if they are authorised before paying and letting them take your waste. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has a list of reputable carriers that you can check. 

Having a licence does not guarantee they are responsible. You should also ask for:

  • Proof of where your waste is to be taken
  • Proof of where and when your waste was taken and deposited via receipt
  • Reputable waste carriers will be happy to provide all of this information to you

You should also always ask for a price up front and you will often have the right to cancel the job within 14 days. Find out more on the consumeradvice.scot website.

Other queries

If you can't find the answer you're looking for on this page, please contact us using our online form.

Bin collection services booklet

Download and print the bin collection services booklet (PDF 636Kb)

  Download and print the Waste Services Collection Advice Booklet (PDF 1.11Mb)

Zero Waste Scotland

Contact Information

Council Headquarters
London Road
Kilmarnock
East Ayrshire
KA3 7BU
Contact us online: www.eastayrshi.re/contactus
Save time, do it online: www.our.east-ayrshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01563 554400
Textphone: 01563 576167
24 Hour Emergency Helpline: 0345 724 0000 (local rate)