The start of the ‘1-2-3’ recycling and rubbish collection trial has been delayed as a result of the circumstances with COVID-19. This delay will allow us to focus on maintaining core waste services, in the interests of public health, during the current emergency. We remain committed to starting the trial as soon as Government advice changes and we can do so safely. We will update you when we have more information.

Why we are doing a food waste trial?

For some time now, Mid Sussex residents have been telling us that they would like to have food waste collections. With over 41% of the average household rubbish bin in Mid Sussex made up of food waste, providing a separate food waste collection for residents is something we are very keen to do.

In order to meet customer demand and expectations for an improved recycling service incorporating weekly food waste collections, Mid Sussex District Council are working with West Sussex County Council to trial a ‘1-2-3’ enhanced recycling and rubbish collection and disposal service.

Approximately 3,000 households across our district will be taking part in the trial which will provide a weekly kerbside collection of food waste in a bid to eliminate food from their general rubbish bin.

This will be complemented by an optional free weekly collection of used sanitary products such as nappies and incontinence pads. By removing these items from the general rubbish bin this will enable us to change to a three weekly rubbish collection.

Under the trial there will be no change to the existing two weekly collections of recycling provided to all residents or the garden waste subscription service. In summary, the trial collection service will be as follows:-

  1. Every week: food waste collections in your new green food waste bin
  2. Every two weeks: recycling collections in your existing blue-lidded wheelie bin
  3. Every three weeks: rubbish collections in your existing black-lidded wheelie bin

The following subscription only services are also available to residents:

  • Free weekly disposable nappy and incontinence waste collection service, in yellow bags provided.
  • Fortnightly garden waste collection service, for an annual fee, in a green-lidded wheelie bin.

The aim of the trial is to:-

  1. Further our environmental commitment to improve recycling within the district
  2. Enable residents to recycle with ease through the provision of weekly food waste collections
  3. Help in the development of future recycling and waste collections and disposal services

The six month trial will commence from late April and those residents participating in the trial will be contacted directly. The areas chosen will represent a mix of housing types and locations will be spread across the district in order to be as representative as possible.

The trial will enable us to evaluate the proposed new service changes in a controlled manner, gaining valuable feedback from residents and giving us the opportunity to carry out a thorough review which will be vital to helping plan improvements to our future recycling and waste collection services.

FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions

You can download a full copy of the FAQ’s here or click on the links below if you have questions about a particular aspect of the service.

What’s the trial about?

What is the 1-2-3 collection trial about?

From April, we will be trialling new services at 3,000 households in the District. The service includes:

  1. Every week: food waste collections in your new green food waste bin
  2. Every two weeks: recycling collections in your existing blue-lidded wheelie bin
  3. Every three weeks: rubbish collections in your existing black-lidded wheelie bin

The following subscription only services are also available:

  • Free weekly disposable nappy and incontinence waste collection service, in yellow bags provided.
  • Fortnightly garden waste collection service, for an annual fee, in a green-lidded wheelie bin.

Why are you running a trial for new rubbish and recycling collections?

Mid Sussex residents have been telling us that they want food waste collections and in response we are looking at trialling an enhanced rubbish and recycling collection service. We also know residents are increasingly concerned about the impact of food waste on climate change. 
The trial will help us to see if this type of service could be rolled out across the District. Our aims are to reduce the amount of food waste and absorbent hygiene products in household rubbish bins and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We also hope to increase our recycling rate to around 60%.

When will the trials start?

The trials will start in April and will run for about six months. We'll be asking for feedback throughout and will let everyone know what's going to happen after the trial ends as soon as we can.

Will my collection day change?

No, your bin collection days will not change. If your property is included in the trial, you'll get a collection calendar telling you what bins to put out when. You will also be able to check your collection dates online at

Will I get more bins?

Households included in the trial will get two new bins for food waste:

  • A silver 5-litre caddy designed for use in your home and;
  • A green 23-litre bin designed for outdoor use;

Those living in flats will be given new bins for food waste:

  • A silver 5-litre caddy designed for use in your homes and;
  • A 140-litre wheelie bin located in your bin store for communal use.

You will continue to use your existing blue-lidded wheelie bin for dry recycling and your black wheelie bin for rubbish that cannot be recycled.

If you choose to take part in the service for absorbent hygiene products you will also receive special yellow bags.
Can I opt out of the trial?

No. It's important to take part in the trial if you are in one of the trial areas. You can give us feedback throughout the trial and let us know about any issues. This will help us decide how best to provide rubbish and recycling collection services in the future. If you are in one of the trial areas and want any help or guidance on how you can fully take part in the trial email:

What if I have questions during the trial?

Look at the information on this page - we've tried to answer the most commonly asked questions and we regularly update this information. If you have any questions or queries that are not answered here, please email:

Weekly food waste collections

How do I use the weekly food waste collection service?

Store your silver kitchen caddy in a convenient place in your kitchen and place your cooked and uncooked food waste into the caddy, instead of your kitchen bin.

Whenever you need to empty your caddy tip the contents into your green outdoor container or communal food waste bin.
Present your green outdoor container at the boundary of your property by 7am every week on your collection day. Try not to tuck the caddy behind your other bins but make sure it is visible, so our collection crews can easily see it.

What can I put in my food waste bin?

Cooked and uncooked food waste can be recycled using the service, including:

✔ meat - including bones

✔ fish and shellfish

✔ dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt

✔ cooked and uncooked vegetables and fruit including peelings

✔ bread, cakes and pastries

✔ rice, pasta and beans

✔ uneaten plate scrapings

✔ tea bags and coffee grounds

✔ eggshells 

✔ solid fats

✔ pet food

✔ mouldy and out-of-date food

What can't I put in my food waste bin?

Please remove all packaging from food waste before putting it into your caddy. 

✖ non-food products or materials (e.g. cutlery)

✖ packaging of any sort (e.g. packaged ready-meals)

✖ oils and liquids

✖ animal waste and bedding

✖ flowers

If you put items that can't be accepted into your food waste caddy it won't be emptied.

Can I line my food waste caddy?

Yes. It is not necessary to line your caddy and you will not be provided with liners, however you can use newspaper, compostable liners (available at all supermarkets) or old carrier bags if you wish. These will be removed before the food waste is processed and will be sent for energy recovery.

How is the food waste collected every week?

The collection crews will visit your property each week in a special, smaller food waste collection vehicle. They will place your food waste into a wheelie bin as they walk along (called a transfer bin). This bin will then be placed onto the vehicle and emptied.

I live in a block of flats; how does my food waste get collected?

The collection crews will visit your bin store every week using a special, smaller food waste collection vehicle. We will be lining communal food waste wheelie bins with compostable liners which are held in place with a reinforced elastic band and these will help keep the wheelie bins clean. This liner will contain any food waste and be removed when the bin is emptied each week. A replacement liner will be put inside the food waste wheelie bin once the bin has been emptied. 

Where does the food waste go once it has been collected?

Once your food waste has been collected it will be taken to an anaerobic digester. This is a tank in which the food breaks down into biofertiliser, and biogas which can be used for generating energy.

I don't need this service as I compost at home already

Composting at home is the best way to recycle your food waste but not all food waste can be disposed of in this way. Please use the food waste caddies provided to you for bones, cooked food and dairy products.

I don't waste a lot of food - should I still use the food waste collection service?

Yes. No matter how little food you waste it's really important that it is recycled.
Your food waste caddy will always be emptied no matter how little it contains.

Will the food in my caddy smell?

Your food waste is being collected every week so it shouldn't smell. However, if you want to wrap items like fish in newspaper, that can help prevent odours. Keeping your food waste caddy lid closed can also help to contain any potential smells.

The caddies are also small and easy to clean with hot water and washing up liquid if you need to.

I do not have enough room in my food waste bin - can I have a second one?

Once you've used the food waste caddies for a few weeks it's likely the amount of food you waste will reduce, and one caddy will be enough. However, if you are regularly producing more food waste than can easily fit into your caddy please email: to request an additional bin.

Visit for information on how to reduce food waste.

Fortnightly recycling collections

Will my fortnightly recycling collection change?

No. You can continue to use your blue-lidded wheelie bin in the same way.

Can I still recycle the same things as before?

Yes. A full list of what can be recycled in your blue-lidded wheelie bin is available here

Can I have more recycling bins?

Yes. If your blue-lidded wheelie bin is not big enough we can provide a larger or second bin free of charge, please contact us at

Rubbish collections

Why are you collecting my rubbish bin once every three weeks?

Over 41% of the average black wheelie bin is food waste and we'll be collecting that every week. Over half of household waste produced can be recycled in your blue-lidded wheelie bin.

We know that some households throw away absorbent hygiene products and we are offering an opt-in weekly collection service. Go to the absorbent hygiene products waste section for more information on how to use this service. 

That means you won't be putting as much rubbish into your black wheelie bin so it won't need to be emptied as often.

Will my black wheelie bin smell after three weeks?

If you are using the weekly food waste collections your black wheelie bin shouldn't smell. You can also opt-in to a weekly collection of absorbent hygiene products which might be another source of smell in your black wheelie bin.

If you think there are other items that will produce an odour e.g. cat litter/pet bedding, then double-bagging them will help.

Why can't I just put everything in my black wheelie bin?

We are making these changes to the way your rubbish and recycling is collected so that you can recycle more and help reduce the amount of rubbish produced.

If you put everything you throw away into your black wheelie bin you will directly contribute to the production of greenhouse gases which are causing climate change. You need to separate your waste correctly.
Can I have another black wheelie bin?

If you are using the services provided to recycle as much of your rubbish as possible you should not need another black wheelie bin. However, if you are using all the services provided fully and still producing extra rubbish email and a member of our team will contact you.

Can I place extra rubbish out if it won't fit into my black wheelie bin?

No. Additional rubbish placed alongside your black wheelie bin will not be collected.

If you are using the services provided to recycle as much of your rubbish as possible you should not need to put out extra rubbish. However, if you are using all the services provided fully and still producing extra rubbish email and a member of our team will contact you.

If you produce extra rubbish as a one-off (e.g. from a party) this can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.


Disposable nappy and incontinence waste (Absorbent Hygiene Products)

What are Absorbent Hygiene Products?

Disposable nappies and incontinence waste are absorbent hygiene products.

Why are you collecting absorbent hygiene products separately?

After food waste, the smelliest materials in rubbish bins in Mid Sussex are absorbent hygiene products. Providing a free, weekly opt-in collection for absorbent hygiene products will remove this potentially smelly waste from your black rubbish bin.

Do I have to use this service?

No. If you want to use your black wheelie bin for these items you can do so however we would encourage you to use this free, weekly service to collect absorbent hygiene products.

Are there alternative ways to dispose of this type of waste?

Reusable nappies are a sustainable alternative to disposable nappies and can be washed and used again. 
There are also disposal-free alternatives to feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads you might want to consider. Menstrual cups can be a suitable alternative to tampons and washable, reusable underwear can absorb your period and are a sustainable alternative to pads or liners. 
If you wish to know more, information on these products can be found online.

What will be collected?

The following are all eligible items for this collection service:

  • Disposable nappies and nappy sacks
  • Incontinence care products such as liners
  • Wipes and paper tissues, bed and chair pads

Can I include other rubbish in the absorbent hygiene products collection?

No. The service is for disposable nappies and incontinence waste products only. You should continue to put any other rubbish that cannot be recycled in your black wheelie bin.

When will my collection day be?

Your collection day will be the same as your other rubbish and recycling collections. Please present your absorbent hygiene products collection at the boundary of your property (alongside your bins) by 7am on your scheduled collection day.

I am paid to look after children in my home - can I use the service?

No. If you are a registered childminder or are paid to care for children you will need to arrange a commercial waste collection. Information on how to find a commercial waste collector can be found on the waste and recycling section of the West Sussex CC website

Does the waste get recycled after it is collected?

No. After the absorbent hygiene products waste has been collected it is sent for energy recovery. We hope to be able to recycle these products in the future. 

I have a clinical waste service - will this change?

No. If you have a clinical waste collection this will continue unchanged.

Other collection services

Will my garden waste collection day change?

No. If you are currently subscribed to our garden waste collection service your fortnightly collection will remain unchanged.

How do I subscribe to the garden waste collection service?

For more information on the garden waste collection service and to subscribe to the service visit

Please note: this is a chargeable service.

Why can’t I put food waste into my garden waste bin?

The garden waste collected in Mid Sussex is composted outside. Food waste can’t be treated in the same way - it has to be treated using heat - so you cannot put food waste into your garden waste bin.

I have an assisted collection- will that still be provided?

Yes. If you receive assistance with moving your wheelie bins that will continue during the trial including your new food waste bin.

If you are unable to move your wheelie bins yourself, please telephone us on 01444 477440.

Will I still be able to book a bulky waste collection?

Yes. Our bulky waste collection service will continue as normal. To book a collection or find out more visit

Useful information

How can I reduce the risk of maggots and flies?

Flies are attracted to odour and loose rubbish (such as food) and lay eggs that hatch into maggots. Frequency of rubbish collections has little impact on the attraction of loose, smelly waste for flies. You can avoid flies being attracted to your rubbish by:

  • Keeping all bin and caddy lids firmly closed
  • Put all your food waste into your food waste caddy - this is collected every week
  • Wrap any potentially smelly food waste in newspaper before putting it into your food waste caddy
  • Don’t leave your food waste uncovered in your home (including pet food)
  • Double wrap pet waste and put it into your black wheelie bin
  • Rinse all tins, cans, bottles and jars and allow them to dry before putting into your blue-lidded recycling wheelie bin
  • Leave your wheelie bins out of direct sunshine if you can
  • Wash your wheelie bins and caddies out regularly with hot water and washing up liquid or a strong lemony smelling disinfectant. 

What happens if my bin is not collected?

You can report a missed bin online at and follow the ‘report a missed bin’ link. Alternatively, telephone 01444 477440

Hints, tips and information

Kitchen Caddies

Storage and use

  • Find somewhere convenient to store your food caddy. Under the sink, next to the kitchen bin or on the worktop are practical suggestions given by residents in other counties
  • Use your own container if you prefer something more stylish. There are many shopping outlets that sell food waste/compost containers
  • If you use liners in your kitchen caddy, putting a sheet of kitchen roll or newspaper in the bottom will help keep it dry
  • If you use liners, remember to leave enough room to tie the caddy liner securely before emptying
  • If you don’t use liners, you can use sheets of old newspapers/magazines and wrap your food waste
  • Old carrier bags, used plastic bread bags, fruit bags or cereal liners are some examples of things you could use to line your caddy (these will be removed before the food waste is processed and will be sent for energy recovery)
  • Remember to empty your kitchen caddy regularly to avoid overfilling
  • Carry your kitchen caddy to your outside food waste bin before emptying the contents to avoid any spillages  


  • Pop your caddy in the dishwasher for a thorough clean
  • Use half a lemon to give it a little clean
  • Take it outside and clean it over the drain if very dirty
  • When you empty your caddy give it a quick rinse using left over washing up water

Food Waste

  • Shop smart, save money and waste less food
  • Love your leftovers, freeze individual portions or use as the basis for planning a new meal
  • Check the temperature of your fridge is set correctly (5C or below)
  • Check your ‘used by’ and ‘best before’ dates when purchasing food items

Good to Know

  • The average rubbish bin in Mid Sussex contains 41% food waste.
  • Saving food from the bin is not only good for the environment but it can also save you money. Throwing food away costs! This is the equivalent of £20 per month per person or £70 per month for a family of four
  • Recycling just 6 teabags produces enough energy to make a cup of tea so even if you don’t produce much food waste recycling a small amount can still make a big difference!

Relevant Links

Visit for information on composting at home and how to obtain a home compost bin or food waste digester.

Visit for more information and top tips on food waste prevention

Visit for information and great recipe ideas on how to use up your leftovers

Visit for more hints and tips

Where the ‘1-2-3’ trial is happening

The ‘1-2-3’ trial is covering approximately 3,000 homes within Mid Sussex district. It may involve some houses on your street and not others as it depends which collection round you are on.

The addresses chosen to take place in the trial area are based on three distinct bin collection rounds located throughout the district. Please click on the summary maps below:

Area 1

Area 2

Area 3

Last updated: 14 April 2020