Find questions and answers on bin collection, recycling, home waste and hygiene.


What are my bins for?

Each household has two wheelie-bins:

  • Blue-lidded for recycling
  • Black-lidded for general rubbish

Under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 we can decide what types of bin and how they must be used.

I live above a shop / in a block of flats / in a communal home. What bins do I use?

Flats and communal homes may have different bins for collecting rubbish and recycling.

Ask your landlord, managing agent or housing association for more details.

You may also want to take a look at our Communal bins page for more information.

When will my bins be collected?

Check our Bin collection page to find out dates and times.

How often will my bins be collected?

Every two weeks. Recycling one week. Rubbish the other. Check our Bin collection page to find out dates and times.

Local authorities have a legal duty to collect your waste but the law does not say how often this must be done.

Can you help residents who are physically unable to take out their waste?


We offer assisted collection services for residents who are unable to, or have no one to help,take out their waste to the roadside collection point.

Crews will collect your bin from an agreed place on your property.

Please see our Assisted Waste Collection page for further information.

What if we can't fit all our waste into our bins?

Your bins should give you enough space for your rubbish. Please make sure you squash boxes, bottles and other waste. We may give you a second bin if have six or more people living full time in the property, two or more children in full time disposable nappies and you recycle correctly and still don't have enough space. Please contact us for more information.

If you have extra rubbish - like after a family party - take your rubbish to your local recycling site.

I only fill one or two bags of rubbish / recycling a week... can I get a smaller bin?


Please contact us and we will arrange a swap.

Important information: Our smaller 140 litre bins are the same height as the larger 240L bins but are not as wide.

I have children in nappies. What do I do about the extra waste and the smell?

If you have two children in full time disposable nappies you may be eligible for a temporary extra bin. Please contact us.

Please put all used nappies in a sealed bag such as a nappy sack before putting them in your rubbish bin. Nappies cannot be recycled so please do not put them in your recycling bin at home.

Using re-usable nappies may also help. Find more information on real nappies.

Do you collect garden waste?


We collect garden waste from outside your home. Subscribe to our Garden waste collection service.


What can I put in my recycling bin?

For a full list of dos and don'ts please use the Recycling A-Z on the West Sussex Recycles website.

Please also take a look at our handy recycling leaflet for further help and guidance: What can I put in my recycling bin?

Will I be fined if I put the wrong things in my recycling bin?

No. You will get a yellow tag on your bin. Please contact us If you need further help.

How do I recycle large items that won't fit in my bin?

Take a look at West Sussex Recycles for a list of recycling sites and what they recycle.

Please visit our Bulky waste collection page for more details of our paid pick-up service.

What happens to my recycling?

After your blue lidded bins are emptied into our collection trucks the recyclable waste is compacted and taken to a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Ford. The facility is one of the most technologically advanced MRFs in the country and is operated by Viridor on behalf of West Sussex County Council.

The mainly automated MRF sorts and separates all the recyclables - such as paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, aluminium cans and tin cans - into individual high quality, valuable materials which are baled, ready for manufacturing into new goods and products.

Over two thirds of recycling collected in West Sussex is sold to companies based in the UK. The main materials exported are old corrugated cardboard and paper. These exports support the circular economy for the packaging of products manufactured overseas such as televisions, other technological equipment and white goods. It also provides a more sustainable packaging solution for organisations who provide online shopping.

Unfortunately some of the materials collected cannot be processed or recycled as the wrong waste has been placed in the recycling bin or materials are contaminated (for example with liquids or food). These items are transferred to our Mechanical & Biological Treatment (MBT) Facility in Warnham, and where possible processed into fuel, energy, or a nutrient rich soil enhancer.

To help us sort recycling in West Sussex and ensure it’s suitable for reprocessing, it’s vital to put the right items into your recycling bin.

Residents can help by making sure items are:

  • CLEAN - free from food and drink leftovers - a quick rinse will do.
  • DRY - keep your recycling bin lid shut – soggy paper and cardboard can’t be recycled and can clog up machinery at the MRF. Please do not leave items by the side of the recycling bin where they could get wet.
  • LOOSE – not tied up in plastic bags.

You can find out more about recycling and the end destination of materials you recycle by following the links below:

Watch the automated MRF sort and separate your recyclables into bales.

Find out what happened to the recycling collected from your homes and from your local Household Waste Recycling Site over the last year

Food-waste and hygiene

What does the label 'Use-by' mean?

'Use by' dates are usually found on chilled products such as cooked meats, soft cheeses and dairy-based desserts.

You should never eat food after the 'Use by' date.

Check if the food can be frozen if you need to eat it at a later date. Prevent food poisoning and other illnesses at home by visiting the NHS - information and advice on food safety page.

What does the label 'Best before' mean?

'Best before' dates are usually found on food that lasts longer before going off such as frozen, tinned or dried goods. It  means the food may not taste as good or be of a lower quality after the 'Best before' date has been passed - but it is still safe to eat.

Never eat eggs after the 'Best before' date. Prevent food poisoning and other illnesses at home by visiting the NHS - information and advice on food safety page.

How can I safely store my rubbish at home? 
  • Bag before you bin - always wrap or cover food-waste including pet food before throwing away
  • Cooked food and disposable nappies should be double-wrapped before being put in the bin
  • Rinse food containers and food packaging
  • Remove as much water from your your waste as possible.
  • Remove all the air from your waste bags
  • Ensure containers holding food-waste have close fitting lids and are kept closed. Swing bins can sometimes allow flies access to your waste.
  • Consider composting your kitchen waste. Take a look at our Home composting page for more details and offers.

For more information visit the Love Food, Hate Waste website.

How do I store my rubbish in my wheelie-bin?
  • Make sure bin lids are closed to prevent access by flies. Please contact us if your wheelie-bin is broken or does not shut properly
  • Do not store your bin in direct sunlight
How do I stop my bin smelling?
  • Keep your wheelie-bin clean. Rinse with disinfectant if necessary. Use a professional local bin cleaning service
  • Use cleaning products that contain insecticide
  • Line the bottom of your bin with newspaper to prevent residue build-up
  • Sprinkle bin-powder on your bin bags in the bin
  • Buy carbon fibre pads that fit inside your bin lid and absorb odours
  • Get rid of smells with a deodoriser or vinegar
  • Mark your bin with your property name or number to ensure you get your clean bin back after your collections
  • The use of flypaper, sprays and insecticides may help to reduce any fly problem

Contact us

Online Enquiry Form

Waste Management Team
Tel: 01444-477440

Last updated: 23 May 2024