COVID-19 Support for individuals

Advice about refuse and recycling collections

Disruptions to refuse and recycling collections

If you think your bin has been missed as a one off, see our Missed Bin Collection page.

We are working hard to make sure you still get regular bin collections. This is a top priority, but we are extremely busy, and there may end up being changes to how your bins are collected. Wherever possible, please try to keep your household waste down to a minimum.

Household Waste Recycling Centres, including Barnoldswick and Burnley, are open. 

To protect yourself and our crews, wash your hands and clean the handles of bins and boxes before putting them out and when bringing them back in. The crew will have touched all the bins on your street, and lots of others too, and can't change their gloves between each bin or box, so this helps to keep them - and you - safe! Though social distancing requirements have changed we still strongly recommend that you keep a safe distance from our crew, to keep them and you as safe as possible.

We are having trouble emptying bins because a large number of  people are at home either unwell, isolating or providing childcare. Cars are being parked on back streets and double parked on streets. People are also parking on junctions to back streets, and our bin wagons don't have enough room to make the turn down the back street. Please try to make sure you leave enough room for our wagons, or we can't get through. If needs be, move your bin to an accessible spot which our crews will spot when doing their rounds.

What to do if you have extra recycling

We appreciate that people are at home more, and have more recycling to put in their bins. We are doing our best to collect your extra recycling.

Getting more into your brown bin

Plastic bottles and trays take up a lot of room. To create more space in your bin take the tops off bottles, carefully squash them and put the lids back on before recycling them. Squash cans too – if you can do so safely!

If your brown bin is full, you can put squashed plastic bottles and also plastic food pots, tubs and trays into a separate bag, loosely tie it and leave it next to your bin on collection day.

Our collection crews will empty any plastic bags with plastic bottles, plastic pots, tubs and trays and leave the plastic bags under your bin handles for you to reuse or dispose of. We can’t take the plastic bags with your recycling.


Please don’t put glass jars or bottles or cans in a plastic bag at the side of your brown bin.  Glass could get broken and any jagged edges of cans could harm you, your family and our collection crews too.

If you have a spare old green recycling box, you can put additional clean cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles and plastic food pots, tubs and trays in itand put it out next to your brown bin.

Blue bin

If you have extra paper and card which won't fit into your blue bin, you can put it out alongside your blue bin on collection day in a cardboard box.

Personal waste

Personal waste relating to anyone who has, or is suspected of having, coronavirus (COVID-19) needs to be treated differently.

  • put disposable cleaning cloths and used tissues in a plastic rubbish bag
  • put that bag into another bag and tie it 
  • store it securely, away from your other waste, for a minimum of 72 hours
  • then put it in your grey bin

If your next grey bin collection is more than 72 hours away, you can put your double bagged rubbish straight into your grey bin.

Other waste can be disposed of as normal.


Please do not leave waste outside the household recycling centres, outside closed charity shops or elsewhere. This is classed as fly-tipping and is a criminal offence that you could be prosecuted for.

Clearing this waste takes our already-stretched staff away from more essential tasks.

Burning waste

Please do not burn waste in your garden or on open home fires or in stoves. A lot of waste is unsuitable for burning. It increases the risk of fires - something our emergency services can do without. It also emits harmful particles.

Covid-19 causes respiratory problems, so anything that makes the air less breathable is an additional and unnecessary threat.