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! And please remember to keep a safe distance from them.

We are having trouble emptying bins because more people are at home. 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.

Extra recycling during the lockdown

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

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.

DIY and gardening projects

You might think that the extra time at home is an ideal opportunity to do some DIY, have a clear out or get busy in the garden.

You must remember that the recycling centres are shut, so you need to think carefully about how you will store any rubbish that you produce.

It might be better to put off those big projects for the time being.


Please do not leave waste outside the 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.

Asbestos, plasterboard and gypsum

You cannot currently dispose of this type of waste because the recycling centres are closed. Please don't do DIY projects that involve the removal of these materials. DO NOT put these materials in your waste bin. They are harmful to the health of our waste crews.

Electricals and batteries

Store electrical items, including batteries and light bulbs, safely at home. DO NOT put them in any of your bins. They can cause fires in refuse vehicles and at the waste facilities where your waste is taken.

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.

What you can do with some of your waste

Food waste

An average family of four can save just over £60 a month by reducing food waste. The Love Food Hate Waste website is a fantastic resource full of recipes and tips on how to store and use up food as well as cut down on food waste.

Green garden waste

Try home composting - visit the Get Composting website for great deals on home composters.  or leave your grass cuttings on the lawn where they will mulch down to provide nutrients. Leave areas of grass uncut - the wildlife will love this!

Textiles and clothes

Store your clothes or textiles like cusions, curtains or towels somewhere clean and dry until you are able to use charity clothes banks, or kerbside collection schemes or until the charity shops are open again.

Donations left outside closed charity shops are classed as fly-tipping, so  hold onto them until normal services are resumed.

Search the internet for crafty ways to reuse textiles, such as making old pillow-cases into reusable shopping bags, or use them as cleaning rags.

Make your own baby wipes

If you’re running low on baby wipes, make your own reusable versions. They are low waste and have zero toxic chemicals, and you could save around £600 a year! 

Simply cut washcloths or old, soft fabric into squares and soak in boiling water with a few drops of baby wash, essentials oils like lavender or tea tree or just water. Stash in a reusable bag (or leftover wipe container) and you’re good to go!

Keeping kids occupied

If you are stuck for a fun kids activity, check out the Wastebuster website. There are loads of craft activities and activity sheets you can try at home. It may also be worth checking out the Rubbish Please website, for ideas to make toys out of recycled materials

Cash from trash

Some TV shows take everyday items, destined for the tip, and bring them back to life. Maybe now is the time to unleash your inner artist and make something cool from items you had written off?