Rubbish and recycling collections - FAQsLast updated: 31 March 2014 14:22 UK
Below read FAQs about household rubbish collection times, recycling wheelie bins and boxes. For more information contact us at City Helpdesk.
Use our postcode search to find the collection day for your household rubbish and recycling. Then you can print a recycling calendar. To find out what to do with specific items, check our waste directory.
Organisations need this information how to dispose of business or commercial waste.
Portsmouth City Council is committed to recycling as much waste as possible. Follow the link to find out what happens to your recycling and household waste, how Portsmouth City Council manages waste and promotes recycling, and the council's partner organisations.
Where can I get containers for my rubbish and recycling?
If you rent your property, your landlord may supply bins as part of your tenancy agreement.
Portsmouth City Council does not provide containers for general household rubbish. You will need to supply black sacks (not charity bags) for your household waste, and store them securely inside your property boundary. If you store household waste outside in a dustbin, we suggest buying one with rigid handles to prevent urban foxes getting to the rubbish.
On collection day, take the black bags out of their storage container. If you have to put out your rubbish or recycling the night before collection, please make sure it is all animal-proof.
Recycling is collected in either a wheelie bin or box provided by the council. Recycling can go loose into the recycling containers, rather than in carrier bags. Please don’t use your recycling wheelie bin or box to store household waste.
The council provides different sized recycling containers. Decide the most suitable size for your household before requesting a container:
- 240L capacity wheelie bin - If you have a front garden or forecourt, this is the size we recommend. It doesn't matter if it is not full each week, as we will collect it anyway, and you always have enough space for all that recycling after those one off occasions, such as Christmas or a party!
- 180L or 140L capacity wheelie bins - slimmer bins for properties with no front garden or forecourt, which can more easily be taken through the house, as they can't stay on the pavement. Both bins are 48cm wide; 180L will be best for a family, 140L for someone who may struggle to lift a heavier bin indoors.
- 55L capacity box - available at our discretion for houses opening onto the pavement, and when wheelie bins are agreed not to be suitable.
Can I have a second recycling bin or box?
If you fill your recycling wheelie bin or box every fortnight and always have extra recycling, you might need an additional container. However, before you contact us, please consider whether you:
- crush all your plastic bottles and cans?
- flatten your cardboard?
- put large flattened cardboard alongside your bin/box?
If the answer is ‘no’ – you probably don’t need an extra container. If the answer is ‘yes’ to everything – please contact us at City Helpdesk and a waste officer will get in touch to assess your circumstances and monitor collections.
When is my rubbish and recycling collected?
Days - we collect your separated rubbish and recycling every week on a regular, specified day. Use the postcode search to find your current rubbish and recycling collection day, as well as any scheduled changes. Rubbish and recycling are collected as usual on most bank holidays. The only exception is the Christmas and New Year winter holiday season, when collection days will vary over the two-week period.
Times - put out your rubbish or recycling by 7am on collection day or no earlier than 7pm the night before. It is helpful for the crew if wheelie bin handles face the pavement. This speeds up collections, which reduces the time traffic is held up in your street by the collection vehicle. Please take your recycling container back onto your property as soon as you can, because you could be fined for fly-tipping or obstructing the highway if you leave it out on the pavement on any day other than collection day.
Follow this link to find helpful advice should waste collections be affected by an unexpected situation, such as snow and ice.
Where should I leave my black bags or recycling container for collection?
The collection point for both rubbish and recycling is at the front boundary of your property. This means as near as possible to the entrance of your forecourt, front garden or drive, and not blocked by anything, for example not behind a gate. If there is no alternative, your collection point will be on the pavement outside your property.
The only exception is when the council has agreed an alternative collection point with you, or if you have arranged an assisted refuse collection with us. For more information on assisted collections, see the section below 'Can I get help carrying out my rubbish and recycling?'.
What can I put in my recycling container?
Here's a table of everything Portsmouth City Council currently collects for recycling. Please don’t put anything else in your recycling container, because there will be a reason we don’t collect any other items. The section below explains why.
Put plastic bottles, cans, paper and card mixed together, clean, dry and loose, in your recycling container. If you use carrier bags to store or carry recycling, please tip the contents straight into the recycling bin and re-use the carrier bag, or recycle it at your local supermarket.
Anything which can't be collected from your home, take to your local recycling point in the city, to the Portsmouth Recycling Centre at Port Solent, or use the Recycle Now's locator search to find an alternative recycle bank.
For more information about what happens to anything recycled in Portsmouth, download the recycling documents in .pdf format from the bottom of these FAQs.
|Food and drinks cans||Please rinse out all cans|
Do not include aerosols marked with a skull and cross bones or black cross on an orange background
Do not pierce or squash your aerosols
Please remove loose lids that can easily be removed from the aerosol can.
For example, milk bottles, drinks bottles, shampoo bottles, detergent bottles.
Rinse all bottles out and recycle without lids.
Many charities are happy to collect plastic lids, but the council cannot recycle them at the moment.
Plastic bottles are the only type of plastic you can put in your recycling bin at home. At the bottom of the page you can download a pdf 'Recycling plastic bottles' which shows how recycled plastic bottles are turned into t-shirts.
Flatten cardboard boxes so they fit better in the bin
Put large flattened boxes next to the bin.
||Any clean paper, such as newspapers, magazines, envelopes, catalogues and yellow pages but, please, no shredded paper or gift-wrap.|
Portsmouth City Council and our partner local Hampshire authorities do keep looking at new technologies and markets, to see if we can recycle a wider variety of items in the future.
What can't I put in my recycling container?
Please don’t put any of the items below into your recycling. There's a good reason that we don’t collect them - the table below explains why.
|Non-recyclable items||Why it cannot be recycled|
|Plastic bags, tubs & pots||
Currently, only the types of plastics used in plastic bottles have established recycling markets in the UK. We don’t want to send other plastics to destinations such as China, where we cannot monitor what will happen to them. These items should go in your household waste.
Juice cartons, such as Tetra Paks, are made from a mixture of wood fibre and plastic or aluminium, and go through a different recycling process to cardboard. As yet, we are unable to tell them apart from cardboard boxes using Portsmouth's recycling sorting technology, so please put juice cartons in with your rubbish. They will then be incinerated at our Energy Recovery Facility and generate electricity.
Shredded paper easily jams up the machinery at the recycling sorting plant, but it’s great for your compost bin or pet bedding! You can recycle unshredded paper, but shredded paper should be added to your household waste.
Follow the link for help composting garden waste.
Not all garden waste is easily recyclable, such as woody hedge clippings, so why not shred it into a weed-reducing, water-retaining mulch for your garden by buying or hiring a small garden shredder?
Glass in your recycling bin contaminates the paper content so we can’t then recycle it. A separate glass collection scheme from your home is very expensive, so you can put any colour glass bottle or jar in any of the glass bins at the city recycling points.
What sort of household waste will be collected?
You can put out domestic rubbish that arises from everyday living, such as food waste and light household rubbish including packaging, wrappers and nappies. Remember to double-wrap all sharp or unsavoury items such as glass or pet waste.
There are items that your crew can't collect, including:
- bulky waste, such as furniture, washing machines or bikes. The council offers a chargeable bulky waste collection
- liquids, such as paint, cooking or engine oil
- soil, rubble or building or garden waste
- unwrapped sharp or sanitary items such as glass or nappies – unless they are wrapped securely before putting in your rubbish sack
- hazardous rubbish like asbestos or car batteries
- hypodermic needles
Check the waste directory to find out what to do with these and other items.
Can I put dog mess in my household waste bin?
You can put bagged dog waste in your household rubbish bin, not in the recycling bin! When you're out and about, you can dispose of bagged dog mess in any one of 1,000 dog bins and over 3,000 litter bins citywide.
Why hasn't my recycling or rubbish been collected?
There are some items your crew cannot take. They will leave a feedback information card to let you know why they haven't collected your rubbish or recycling. Examples of the feedback cards are available to download below in .pdf format below.
- Pink recycling feedback card explains that either you haven’t put your recycling container at your front boundary collection point, forward of any obstructions, or that it contains a lot of items we can’t accept.
- Yellow recycling feedback card says that while most of your recycling was fine, there were a few items that can't currently be accepted for recycling. See the section above for items which can and can't be accepted .
- Refuse feedback explains why your household waste wasn't collected.
If there was no feedback information card left and your rubbish was:
- at the correct collection point by 7am on your collection day and not collected by 4pm
- was safely and securely contained
- did not contain hazardous materials or items your crew can't collect,
contact us at City Helpdesk within two working days and we will investigate. If your house was missed in error, your collection crew will return. However, residents may be asked to store their rubbish or recycling until the next collection, or take it to the Portsmouth Recycling Centre.
My recycling container has gone missing
Our stocks of containers are limited, so please have a good look around your area for your missing container and check with your neighbours before you contact us at City Helpdesk.
Why did someone photograph my rubbish?
Photos are taken to help resolve a problem, such as to show that rubbish or recycling was not at the collection point when the crew arrived, or to show waste they are not allowed to collect, for example bulky or hazardous items, garden waste or split bags.
Did I see household waste being put into a recycling vehicle?
No, this doesn’t happen. It might look that way because all collection vehicles are now the same colour, with identical branding. This is so we can use them wherever they are needed – collecting rubbish OR recycling. Rubbish and recycling are always collected separately and taken to different places. Read more about what happens to your rubbish and recycling.
Can I get help carrying out my rubbish and recycling?
If you have difficulties putting out your rubbish and recycling collection due to a disability, illness or infirmity, and there is no one else to put it out, we may be able to provide an assisted collection. Please contact us at City Helpdesk.
How do I get bulky items collected?
If you have rubbish too big to put out with your household waste collection, such as old beds, settees, or cookers, you can arrange for a bulky waste collection.
I live in a flat with shared bins, how does my rubbish collection work?
Always separate recycling from household waste. You'll find big, green, communal recycling bins for recycling and large steel bins in your waste storage area for household waste. Please don’t leave bulky items in or around the bins as they might prevent your crew being able to empty them.
Bins in blocks of flats are emptied weekly, and sometimes more frequently. Residents living in flats can request a 'flats recycling bag' from the city helpdesk to make it easier to transport recycling. Keep your flats recycling bag somewhere handy and, when it's full of recycling, empty it into your shared recycling bin and reuse the bag.
I am a student, how do I recycle and dispose of rubbish?
If you are a student in halls of residence, follow the link to Portsmouth University to find out how to deal with your household rubbish and where you can recycle. If you live in the city, use the postcode search to find your refuse and recycling collection day.
If you have rubbish and recycling left when you move out, the best idea is to take it with you and make a quick stop at the Portsmouth recycling centre on your way out of the city - easy!