Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

This page gives you information about our recycling and rubbish services during the coronavirus outbreak.

There is also new guidance about using the household waste recycling centre at Port Solent.

Important: It may be tempting to de-clutter if you are at home, but services are limited. With most residents now staying at home, more household waste will put pressure on recycling and waste services. We ask for your cooperation in keeping your recycling and rubbish to a minimum and working with the council to ensure that it can be managed. Please keep to the weekly allowance and do not fly tip next to bring banks.


Services running as normal:

Suspended services:

  • Bulky item collections
  • Portsmouth household waste and recycling Centre is open with restrictions. Please read the guidance before you visit.
  • Salvation Army textile collection banks
  • British Heart Foundation book and CD collection banks
  • The Great British Spring Clean free kerbside textile/clothes collection is postponed - if you have already sorted your clothes with the material we posted to you with your council tax bill, please hang on to them until restrictions on movement have been lifted and textile banks have been re-opened.

If you choose to contact a professional to take your waste away, please ensure they are a registered waste carrier that holds a licence issued by the Environment Agency. If you don’t and your waste ends up fly-tipped, it’s you who could end up with a large fine.

How you can help at home

Reduce and reuse as much as possible

We are aiming to keep collections running as normal for as long as possible, but now is a good time to start trying to reduce how much waste you create and how much you throw away.

  • Are you recycling right? Now is a good time to become a recycling expert! Our recycling page has the information you need to recycle effectively. Check out our mythbusting page for answers to frequently asked questions, like why we only collect plastic bottles, when other councils collect all plastics.
  • Get composting. As we move into spring, it's a great time to compost your green waste. Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It's easy to make and use. If you're new to composting, here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
  • Store your glass recycling. Services will be stretched during this time and not filling up the bottle banks means we can focus on rubbish and recycling collections.
  • Love food. Hate Waste. Have you stocked up on food? From effective food storage to planning your portions, the Love Food, Hate Waste website has some useful tips on reducing your food waste and making it go further.

Disposing healthcare waste

Advice if you are self-isolating

If you are self-isolating this is the national government advice detailing what you should do with your rubbish:

  • Personal waste (e.g. used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.
  • Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.
  • The NHS has further advice for anyone who is self-isolating at home.

Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

A large amount of discarded gloves and masks have been collected by our street cleansing crews. PPE such as latex gloves and masks are classed as healthcare waste and also need to be double-bagged and put aside for 72 hours before being put out for collection. Do not leave waste in the street as this puts our critical workers at particularly high risk and could spread the virus. Help keep them and others safe, and our city clean and tidy. Top tip: Keep a plastic bag on you or in your car if you're out and about.

How are we supporting our crews?

All of our crews have been briefed using industry guidance from the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) on social distancing and, wherever possible, are adhering to these.

Crew leaving times are also staggered in the morning to prevent too many people being in the yard at once. Some are leaving as early as 6:20am and this may mean they get to you earlier than normal. Please leave your rubbish out by 6:20am so your collection isn't missed.

How do I put my bins out for collection?

Follow the guidelines on 'How do I put my bins out for collection' page to ensure your bin is emptied.

Recycling and rubbish times are staggered at present and can be collected at any time between 6:20am and 4pm. Make sure it's put out before 6:20am, or after 7pm the night before so as not to miss your collection.

Don't burn household waste

Burning household waste is an offence, harmful to people's health and pollutes the environment. Please be considerate to your neighbours and do not get rid of your household waste by burning it in your garden. More information on this is available on GOV.UK

Wash your hands

We should all be washing our hands more often, and especially before and after touching something that other people might touch. By washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after handling your wheeled bins, and wiping the handles down, you can help keep your family and our crews safe.

Park sensibly on collection days

Please park considerately. With more people at home, the crews are having difficulties getting into and travelling along some roads due to parked cars blocking access. Please make sure there is enough room for the refuse vehicle to pass your car on bin collection day.