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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: 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 try and keep to the weekly rubbish allowance and use local recycling banks where possible. The HWRC will remain open and can be used for disposal of extra waste – don’t forget to book.

From Monday 19 April the crew collecting the rubbish will only take what is contained in your black bin or three black bags (for flat fronted properties) unless an extra waste allowance has been approved. More information about rubbish 


Services running as normal:

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

  • 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. 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.
  • 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 because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus
  • are awaiting a test as you have symptoms
  • have been advised by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate as you’ve been in close contact with someone who has the virus

You should follow the national government advice, which details 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 face coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

There is separate advice for healthcare settingsincluding care homes. For disposal of regular personal waste such as face coverings and gloves that you might have used on public transport or in a shop, please:

  • dispose of them in the ‘black bag’ waste bin at home or at work, or a litter bin if outside
  • do not put them in a recycling bin as they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities
  • take them home if there is no litter bin – do not drop them as litter. Top tip: Keep a plastic bag on you or in your car if you’re out and about.

You do not need to:

  • put them in an extra bag
  • store them for a time before throwing them away

You can wash and reuse cloth face coverings to prevent and reduce waste. Read guidance on how to make and wear a reusable cloth face covering.

A large amount of discarded personal waste has been collected by our street cleansing crews. Do not leave waste in the street, help keep our city clean and tidy. Find out more about our campaign to discourage littering in the city.

Read more on the government’s advice for what to do with coronavirus related waste.

Disposal of rapid lateral flow tests at home

Once a test has been completed in a household, it should be disposed of as follows:

  • Place outer cardboard packaging and paper leaflets from the LFD test kits in the recycling bin.
  • Place the LFD test in the small waste bag provided.
  • Place both the small waste bag and kit in their residual (‘black bag’) waste bin.

How are we supporting our crew?

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.

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 7am and 4pm. Make sure it’s put out before 7am, or after 7pm the night before so as not to miss your collection.

Check before you chuck. Make sure you’re recycling right by following the guidelines on our recycling page or your bin might not get emptied.

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.