New smaller bins to reduce waste and boost recycling

Graham McAndrew putting a bag of waste into a refuse bin with a purple lid
Following agreement by Executive on 25 October 2022, East Herts Council will begin the phasing of 180L refuse bins when existing general waste bins need to be replaced because they are lost or damaged. This will also begin the transition to standard bin sizes and colours for East and North Herts which will save money and improve stock levels for replacements.

To make the change as cost effective and environmentally friendly as possible, only existing 240L bins that have been lost or damaged will be replaced with the 180L size. Any damaged bins that are replaced will be sent for recycling.  

Responding to an online survey last year, 45% of East Herts residents said their general waste bin was half full or less at the time of the fortnightly collection. The move to smaller bins will help encourage residents to produce less waste and recycle more with the results of a recent analysis of bin contents showing that 43% of the contents of general waste bins could be recycled.

Stock of replacement bins has been an issue recently with global shortages of plastic polymer and continued supply chain impacts significantly increasing the cost of bins, the availability and lead times. With limited storage space for wheeled bins, aligning bins across both councils will provide greater resilience in bin stock levels. 

Graham McAndrew, Executive Member for Environmental Sustainability at East Herts Council said: “This change will bring so many benefits to residents across East Herts in cutting wait times for new and replacement bins but also to the environment -reducing what we throw away, reusing items where possible and recycling as much as we can at home and elsewhere.

“The roll out of the new bins will be gradual, as and when existing general waste bins need replacing, so it will be a long time before all are swapped, but some residents will start seeing the new refuse bins out for collection from early 2023.”

Larger bins will remain available for households who need them, such as those living in larger households, those with multiple children using nappies or people with other special waste needs.

The move is part of several changes to waste and recycling services agreed in October last year, including the introduction of a new weekly food waste collection in 2025, which is expected to reduce the amount of waste in refuse bins by up to a third.  

If you need a replacement bin these can be ordered on the council website