More on the Household Waste Contract

Posted on: 31st October 2020

More on the Household Waste Contract, in Cornwall, from now until it becomes business as usual.

A good place to start was what was found when the contents of black bags/ wheeled bins were analysed. The conclusion was that residents need more nudging to do the right thing at home BUT I recognise this is easier is you live with space to recycle than if you do not.


Waste Contract: timeline to the new normal.

Key information is that when the new doorstep collection regime comes to our area, late 2022/ early 2023, all residential addresses will get a new smaller wheeled bin, a small waste food caddy for you kitchen and a larger food caddy to go outside somewhere (I know that might be challenging for some). The current recycling bags and box will stay the same, although when you need replacements, the bags will seal better. On your collection day, one week the wheeled bin will go out (no side waste) and the next your recycling. Food waste will be collected weekly.

For those that want to look more in detail at the plans, I am sharing here the slides from a very recent briefing. Waste Contract Slides

Possibly a rash offer: For those really struggling with the loss of the communal recycling facilities, I’m happy to have a conversation by phone, a virtual meeting or even a visit (if we can agree a safe way/ safe time to do this) to try to find a way for you to recycle, that might work.

A cheeky ask: If you have plenty of space to store your recycling and could store more bags and boxes to help someone who lives locally without space, do drop me an email. The space would need to be easily accessible but not likely to have the contents blown all over!


I’ve had a bit of lobbying to allow people to keep and use their current bin, if in their opinion it is still ok and even an offer to mark them (with permanent marker pen) to show the new reduced volume we will be allowed to put out. Below is the answer, in full, from the officer I asked about this, and note he has a suggestion if there are residents or community groups that could make use of these bins rather than them being recycled (re-use always favoured).

“Thank you for your e-mail regarding wheeled bins in Penwith; it’s great to hear that residents are being imaginative with their approach to this issue.

As you imagined the response is a no for a number of reasons, all bins issued by Penwith DC are of an age where they are getting brittle to the point of breaking – even if they look reasonable. A bin which breaks mid lift is a serious health and safety concern for the crews working around the bins so we are keen to remove any bins which pose this risk as soon as possible.

Although Penwith was the only area to have issued bins directly many residents in the rest of Cornwall have been allowed to purchase their own – therefore there are 1000s of wheeled bins of all shapes and sizes across the rest of the county which we will cease to collect from so any policy we brought in around allowing people to carry on using their old bin – either with a height limit or not – would need to apply to these bins as well.

Lastly with economies of scale we have already ordered the number of bins required (it takes a while for companies to make 220,000 wheeled bins, especially in the current climate), therefore if we chose not to give out 10,000 of them, for example, we would need to have these bins stored somewhere which also comes at a cost. At present the manufacturing, delivery and distribution will coincide to avoid unnecessary storage.

A project I am keen to work on – and still open to suggestions on how this would work – is people reusing as many bins in their area as possible, so if someone has a bin they do not have a use for once the new bins are handed out how does someone down the road get hold of it to use it as a water butt/garden tool storage etc. some sort of bin giveaway but avoiding people travelling great distances.

I’d welcome your residents thoughts on the above if people were interested in encouraging this but we can’t allow waste collection from any bin apart from our own 180 litre unfortunately.