Changes to garden and food waste collections

Changes to garden and food waste collections

Waste and refuse teams in West Norfolk are working to new advice on social distancing. This will affect collections from week commencing 6 April 2020.

Garden waste collections (brown bins) will be reinstated from next week but food waste will only be collected with black bin collections and not green bins.

Also, due to smaller waste teams, in some areas the collection team will need to combine the food caddy waste with the black bin waste and it will not be processed separately in the normal way. It will not be possible to collect side waste or garden waste that has been bagged. Please feed any excess garden waste in to your brown bin over the next couple of collections.

Cllr Ian Devereux, borough council cabinet member for Environment, explained the situation: “Our refuse staff have been working really hard to keep up the usual collection service for our area but with some staff self-isolating, and the new guidelines on social distancing that we must follow, we have had to change the way our weekly food waste collections happen.

“I’m pleased to see the reintroduction of the brown bin collection which I know will be welcome news for many who have been using their time at home to sort out their garden. It is disappointing that we will have to reduce the food waste collection, but this is because we have to reduce the number of people on each crew to maintain social distancing under new guidelines. Keeping our staff safe and preserving the core services of black and green bin collections are our priorities.

“We want people to continue to collect their food waste in the caddy so that they don’t get out of the habit for when all this is over. However, disappointingly it will be collected each fortnight with the black bin waste and in many cases will be sent for disposal. We aren’t happy about it, but we have no choice under the exceptional and unprecedented national circumstances in which we find ourselves. As soon as things return to normal, rest assured the weekly food collection will be reinstated and this will be collected and processed in the usual, environmentally friendly way. Of course, people could assist this situation by being very careful about not overbuying their perishable foods to avoid waste, and by getting creative with leftovers to reduce waste and their need to go the shops. For more tips visit

“In summary, garden waste collections will resume, food waste will be collected fortnightly with the black bin and combined with the black bin waste in most areas, and finally, please do what you can to reduce food waste and your trips to the shops. All subscribers will have their renewal dates extended to ensure they still get their 25 brown bin collections that they have paid for."

Residents are reminded to practice safe hygiene and to wash their hands thoroughly after they take the bin out and when they return it to their property.

Cllr Stuart Dark, cabinet member for emergency planning/Response to Covid 19, said: “It’s vital for the safety and health of our waste and refuse team, as well as residents, that they adhere to the new guidelines on social distancing. I would also like to thank all those residents who are sending thank you messages to our key workers by leaving messages on the bins or on social media. It really lifts their spirits and is morale booster for these teams who have to leave their families to deliver this essential service. It is very much appreciated. We are sorry that the new guidance will affect waste collections in the short term, but we must all follow government advice to protect the NHS and save lives.”

To keep up to date with any service changes please visit or follow their social media channels. Please share this message with people who may not use the internet or may not be able to get hold of a local paper.

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