Residents invited to talk rubbish as York council reviews recycling sites

City of York Council wants to know more about how residents use recycling banks across the city, and how they want to use them in the future.

The council is reviewing around 50 sites which contain banks for recycling between one and 12 different materials.  These are mainly situated in car parks, streets and other public areas of the city.

Residents are asked to fill in a short online survey to influence the review, which will look at the number of the sites, where they are located, the range of materials which can be recycled, and their general appearance.

Residents have until Wednesday 9 August to fill in the survey, which they can access from consultation page of council’s website

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment, said:

Recycling bins in Acomb car park

“We want to improve our recycling rates further in York, and want to modernise the ‘bring banks’ network as it is looking tired in places, and some gaps have appeared in parts of the city where landowners have asked for them to be removed.

“We are receiving requests all the time for new materials such as cartons to be included and so want to respond to support residents.

We are encouraging residents to engage with the council to fill in the survey so that we can provide the right recycling banks in the right places.”

In 2016/17, the recycling sites collected an estimated 800 tonnes of materials, and cost the council around £75,000.

The city’s two Household Waste Recycling Centres are not part of this review.

Green bin charges

It is over 2 years since the York Council started to charge for emptying second and subsequent green (garden waste) bins.

The charge was controversial at the time as there were fears that excess compostable waste would simply be put into grey bins and subsequently land-filled.

There were also concerns that some might be fly tipped.

New figures reveal that the numbers prepared to pay for green bin emptying have fallen.

  • The number of subscriptions in 2015 was 1,320
  • The number of subscriptions in 2016 was 1,146

Green bins currently cost £37 a year to empty.

The Council therefore has secured an income, through the charges, of around £43,000 a year.

Landfill Tax cost York taxpayers over £4 million in 2016.

This years figure is expected to be even higher.

Waste trends





Big contracts awarded by York Council

£77,000 for Coppergate camera enforcement

The York Council has let some substantial contracts recently. One of the most controversial is likely to be to Ltd for “Parking Services back-office system monitoring of cameras and issuing of notices” for the Coppergate bus lane The companies had office is on the Embankment in London. The size of the contract – which is for one year only – suggests that fine income would have  to rise considerably if taxpayers are to avoid an unexpected bill.

Less controversial may be the award of a contract for the collection of recycling materials in the City centre. The 5 year contract is valued at £1/2 million, runs for 5 years and has been awarded to the Friends of St Nicholas Field.

£60,671 will be spent on caring for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and £362,263 refurbishing Sycamore House mental health centre,

Other recent contract awards have included:

Ranger Hut, Hull Road Vine House Construction Ltd £24,057.41
Haxby Library Demolition MGL Demolition Ltd £48,000.00
Provision of supported care for UASC Sash £60,671.00
Sycamore House Refurbishment F Parkinson Ltd £362,263.00
School Crossing Patrol Signals Tender Dynniq UK Ltd £77,394.80
Structural and visual assessments of City of York Councils Street lighting assets MPH Inspection Services Ltd £150,000.00
Support for Street lighting fault repairs (MEWP) Bouygues UK Limited £30,000.00
ReSurfacing Schemes February 2017 CEMEX UK Operations Ltd £266,011.01
Analysis Software and Licence for Non-Domestic Rates Inform CPI Ltd £45,000.00
Provision of on-line lessons from a virtual school to provide teaching for young people out of school Nisai Virtual Academy Ltd. £10,000.00
ReSurfacing Schemes March 2017 – Tender2 Cemex UK Materials Ltd £78,464.20
Carr Junior School Reroof Works – Phase 2 S Voase Builders Limited £103,376.88
Community Protection APP Support, Maintenance and Licence Multiple award (2) £35,204.00
Westfield Primary School Roofing Watershed (Roofing) Ltd £14,058.00
Lift Repairs Maintenance Contract Northern Elevator Ltd £94,788.00
Support and Subscription for VMWare Phoenix Software Ltd £8,865.00
ICT NetApp Support Softcat plc £8,620.00
Google Maps API for Business Multiple award (2) £15,500.00
WYTF Outer Ring Road upgrade – Land Surveyor Services for the North York Outer Ring Road Junction Upgrade Project Valuation Office Agency – District Valuer £83,280.00
Citrix XenApp Software and Licences Insight Direct (UK) Ltd £53,975.00
Marjorie Waite Court Extra Care Extension – Designer Shuttleworth Picknett and Associates LLP £70,860.00
Contract to supply manpower + vehicle & including tools and equipment to carry out basic maintenance operations (minor civils works) 1st April 2017 – 31st July 2017 Multiple award (3) £50,000.00
Pre Purchase Agreement CYCProcurement £4,178,975.32
York City Centre Recycling Collection Service Friends of St Nicholas Fields £500,000.00
Fujitsu M10-1 Server Esteem Systems Plc £21,674.00
Point of Care Testing (POCT) Alere Limited £90,000.00
Trading Standards Interlink  City of York Council  £3,909.25
Coppergate: Bus Lane Enforcement parking services system Limited £77,000.00
HGV Driver Certificate of Professional Competence Training Multiple award (2) £16,660.00

Most of the recent contract awards are dwarfed by those let in earlier years. The most valuable awards on the contracts register are:

Childcare Voucher Salary Sacrifice Scheme Fideliti Limited 01/04/2014 £2,400,000.00
Short Breaks Service For Adults with a Learning Disability Lifeways Community Care £2,001,990.34
York Central Financial and Commercial Consultancy KPMG LLP 01/07/2016 £2,000,000.00
Older People’s Community Support Service Age Uk York 20/12/2016 £1,765,000.00
Provision of Marketing, tourism and Business Development services Make it York Ltd 02/04/2015 £1,700,000.00
ENProcure Re-Allies Materials Framework – Distribution and supply of plumbing and heating materials Lot 2 PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies 01/04/2016 £1,614,282.00
Management & Maintenance of Public Toilets Healthmatic Ltd 01/05/2014 £1,600,000.00
An Advocacy Hub York Mind 14/10/2016 £1,500,000.00
Building Services Subcontractors – Package 1 Multiple award (5) 01/11/2016 £1,400,000.00
Provision of Local Registered Bus Services Yorkshire Coastliner Ltd 06/01/2013 £1,400,000.00

The Contracts register (most Councils) can be viewed by clicking here


It’s a new recycling day in parts of York

It looks like most residents in affected streets have put their recycling out for collection today.

This is the first day of the new recycling calendar in York which in some areas means that recycling is collected on a different day from green bin emptying (which also starts again this week).

Collections started at 7:00am

Green and grey bin emptying dates have not been changed.

For background to the changes click here

You can check which is your recycling day by clicking here




Collect your free recycling box from the Foxwood Community Centre relaunch event today

Remember new recycling collection calendar from this week in Foxwood and many other areas.

Additional recycling boxes & nets can be collected from the Foxwood Community Centre on Bellhouse Way between 11:00am and 2:00pm TODAY.

A hard plastic recycling skip will also be available.

Green bin emptying starts again from Monday

Changes to recycling collections starts from Monday

Changing chameleon with text

Around a third of all households in York will see their collection day for recycling changed from this Monday (3 April).

Areas affected include Foxwood, Askham Lane and Front Street.

To check when your next collection is, visit:

You can also get alerts sent straight to your phone to remind you of your next collection day by downloading the free One Planet York app.

As a result of the review, all collection times will now vary. So all households, even if they are not changing day, must present their household waste, green garden waste bins and recycling on the kerbside by 7am on the morning of their collection

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment, said: “We have made these changes so that we can give recycling a boost. This will improve how we use our vehicles and ensure our staff have the resources to bring new services for even more residents.

“We have been working with residents in the months leading up to the changes, and have provided free boxes, lids and nets for residents who have requested these,  in the areas changing over to help people to do more.

“Improving recycling levels will reduce landfill tax to enable more council funds to be used on frontline services. This will link with campaigns such as the community recycling fund across the whole city to encourage a higher recycling rate.

“We also want to remind all residents, even if they are not changing their day of collection that the time of their collections may alter.”

These changes will make our waste service more efficient and cost effective. By reorganising our collection routes we will be able to include York’s new housing developments and homes without having to allocate additional resources. The service will also save approximately £400k, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and enable the roll out of recycling collections to rural areas of the city that don’t currently have them.

Rubbish (grey bin/black bags) and garden waste (green bin) collections are not affected by the changes.

In addition to the review in recycling rounds, we will also ensure our kerbside recycling collection service runs at full capacity.

We’ll replace old failing vehicles with new ones, which will reduce the need to mix the contents of the recycling boxes (which happens when we used replacement vehicles). This is known as comingling recycling and in 2015/16 over 2,900 tonnes was mixed, which cost the council around £200k to separate (compared to if it was already separated).

We’ll also ensure waste vehicles in terraced areas are replaced with more economical vehicles. This change means that a much higher proportion of council employees will be permanent and as such more familiar with the collection rounds.

A second phase of the review of waste services will take place next year and will look at rubbish collections (grey bins/black bags) and green waste collections. It will focus mainly on the opportunities we can take following the introduction of the new waste vehicles in 2018/19.

Households affected by the changes were sent new rubbish and recycling calendars in early March – well in advance of the changes taking place. For more information visit

The changes were approved at a council meeting (decision session) on Monday 9 January. To view a copy of the report visit:

Hard plastic recycling skip in Foxwood on Saturday

As part of the Community Centre relaunch event, there will be a skip on site from 11:00am to 1:00pm to collect  HARD PLASTIC.

These are the kind of items that are not taken by the normal recycling collections.

This is a “one off” opportunity to clear the garden of disused hard plastic items.

There will also be a limited supply of replacement recycling boxes at the event. 

NB. Recycling collection dates in Foxwood change from next week


Major changes to recycling collection days in Foxwood, York Road and Wetherby Road areas from 1st April

Around a third of all households in York will have their collection day for recycling changed from 3rd April.

Streets in Westfield affected by the changes to recycling collection days

Households affected by the changes can expect to receive a new rubbish and recycling calendar in the post from 6 March – well in advance of the changes taking place.

The change – which means that recycling will be collected on a different day from green/grey bin emptying – could cause confusion in the affected areas.

The Council has previously promised to renew recycling boxes, lids and nets for those residents who need them. A stock is expected to be available for collection from the Foxwood Community Centre at its relaunch day on Saturday 1st April.

For the first few weeks at least a call back service is expected to be made available to cover missed collections.

The Council says that more information is now available online. This includes a list of all households affected so you can see whether or not your recycling collection day is changing at: .

At the moment the Council has not said on which day recycling will be collected in these areas.

The Council says  “If your household is affected and you do not receive your calendar by mid-March please contact the council’s waste services team on 01904 551551 or 

These changes will make our waste service more efficient and cost effective. By reorganising our collection routes we will be able to include York’s new housing developments and homes without having to allocate additional resources.

The service will also save approximately £400,000 reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and enable the roll out of recycling collections to rural areas of the city that don’t currently have them”.

As a result of the review collection times will vary so all households (even if they are not changing day ) are reminded that they must present their household waste and recycling on the kerbside by 7am on the morning of their collection.

Rubbish (grey bin/black bags) and garden waste (green bin) collections are not affected by the changes. 

You can get alerts sent straight to your phone to remind you of your next collection day by downloading the free One Planet York app. To download the app visit the Apple app store or the Google Play Store.

Threat to future of recycling banks in York?

Recycling bank locations Feb 2017

The Council is set to review the future of its network of recycling banks.

These banks range from small sites collecting less than 1 tonnes of recyclate each year to highly successful facilities like Tesco on Tadcaster Road (519 tonnes), Acomb car park (60 tonnes) and ASDA at Monks Cross (44.5 tonnes). A full list of sites, their usage and costs can be found by clicking here

The Council says that it costs £56,000 a year to service the 49 sites and that around 1500 tonnes of recyclate is collected each year. Some of the banks are run by charities and are self supporting

In a report to a meeting taking place next week, the Council fails to say how much landfill tax – or fly tipping clean-up costs – are saved by the network.

The report says that some sites are used primary by businesses and that they should be closed. The report fails to list the sites affected.

York currently has two major Household Waste Recycling centres which offer a full range of recycling opportunities.

The Acomb side of the City has not had a local equivalent since the Beckfield Lane site was closed in 2013 (by the last Labour administration). No proposals are currently on the table to revive the project to provide the salvage and reuse centre which had been planned for the Harewood Whin site.

Paper bank at Acomb car park

The Council says that it will start a public consultation on the future of the “bring sites” in April

While we think that a regular review of recycling arrangements is needed, there are some glaring anomalies in the proposals.

The Council still seems insensitive to the needs of the many people who don’t have vehicles in which to transport rubbish to central locations.

Several of the existing sites look very tatty (Acomb Car park) with some of the containers not having been repainted for several years. Site housekeeping is inconsistent with rubbish too often stacked around the banks.

Future of neighbourhood skip service still unclear

Critically some of the banks have often been full in recent years – a dispiriting result for residents seeking to dispose of their waste in a responsible way

And then there is the threat to end the regular skip visits which are a well-established and appreciated amenity on many sub-urban estates.  Visit dates, for the period after 1st April, have not been published.

The Council should get these issues sorted out before it considers reducing the accessibility of existing recycling facilities.

NB. The same meeting will consider a report on the use of funding for “community recycling” initiatives. None of the planned initiatives are in the Westfield/Acomb areas.

Bike recycling opportunity for groups to work with City of York Council and Yorwaste

Every year around 18 tonnes of unused bikes are deposited at Hazel Court Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) by York residents.

Many of these bikes can be refurbished and sold on to York residents at cost price, providing an economical alternative to buying a new bike and help reduce the amount of old bikes going to waste.

The council’s waste services team and Yorwaste are looking to enter into a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with a not-for-profit Third Party Organisation (TPO) or a partnership of TPOs to refurbish the bicycles where possible and sell them to York residents.

There has been no formal recycling service in the city since the Bike Rescue project folded last August. The reasons for its failure were never fully explained.

The Council now says, “We are interested in working with either a single group or a partnership of groups. We recognise that there may be more bikes than one group can manage or that it may be useful to have multiple groups with different expertise to make the project a success. For example one group could specialise in the repair of the bikes whilst another group could help find good homes and sell the bikes on”.

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Environment, said; “We need to look at waste as a resource, and if there are community groups which can make use of old bikes, and give residents affordable options to go out cycling, then we would like to know.  This fits with our commitments to One Planet York on many levels and I hope that progress can be made.”

If you are a TPO or a partnership of TPOs that are interested in forming a partnership with City of York Council and Yorwaste please contact Sara Goodhead, Waste Management Officer, or 01904 553247 to find out more. Applications should be submitted by 24 February 2017