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




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:

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

……and now for the rubbish clear up

christmas-tree-recycling-trash-fl-560x400All properties in York will get either a grey bin or recycling collection this week.

When you have a recycling collection, the Council will accept extra festive recycling including greeting cards, paper, wrapping paper (non foil), cardboard, plastic bottles, tins and glass. All you need to do is place them in separate untied clear bags or open boxes with your recycling, or simply take them to a recycling site.

Real Christmas trees and wreaths can also be taken to our recycling sites at Hazel Court HWRC or Towthorpe HWRC.

You can check when your refuse will be collected by clicking here

Changes planned to recycling collection days in York

The York Council says that from 1st April there will major changes to recycling collection arrangements in the City.
New refuse collections vehicles have been ordered by the York Council

New refuse collections vehicles have been ordered by the York Council

In approximately half of the City, recycling collections will take place on a different day to Green/Grey bin emptying.

At the moment the Council Is not saying which homes will be affected but a decision on the proposal is set to be taken on 9th January

Clearly some households will be inconvenienced by a change of this sort – particularly if they are expected to put rubbish out before 7:00am on two occasions in a week.

To help improve efficiency the Council is investing in new recycling trucks (left).

Recently the Council has been criticised for “co-mingling” recyclables in one vehicle compartment incurring additional costs when it is sorted later.  “Spy” photos of the practice, circulated on social media, were initially repudiated by officials but it now turns out that the practice was costing taxpayers over £60 a load (equivalent to around £40,000 a year)

There are several good points in the proposals.

  • Enhanced recycling collections will be extended to rural areas like Kexby.
  • During the first 3 months of the new arrangements, a back up vehicle will respond to any teething problems.
  • Residents who need new recycling boxes or nets will be able to collect them free of charge.

The new arrangements are expected to reduce Council expenditure by over £360,000 a year. There are likely to be some  job loses among the refuse collection workforce.

The Council says that it plans to rearrange Grey/Green bin collection arrangements in 2018

NB. Responding to a Councillors survey undertaken in the Westfield ward last summer, 52% rated the refuse collection service as “Good”, 39% said it was satisfactory and only 9% described it as “Poor”.

Equivalent figures for recycling were “Good” – 43%, Satisfactory – 48% and 9% – “Poor”.

These were the two most highly rated public services in the City according to residents.

Chance to bid for a share of £30,000 to help reduce waste in York

slothCommunity groups across York are being given the chance to bid for a share of £30,000 to support community projects that could help reduce waste.

The kinds of projects the fund will support includes:

  • Reducing waste from households e.g. reduce household waste going into the grey bin / helping to increase the amount of waste recycled
  • Promoting waste prevention e.g. encouraging reuse, repair and recycling of items / reducing food waste (in line with the Love Food Hate Waste campaign)
  • Reducing carbon emissions e.g. finding alternative options for composting garden waste for households with no collection / using lower carbon travel alternatives

Registered charities, not-for-profit organisations (including social enterprises), community or voluntary groups, schools, colleges or universities, residents associations and Parish Councils can all apply for funding. Projects can also include a partnership with a private sector organisation.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “This fund is a great opportunity to help communities and groups reduce waste and encourage re-use. By providing the funding to enable them to get their campaigns off the ground, this will really help us to create a more sustainable and resilient One Planet York, and make York the “Greenest City in the North”. We encourage as many groups as possible to apply for this funding before 20 January.”

Groups can apply for any amount of funding between £1 and £5,000 but if there are a large number of good applications then awards may be reduced proportionately.

The closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 20 January 2017.

To request an application form please email with the subject ‘York Community Recycling Fund’.

To find out more information visit:, which includes examples of the types of schemes the council will fund, how to apply, the timescales for applying and further supporting information.

Council supports students to recycle up to £102k-worth of donations for charity

Recycling promoted by City of York Council, university students and The British Heart Foundation (BHF) could have raised up to £102,312 for the charity last academic year.recycling-community-9155

With council and university officers promoting recycling to students and by BHF providing recycling banks, 7,380 bags were donated between October 2015 to September 2016 to go towards funding the fight against heart disease

For the fourth year running, BHF shops have teamed up with University of York, York St John’s University and City of York Council to encourage students to have an end of year clear out and responsibly dispose of unwanted items by recycling them or by donating them to the charity.

The council donation drop-off points and BHF bins located in areas near where students live were well-used. The clothes, shoes, books, DVDs, bags and small electricals no longer needed are now being sold in BHF shops to help fund BHF research.

Reuse and salvage – Questions about York approach

One of the most short sighted decisions of the York Council’s Labour administration between 2011 – 2015 was their decision to scrap plans for a “reuse and salvage” centre.

The facility could have been located at Harewood Whin and – as well as replacing the Beckfield Lane recycling facility which was closed in 2012 – would have provided 21st century salvage facilities for surplus items in the City.

Electrical equipment skip at Hazel Court.

Electrical equipment skip at Hazel Court.

More important, it would have introduced a more professional approach to the re-use of unwanted, but still serviceable, items.

That need is currently partly met by the internet based Freecycle and similar groups but large numbers of usable objects still find themselves in the land-fill stream.

Today, visitors to the Hazel Court amenity site witnesses a good example of the issue. One resident arrived with a set of perfectly serviceable wooden dining chairs. They would have  found  their way into the timber recycling skip had not another visitor offered them a new home. But that was down to luck not planning.

Recycling is more costly, and energy intensive, than simply reusing items…..even if some need repair or a coat of paint.

The Council still persists in asking residents to drop electrical goods into a steel container from a height of 3 metres jeopardising any opportunity to reuse the computers, printers, phones and other potentially valuable items which fill the skip each day.

The Council must take an independent look at the range of re-use services that are available in the city.

They then need to expand them and make sure that the options available are communicated regularly, and effectively, to local residents.