Recycling and Waste - Frequently Asked Questions

    Blue bag / blue bin FAQs

    This is a list of our frequently asked questions, if you find that your question isn't listed feel free to contact us on 01785 619402.

    Q. My bin and/or caddy was missed or not emptied on collection day?

    A. If your refuse or recycling has not been collected there may be a number of reasons why. These may include:

    • The bin not being placed out at the correct time.
    • Contains unsuitable items, please see the 'Know Your Bins' page for acceptable items for each bin.
    • The bin may be excessively heavy or the bin lid was not closed.
    • Vehicle breakdown or traffic issues may also hinder collection, in this situation alternative arrangements will be made to collect your bins.
    • Adverse weather conditions might also affect your collection days

    If you feel that your bin collection has been genuinely missed please contact us on 01785 619402 where a member of our team will deal with your enquiry. Alternatively, if you would like to make an on-line report please use our Online form.

    Information Hangers for Rejection
    An information hanger will have been placed on your bin giving the reason for non-collection. In this instance the bin will not be emptied until the next scheduled collection day for that bin providing that the incorrect items have been removed.

    Q. What do I do if my bin is rejected?

    If you remove the unwanted items the bin will be emptied on your next scheduled blue bin collection day.

    Q. What do I do if I have a full blue bin even after I have removed the unwanted items and cannot wait until the next scheduled collection day?

    The caddy containing newspapers can be put at the side of your blue bin on collection day. If you put the caddy at the side of the bin the newspapers will need to be put into carrier bags which will not be returned to the property. If there is still not enough room in the bin you will have to make your own arrangements for taking the recyclable material to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centre. 

    Q. What do I do if I did not put the unwanted items in the blue bin?

    Unfortunately, you are responsible for the contents of the blue bin until it is collected. If possible try and present your bin on the morning of collection instead of the night before. A common contamination complaint is that people passing  are placing items in the bin.

    Q. What if I do not remove the unwanted items?

    The bin will only be collected when the items have been removed.

    Q. Why can’t the bin collectors remove the unwanted items?

    Due to the method of collection the operatives do not hand sort the items within the blue bin.

    Q. What goes in each bin?

    Please take a look at our Know your bins for more information. 

    Q. Waste placed beside the bin has not been taken?

    Unauthorised side waste placed beside any bin will not be taken.

    The paper caddy may be placed at the side of the blue bin the contents must be put into recyclable carrier bags to protect the paper and stop it from blowing away (these will not be returned to the property).
    Additional waste and recycling can be taken to our various Recycling Centres or to the Household Waste Recycling Centres at St Albans Road, Stafford and Beacon Road, Stone. 

    Q. My blue/brown/green bin or caddy is damaged or missing?

    Please check with your neighbours first to see if they have taken your bin by mistake.  We recommend that you wait 72 hours before reporting a missing bin.  If you can't find the bin then a replacement can be ordered, the following charges will apply:

    General Waste Recycling Garden Waste

    180 litre - Free of charge
    240 litre - £40

    240 litre - £10

    240 litre - £10

    180 litre Green Wheeled Bins
    The standard size green bin for residents in Stafford Borough is 180 litres, replacing the previously issued 240 litre bins. This size bin is provided to all new properties and as a replacement bin for missing and damaged bins.

    The 180 litre bin can also be provided on request if you are finding the existing bin too large for your requirements.

    A replacement 240 litre bin can also be provided for a one-off charge of £40.

    If your bin has been damaged, you will need to order a replacement bin and the above charges will apply.  If a bin has been damaged and the fault lies with the collection crew they will record it and the new bin will be supplied free of charge.

    To order a replacement bin or caddy you can email your request, along with your address and postcode, to or call our Waste Management team on 01785 619402. Deliveries can take up to 10 working days.

    Q. Why am I being charged for a replacement bin?

    The charges are to cover the administration, supply and the delivery of bins.  The bins will remain the property of Stafford Borough Council and must remain at the property to which they have been issued.

    Q. Why is it a one off charge for a 240 litre green bin but an annual charge for an additional brown bin? 

    The garden waste service is different in that it is not a statutory service but is one that the Council has opted to provide one brown bin per household. Therefore, additional bins are provided at a charge to cover the cost of the bin and collection. 

    Q. Can I appeal or complain about the charge?

    You can log a complaint, however, the charge for wheeled bins has been agreed as Council Policy and as such has been agreed by elected members. 

    Q. Does everyone have to pay the same charges?

    Yes.  There are no concessions offered for elderly residents or those in receipt of benefits.

    Q. Can I put my house name/number on my bins?

    It is advisable to mark all of your bins and your caddy with the house name or number to easily identify them.  

    Q. I have small electrical items or batteries to recycle?

    Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Used Household Batteries

    Q. Can I put textiles in my blue bin?

    Textile and Clothing Collection

    Q. I need a larger, additional or smaller bin?

    Additional/Larger Bins

    Q. I have a problem getting my bins to the collection point because I am elderly/disabled/infirm?

    For those households where all residents have difficulty in placing their bin out for collection we are able to provide an assisted collection service. For further details see our Assisted Collections page.

    Q. I do not receive a kerbside collection service - where else can I recycle?

    There are various recycling sites throughout the Borough, for a list of locations please see the Recycling Centres page.

    Staffordshire County Council also operate Household Waste Recycling Centres at St Albans Road, Stafford and Beacon Road, Stone.

    Q. Will my caddy be emptied if it is not inside the blue bin? 

    Where possible the caddy should be kept inside the blue bin.  However, if you need more space in your blue bin for mixed recycling the paper caddy can be placed at the side of the blue bin for collection. 

    If the caddy is placed at the side of the bin the contents must be put into carrier bags to stop the paper getting wet or blowing away.

    Alternatively, any excess recycling can be taken to one of our Recycling and Waste Collection Sites

    Q. Do recycled items need to be cleaned out?

    Please ensure all items are empty, rinsed and free from food waste.  Labels and stickers do not need to be removed. 

    Q. Can I dispose of food waste in the Brown Bin?

    Food waste cannot currently be composted in our brown bins. Food waste can be composted in a home compost bin. Please click this link if you are interested in buying a composter

    Q. How do I dispose of cooking oil?

    Don't pour cooking oil down the sink or toilet as it can cause blockages. 
    Small amounts of used cooking oil from your household can go in your green bin but you must put the oil into a sealed container such as a glass jar or plastic bottle with a lid. Alternatively, use rags to soak up spillages and put them in a plastic bag. Please make sure the oil is fully cooled before you attempt to poor it into a container or to mop it up. Do not pour oil directly into your green bin. In addition, solidified cooking fat can be placed in sealed plastic bags and placed in your green bin also.

    If you are a commercial premises, you must make arrangements to dispose of used cooking oil through a waste disposal company.

    Q. Will my green bin still be emptied if I put recyclables in it?

    Yes, the recycling services that Stafford Borough Council provides are not compulsory and a green bin will be emptied if it contains recyclable material.  However, we would ask that all householders consider using all of the bins available to them.

    Q. What is the best way to wrap up food waste when the household bin is taken on alternate weeks?

    Food waste can be contained in tied carrier bags and/or newspaper to prevent odours; bin bags can also continue to be used in the green bin.  Where possible, keep the green bin lid closed when not in use.

    Q. Is there a collection service available for incontinence products?

    This waste is not clinical waste and should be disposed of in the green bin. Should this cause capacity issues in the bin please let us know and we can discuss the options with you.

    Q. How do I make a comment or complaint about the refuse and recycling collection service?

    If you wish to pass on comments or complaints please ring us on 01785 619402 or use our online form.

    Q. I would like to report an accident/incident involving one of your vehicles?

    To report an accident/incident involving a refuse/recycling vehicle operated by Veolia please contact us on 01785 619402. 

    Q. Can I leave out items for the scrap metal dealers?

    For information on scrap metal dealers, take a look at alternative waste collectors.


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