National restrictions are in place. Learn what this means if you live or work in Westminster.

Coronavirus advice for commercial rubbish and recycling

Councils across London, alongside waste disposal authorities, private waste companies and all those who help collect and process our recycling and waste in the capital, are working hard together to provide the best possible service while we are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Waste and recycling crews are designated as essential front-line workers during the crisis, and they continue to do a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances.

Our aim is to do everything we can to keep the streets clean, keep collecting your rubbish and make sure your recycling bins continue to be emptied as often as possible, while protecting the health of all our workers as well as the general public.

But as most of us are now staying at home, it seems likely that this will create more household waste and put pressure on our recycling and waste services.

Although all of London’s councils are still running collections from households, most local household tips and recycling centres across the city are now closed. Where there are staff shortages due to sickness, councils may need to make changes to services like garden waste collections and the removal of bulky items such as mattresses, white goods or furniture.

The situation is fluid and incredibly challenging, so we need your help to make sure the service can continue to be delivered as efficiently and safely as possible.

You can really help by:

  • regularly checking on your local council’s website for updates on types and frequencies of recycling collection where you live
  • not taking any of your waste and recycling to your local tip or recycling centre. This is not defined by the Government as an essential journey, and most local household tips and recycling centres have been closed
  • trying to minimise the amount of rubbish, recycling and food waste you produce. Every bit you can reduce will make a real difference to maintaining a good service for everyone
  • checking locally about what can and can’t be recycled in your council collections
  • if you’re self-isolating and feeling ill, putting any potentially infected items like used tissues or cleaning cloths into separate plastic bags and double-bagging them. These bags should then be put aside for at least 72 hours (3 days) before you put them out into your external bin
  • avoiding doing big clear-outs while at home, which will create more rubbish and recycling for council crews to collect. Please hold onto large items such as furniture, mattresses etc. until the outbreak has subsided; and do not dispose of waste on a bonfire as the smoke causes air pollution and has potential health effects for you and your neighbours
  • continuing to wash your hands regularly, maintaining good hygiene when handling your rubbish and recycling and keeping your distance when the workers are doing their collections where you live

London Recycles will be providing regular updates on recycling services across the capital so please check at for the latest information and advice.

For information regarding our commercial waste services, please contact

Last updated: 29 April 2020