How we collect your rubbish and recycling

How your rubbish and recycling is collected depends on where you are and your property type.

1. Doorstep collections: central Westminster and commercial premises

Streets in the centre of Westminster and all our shopping streets are
bags off streets areas 'BOS'. These streets have lots of pedestrians or narrow pavements, so we want to keep rubbish and recycling bags off the street for as long as possible.

Please place your bags out on the pavement up to 30 minutes before the start of the rubbish collection for your street. Bags placed out after the start of your collection period may not be collected.

The bags off streets areas are marked 'BOS' in our collection times database:

Find your collection times

Households

Please tie up rubbish in black bags and put recycling in free clear bags or black boxes.

Businesses

Please tie up rubbish in red bags and put recycling in blue bags - find out more about Westminster's special waste disposal service for businesses.

Recycling and waste collections operate as normal on bank holidays, including Easter. There are no collections on Christmas Day.

2. Doorstep collections: outer Westminster

If you have a front garden, please place your rubbish and recycling out in the morning before the start of the collection so it's clearly visible to the collection team.

If you don't have a front garden, please place your bags/boxes out on the pavement at the edge of your property boundary.

Please tie up rubbish in black bags and put recycling in free clear bags or black boxes.

Items placed out after the start of your collection period may not be collected.

Find your collection times

Recycling and waste collections operate as normal on bank holidays, including Easter. There are no collections on Christmas Day.

3. Estates and mansion blocks

Estates and mansion blocks often have rubbish and recycling bins in dedicated rooms. Your estate office staff, caretaker or porter can help you find them. Mixed recycling bins look like this:

Some properties may need to use doorstep collections. If so, check arrangements for your block with your managing agent and then check your collection day and time.

Please tie up rubbish in black bags and put recycling in free clear bags or black boxes.

For property managers

All housing blocks need to have sufficient storage space for rubbish and recycling. If you're a managing agent, building manager or landlord and want to order rubbish or recycling bins please contact the Environment Action Line on 020 7641 2000. There is a charge to cover maintenance costs of rubbish bins, but recycling bins are free of charge for residential properties.

Recycling and waste collections operate as normal on bank holidays, including Easter. There are no collections on Christmas Day.

4. Communal rubbish bins

Large communal bins are located in various areas of Westminster.

They are for bagged household rubbish only - no recyclables, electrical items, bulky items, commercial waste or hazardous waste.

Anyone found dumping commercial or builder’s waste in these bins could be fined up to £5,000. If you witness illegal dumping, please call 020 7641 2000 providing the following information:

  • the day, date and time you saw the incident
  • what you saw - how many people were involved and what they looked like, what waste was dumped and where
  • any vehicles involved - their make, colour and registration number

Get more information on fly-tipping and enforcement and Westminster’s commercial waste service.

5. Residential bulky waste

If you have bulky items to dispose of, please don't dump them in the street for someone else to deal with. There are a number of ways to get rid of big items such as mattresses, sofas and fridges.

Recycle large items

6. Where your rubbish and recycling goes

Rubbish

Your household rubbish is sent to SELCHP, a waste-fired power station in Deptford. The waste is then burned to generate green power for around 50,000 London homes. Residual metals are extracted from the ash and the rest is used as an aggregate in road building.

For more information read our waste strategy.

Recycling

Household recycling is dealt with depending on the materials.

Find out how Westminster recycles your waste

7. Schools recycling

All Westminster City Council's own schools get a free recycling service.

  • mixed recycling bins
  • paper recycling bins - for schools that produce lots of paper waste
  • battery bank - collection on request

Schools can buy discounted composting bins and set up a textiles recycling scheme to raise funds for the school.

Free educational talks and activities

We can also give an assembly or work with students and staff with their own campaigns.

Waste audit 

This is for older children and eco clubs. A recycling officer will visit to see how much you currently recycle, then give advice on improvements. They'll then organise a second visit to see how much you have improved.

Race to recycle 

This is a presentation from a recycling officer which includes a game where teams compete to recycle correctly. Suitable for all ages.

Q and A 

Ask a member of the recycling team all the questions you have been meaning to ask about recycling.

Craft activity 

For young children. We can run a simple activity using images of materials to create an artwork that helps the children to understand what they can recycle.

Teaching resources


Last updated: 24 August 2017
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