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Black bin

Last Modified May 21, 2024

Enforcement of our single bin policy

From 30 October 2023 we will only empty one bin per property, enforcing our existing single black bin policy.

Residents in Hertsmere will receive improved household waste and recycling collections under new plans to boost recycling and meet our environmental commitments, helping the borough to reduce avoidable waste.

In order to do this we plan to introduce a weekly food waste collection service, bring in a new chargeable opt-in garden waste collection service which is fairer for all, and enforce our existing single black bin policy. This will allow our residents to recycle more, provide an equitable service for residents, reduce our carbon footprint, meet the needs of our growing population and comply with anticipated legislation changes.

These proposed changes, which will take place over the next two years and bring Hertsmere in-line with well-performing waste and recycling services in neighbouring authorities, will help ensure that less rubbish is sent to landfill in the future.

For further information on these agreed changes please read the Full Council meeting report of 20 September 2023.


I only have one black bin, does this affect me?

No. Your black bin will continue to be collected as usual.

Why are you only now enforcing this policy?

To help the council tackle climate change and reduce its carbon footprint, provide a fair service to all residents, meet the needs of a growing population and comply with anticipated legislation changes. Enforcing this existing policy will bring Hertsmere in-line with waste and recycling services in neighbouring authorities and help to ensure that less rubbish is sent to landfill in the future.

 Why won't you collect my additional black bin?

A large amount of waste in black bins can actually be recycled. To maximise recycling and reduce the amount of general waste we send to landfill, plus make our collection rounds more efficient, we will be enforcing the collection of a single black bin per property.

Can I put out extra black sacks?

No, as per our existing policy, we will not collect any side waste and bins must be presented with closed lids.

What should I do with my extra rubbish?

In the first instance we would encourage you to fully utilise your recycling bin. You should only be putting waste that can't be recycled in your black bin. Read more about what goes in each bin or check out our A-Z list of items and what to do with them. Alternatively you can take any extra waste and recycling to a Recycling Centre.

Please do not ask our crews to take any additional waste; they are under strict instructions to empty one black bin per property that has been presented with a closed lid. They will not collect any side waste.

Can I get a larger bin?

If you are a family of five or more people you may be eligible for a larger recycling (brown) bin in the first instance. For more information please read our larger brown bin application form.
If you have medical needs please read our clinical waste page for more information.

Will I get a council tax refund?

No. Your council tax pays for many different services across the borough. Street Scene Services receives the same amount of council tax per property regardless of the amount of council tax you pay overall; therefore all residents will be receiving the same service.

I purchased my extra black bin from the council, will I still get it collected or will I receive a refund?

We will only empty one black bin per household from 30 October 2023. You are welcome to keep your additional bin for your own use but if you no longer want it please email customer.services@hertsmere.gov.uk and we will arrange to remove empty bins.
The Council have not sold additional black bins since before 2006 therefore residents have had at least 17 years of use and consequently there will be no refunds for bins purchased before 2006.

What should I do with my additional bin(s)?

You are welcome to keep the extra bin(s) for storage or your own use, as long as only one bin is presented on your scheduled collection day. If you would like us to remove your empty extra bin(s) please email customer.services@hertsmere.gov.uk

I run a business from home. Can I get a bin for this?

Yes. We provide a commercial waste service for any business or trade premises, including those working from a domestic property. Find out more about our commercial waste collections.

My bin is full of nappies or incontinence pads, do you provide a separate collection for this?

There is no separate collection for nappies. However, if you have a child in nappies you may wish to consider reusable nappies. You can apply for 15% off products from selected suppliers, visit Herts Reusable Nappies for more information. There is also 15% off reusable products for incontinence as part of the Herts Confident Continence campaign. 


Black bin collection

Your black bin is collected every two weeks and is for general household waste that can't be recycled.

If you are in a property that has sack collections, your collection will be weekly.

Please try to use your recycling bins before putting anything in the black bin as the contents only go to landfill or an Energy from Waste plant.

Items that should NOT go in your black bin

See Food Waste for the latest information. 

Batteries, vapes, e-cigarettes and electrical items
If electrical items are in working order you can sell them or donate them to charity. Alternatively, take them to a local Recycling Centre along with your used batteries and vapes. You can also take batteries to local collection points in supermarkets and at electrical banks.

This is a hazardous waste and should be removed by a specialist company.

DIY waste
Bricks, rubble, paint containers, plasterboard, soil etc. should be taken to a Recycling Centre.

Gas cylinders
Pressured cylinders should never be put in your household bins as they pose a fire risk if they are crushed, they contaminate the other recycling and can damage the sorting equipment. These include pressurised helium and Sodastream cylinders. For more information on disposal of different types please see gas cylinders in our A-Z guide.

Nappies can often take up space in the general waste. Have you considered reusable nappies? Not only do they reduce waste which means more room in your bin, they also save money and are friendly on baby's bum! For more information and to get a 15% discount on all reusable nappy products visit Herts Reusable Nappies.

Garden waste
Garden waste should go in your green bin if you have a subscription, you can sign up to the Garden Waste Collection Service. Alternatively we have partnered with Get Composting to offer subsidised compost bins or you can take it to your local Recycling Centre.

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