Our website uses cookies to function. You can read our Privacy Policy here, by continuing to use this site you agree with our Privacy Policy cookies close button

Frequently asked questions

Last Modified October 08, 2021

Please check our Bin collections: service updates for any changes to service at this time.

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about our waste and recycling service. Please also read our Service Rules If you cannot find an answer to your question, or you need more information, please contact us. 


Can I get a second green bin?
We do not provide extra green bins, however garden waste sacks are available to put out any excess garden waste alongside your green bin.

Can I get a second black bin?
No, but if you have five or more people in your household you may be eligible for a bigger black bin. Firstly, a larger brown bin will be provided to increase your recycling capacity. If after two months you still feel you need a larger black bin, you can contact us and a waste audit will be carried out to ensure bins are being used effectively. Application for a larger brown bin.

Can I get a second brown bin?
No, but if you have five or more people in your household you may be able to get a bigger brown bin - please complete an Application for a 360 litre brown bin (as above) or contact us for more information.

Can I leave my bin out permanently?

No. The containers can be kept anywhere on your property, but must not be left on the public highway.

Can I put my address on my bin?
We advise that you identify your containers with your house name or number

Can I put out extra sacks with the black bin?
No. We will not collect any side waste. If you have extra rubbish you can take it to the local Recycling Centre.

Can I take my containers with me when I move house?
No. The containers belong to us and we will need the bins/boxes to be able to offer the service to the people who move into the property after you.

Do I need to clean out recyclables before putting them in the containers?
Yes please. Plastic food containers or cans and jars that have been in contact with food should be cleaned before being put in the brown bin. A quick rinse in the last of your washing up water is fine. You don't need to remove any labels.

Do you collect shredded paper?
Shredded paper can go in your brown bin, please ensure shredded paper is wrapped up in newspaper or an envelope to prevent it flying about. Shredded paper used for animal bedding can go in your green bin. Please note: if you are putting it in your green bin it must go in loose.

Do you have any incentive schemes for us to use real nappies?
Yes. If you live in Hertfordshire and look after children in nappies it’s easy to apply for 15% off products from selected suppliers. Simply visit the Herts Reusable Nappies pages and complete the application form to apply for access to these discounts.

How can I keep my bin clean?
Your wheeled bins are sealed with a lid to minimise smells and you can wrap your food waste for the green bin in newspaper or use compostable caddy liners; these will help to keep your bin clean and eliminate odours. Please remember that your food waste can still be collected on a weekly basis simply by using your black bin and green bin on alternate weeks. You could also put your general rubbish in plastic bags before putting it in your black bin. If you clean out any items that have been in contact with food before you place them in your bin/box, it will minimise any smells. 

If I have more black bin waste than green bin recycling, can I put this container out instead?
No. Our lorries only pick up waste allocated for collection that week. If you put out a bin/box due to be collected the following week, we will not be able to take it away early. In addition, if you place the items in the wrong containers, you will contaminate your recycling, which will result in your bin/box not being emptied. 

I have syringes and dressings, do you provide a clinical waste collection?
Yes. Please see clinical waste collections.

I run a business. Will you collect my commercial / trade waste?
Please see Commercial waste and recycling.

My bin has been stolen/lost. How can I get a replacement?
Unfortunately you will have to pay £40 for a replacement. To report a bin/box lost or stolen please contact us. Additional bins that were bought from us before May 2006 will not be replaced if damaged, lost or stolen providing there is still one functional bin at the property.

My bin is damaged. How can I get a replacement?
Bins reported by crews as damaged during collection, as a result of machinery malfunction, will be replaced free of charge. To report a damaged bin please contact us. Additional bins that have been bought from us prior to May 2006 will not be replaced if damaged, lost or stolen providing there is still one functional bin at the property. 

What happens to collections when there is a bank holiday?
All collections in the week following a bank holiday take place a day later than usual. For example, a Monday collection takes place on a Tuesday, a Friday collection on a Saturday. Exceptions to this are Christmas, New Year and Easter. You will be advised about these nearer the time.

What happens to everything that is collected?
Please read What happens to my recycling

What happens if it snows / floods / there is a heatwave etc?
In the event of adverse weather conditions i.e. extreme heat or snow, we will do all we can to complete our scheduled work. We will advise customers of any changes through our website, social media channels, the media, and our offices/telephone lines.

What do I do if my bin hasn't been emptied?
Please see Missed collections

What if I can't fit everything in my brown bin - will you take excess/side waste?
No, we can't collect anything that isn't inside your brown bin. Please try to flatten and tear up cardboard to help it fit in and squash cartons and plastic bottles. If there are five or more people in your household you may be able to get a larger brown bin - please complete an Application for a 360 litre brown bin or contact us for more information.

What if I don’t have enough recycling to fill the containers on the day they are collected? 
It doesn’t matter if your recycling bin/box has a couple of items in it or is full each week – it’s about recycling as much as you can. You can still put your bin out on every collection.

What should I do if I haven’t got a bin?
If you do not have one or more of our containers please contact us. 

Where do I put my bin on collection day?
Simply leave your bin out by 6am at your property boundary or agreed collection point, making sure not to obstruct the public highway. 


Welcome to Hertsmere Borough Council’s website.