Bins, recycling centres and other waste services
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we are experiencing disruption to some waste services.
Please use the following advice and information to help us at this difficult time. We thank you for your co-operation and support.
Household recycling centres
Most household recycling centres (HRCs, or 'the tip') will re-open from Monday 11 May for waste that poses risk of injury, health or harm. The exception is our Sherborne site which will unfortunately remain closed due to highway concerns.
Visitors are asked to note the following:-
- journeys to an HRC must only be undertaken if essential and your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means. By this we mean the waste cannot be stored without causing risk of injury, health or harm. No other reason for the journey would be considered a legitimate purpose. If you can temporarily store your waste or recycling in a way that does not pose a risk to yours or others safety or human health, then you should continue to do so
- do not assume that any HRC is open before setting off. Please check the appropriate pages on the Dorset Council website (NOT Google)
- queues and waiting times to access each site will be much longer than usual, so expect significant delays. This is because there will be limits on the numbers of people that can be on site at any one time to maintain social distancing
- if sites becomes overwhelmed with traffic and queues cause local traffic disruption, they will close for a period of time for queues to clear
- do not arrive at the site early - This could stop staff getting to the HRC, hampering the removal of waste and delaying the opening of the site. It may also prevent local residents from getting to work
- you should not visit the HRC if you are unwell, as you should be following the 7-day self-isolation guidance, or if a member of your household is unwell and you should be following the 14 day stay at home guidance
- visitors to HRCs must always observe social distancing. If you do not comply with social distancing guidance, you will be asked to leave the HRC and the site may have to close temporarily
- HRC staff will not be able to assist with carrying items. Do not take any items to the HRC that you can’t lift yourself, or with the aid of one other passenger from your vehicle
- if you do travel to an HRC, please remember to stay in your vehicle while queuing to aid with social distancing. Please do not leave your vehicle until it is necessary to get out
- only one person should leave the vehicle to unload waste – a maximum of two if unloading heavy items
- household waste should be double-bagged and left for 72 hours before being taken to an HRC, and only if it cannot be collected at the kerbside
- although all usual waste and material types can be dropped off, please bring a maximum of two waste types per visit (e.g. garden waste and black bag waste)
- reuse areas will remain closed in order to reduce item handling and ensure visitors spend no more time on site than is necessary
- charges still apply for some waste types, but contactless payments only – no cash.
- on your return from the HRC please remember not to touch your face and to wash your hands for 20 seconds on arrival at your destination
Read our responses to the most frequently asked questions around how coronavirus has affected household recycling centres and banks.
Recycling banks in car parks
All our recycling banks in car parks remain closed until further notice, as banks are not currently being emptied.
Do not travel to a recycling bank. Do not leave items on the ground or next to/on top of banks as they will not be cleared away and will be considered fly-tipping.
Any waste you would usually take to a recycling bank should be kept to one side until these services return to normal.
Kerbside bin collections
Check the status of your bin collection service
Find out if your bin collections have been disrupted and/or report a missed bin.
Please continue to use your household bins, boxes and bags as you usually would.
We will try where possible to return to your property if you've reported a missed collection to us, but due to current circumstances this may not be possible.
If your bins are missed, please report to us and leave them out for 5 working days. If we have not returned to empty your bins by this time, please bring them back in and we'll pick up the missed waste on your next appropriate collection day.
For more advice and information please read our responses to frequently asked questions around how coronavirus is affecting our kerbside bin collection service.
Garden waste collections
Garden Waste customers should now resume putting their bin out on their usual collection day.
We will only collect from garden waste bins that are not overfilled. We will not collect extra garden waste in boxes or bags next to bins. If you have any excess waste, please save it for another collection day.
Existing customers will be offered a discounted rate for their 2021/22 Garden Waste service subscription to compensate for the two missed collections and will be written to in due course.
Any Garden Waste customers that cancelled their annual Direct Debit prior to payment being taken on 1 April 2020 are no longer active customers and won’t have their collections automatically resumed. They will need to renew their service to receive any future collections.
Find out more about the resumption of the garden waste service
Litter and dog waste bins
If you are out exercising and/or walking your dog, take your litter and bagged dog waste home with you. Public litter and dog waste bins are not being emptied as regularly. Never leave litter or bagged dog waste next to a full bin.
Read our responses to the most frequently asked questions around how coronavirus has affected litter and dog waste bin emptying.
What can I do to help front-line waste workers during this time?
Most of all, we ask for patience and understanding. While most messages we’ve received have been highly supportive of our front-line employees, we ask everyone to recognise that our workforce and services are being impacted by the same central government restrictions as everyone else. Our decision to suspend or reduce services have been solely based on what we need to do in response to government regulations and staff shortages resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Our collection and street-cleansing crews are trying to deliver an essential service at a time when increasing numbers of employees are having to stay at home. You can support them by following the guidance above and keeping an eye out for updates on this page.
We thank you for your co-operation and support at this time.
Find out information about how you can help us keep kerbside bin collections running.