Recycling collections to start after Easter

PUBLISHED: 8 April 2020

Date issued: 8 April 2020

  • Monthly collections of glass, cans, plastics, paper and card will start from 13 April
  • Households can continue to put out one additional 60-litre black bag of non-recyclable rubbish for collection on a Blue Week.

Despite the impact of coronavirus, Colchester Borough Council has continued to collect non-recyclable rubbish and food waste, which is in line with Government advice to local authorities on prioritising waste collections. This is despite staff numbers being down and measures to improve social distancing limiting the number of people in collection vehicles.

Councillor Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “We appreciate the patience of all residents during this difficult time. Our focus remains on protecting people, we must all follow the government advice and not spread the virus.”

Thanks to additional staff recruitment, and by temporarily reducing the frequency of collections across the borough, from 13 April the council will be collecting glass, cans, plastics, paper and card again although this will be on a four-weekly basis as set out below.

The council will continue to collect non-recyclable rubbish (black bags/bins) every two weeks and food waste every week. Households can continue to put out one additional 60 litre black bag of non-recyclable rubbish for collection on a Blue Week.

Cans, glass, plastics, paper and card will be collected once every four-weeks. Households will be limited to a maximum of six clear bags of recycling and two green boxes, when their collections are due under the revised temporary calendar.

Collection days will remain the same and households are asked to make sure their collections are on their property boundary ready for collection by 7am, as usual. There are no changes for residents on assisted collections and flats with communal rubbish and recycling collections.

Garden waste and textile collections remain suspended for the foreseeable future. Ideas of how residents can reduce these items, can be found on Colchester Borough Council’s and Love Essex’s websites.  

Councillor Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “Our previous decision to suspend all of our recycling collections, except food waste, was difficult but absolutely necessary to keep this critical service going with reduced resource and protecting our staff by adhering to the Government’s self-distancing guidelines.

“A huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes to increase recycling collections again, but we need to ensure that any changes to the service are done in a sustainable way and that our staff and communities are protected, and Government guidelines are followed.

“To help our residents, we have said that households can put an additional black bag of rubbish when their bi-weekly rubbish collection is due, and today’s announcement means monthly collections for cans, glass, plastics, paper and card can start after the Easter weekend, which is significant step forward under the current circumstances. “

To help residents, a new three-month recycling calendar has been created to reflect these temporary changes. The pattern for each household will depend on whether they are on a Green or Blue Week, week commencing 13 April. Simply use the postcode look-up tool at and download the right calendar for your household.

Councillor Cory added: “I would like to thank everyone who has been helping us to keep this critical service going during these difficult and unprecedented times. Our staff are doing a great job collecting food waste and black bags from over 82,000 households in the borough. Even with the current temporary recycling limits, we will still be collecting approximately half a million recycling containers and bags every week.

“Many households will be unaware that there are two collection patterns used in Colchester and, to help ensure residents put out the correct items for collection, it’s really important that they download the correct calendar for them. This can easily be done by looking up their postcode on our website.

“We need to continue to pull together and support one another. We need the help of everyone in our communities to share this good news. Please share the update with friends, family and neighbours, whether that’s on social media, over the phone, by email or text message, please check your local waste collection details on our website.”  

The annual delivery of clear recycling bags will start on Monday 20 April and will be completed by Friday 8 May. Residents should note the clear bags may not be delivered on their normal collection day.

Residents who only have one green box for recycling cans and glass, can use a second container of a similar size and weight to separate your cans and glass. To save time and to ensure crews can get to every household, please make sure there are no lids on the boxes.

For further information and updates about Colchester Borough Council services during this outbreak, residents are encouraged to visit

If households would usually be on a Green Week, week commencing 13 April, their recycling and rubbish collections will now be as follows: 

If households are on a Blue Week, week commencing 13 April, their recycling and rubbish collections will be as follows:

Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives 

Page last reviewed: 8 April 2020


Subscribe to receive updates on Council news, events and offers, green living, leisure and sport, museums, committees, jobs and more.