News article

Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon District Councils announce new waste contractor

Following a successful procurement process Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon District Councils have awarded a joint refuse and recycling services contract to Biffa Waste Services Ltd.

Starting in August 2022, the new South Warwickshire service will include the introduction of a 123+ system, with separate weekly food waste collections, fortnightly co-mingled dry recycling collections and three-weekly residual waste collections, with the aim of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.

General FAQs

What’s this all about?

A desire for the two councils to work together and to improve climate control and reduce environmental pollution by looking at a new type of waste service

Why are you doing this?

The ending of the two waste contracts in 2022 provides an ideal chance to look at opportunities of working together and redefining future priorities.

Is this just a cost saving exercise that will see service reduced/suffer as a result?

Absolutely not. It is about providing a more effective and efficient service to all our residents. Better partnership working and sharing services means we can be more effective in many ways. It standardises service provision across Warwick District and Stratford District, a joint contract with no border will be easier to implement as we can make routes efficient where the two districts meet.

If Council Tax is different for Stratford than it is for Warwick, won’t some areas be paying more for the same service?

This is something that will be considered later. At present, the priority is about the waste service.

What is the benefit to me as a Council tax paying resident of the district?

The proposed new service will help to reduce environmental pollution in many ways and will drive up recycling and reduce general waste. It will also help to keep service delivery costs as low as possible.

What effect is this going to have on my council tax? Will it go up?

The waste service accounts for less than 15% of your council tax but changes are being proposed to keep costs of service as low as possible. The proposed service is the cheapest way of collecting waste whilst remaining environmentally friendly.

Will this just be a way of increasing council tax without a referendum?

The aim of this is to keep council tax as low as possible and to keep any increases to a minimum.

If we’re making all these savings and efficiencies, will my council tax bill go down?

We know that when the current waste contract ends costs will rise considerably. The aim of the new system is to reduce the increase of costs so that we do not have to increase council tax any more than is necessary.

How does this reduce our carbon footprint?

By reducing heavy vehicle mileage and thus CO2 emissions, and reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill and that cannot be recycled.

How will savings be made with one contractor having monopoly over the whole of south Warwickshire?

It means routes can be minimised and more contractors are likely to bid as a bigger contract spreads overhead further making it more attractive.

  • What is the new service?
  • The proposed new service is:
  • Weekly food waste collection
  • Fortnightly mixed recycling in a wheeled bin
  • Fortnightly garden waste service
  • 3weekly grey/black bin collection

When will this happen?

From August 2022.

Why can’t food and garden waste go in together? Surely this would save money.

By separating the two types of waste there are more places both waste streams can go to making it cheaper to dispose of and making it easier to recycle.

How will you demonstrate if this new system is benefitting the environment?

The new system is designed to minimise carbon footprint by reducing vehicle mileage, increasing recycling, and reducing residual waste and the amount of waste going to landfill. The new contract will include Environmental Management targets.

I don’t want another bin. Can I opt out?

Yes, or you can have smaller bins.

What about properties that currently can’t have a wheelie bin due to storage capacity?

We will look at what can be done on an individual basis.

How can I stop someone else from using my bin?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to monitor the use of waste and recycling bins by other people. If the bin is stored privately and presented either the night before or on the morning of collection, this provides the smallest opportunity for someone else to put their waste into the bin. An addition of a lock to the garden waste bin is not possible as these cannot be retrofitted and locked bins would also slow the collection crews down significantly.


What can I recycle in my blue-lidded bin?

A range of plastics, cardboard and metals can be put in your blue-lidded bin for recycling. For a full list of what you can put in your blue bin, please visit our recycling page.

How do I recycle other items?

Lots of other waste items can be recycled, but not in the blue lidded wheeled bins. To recycle your old clothes, electrical items, good quality furniture items, white goods, and engine oil, please take them to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre

I can’t fit all my recycling in the recycling bin – can I have a second bin?

The recycling bin provides 20 litres of extra capacity for recycling every week compared to the box and bag system used at WDC. However, if you find you are consistently running out of room you can request a second recycling bin.

What are the laws that affect recycling?

The main law is the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which requires the Council to provide a waste collection service (and requires Warwickshire County Council to get rid of the black bin waste after we collect it). The Act also requires us to separately collect at least two types of recycling.

There is also the Waste Framework Directive from the European Union, applied in the UK by Regulations made by Government, which sets more ambitious recycling targets. These include a national target for the UK of 50% recycling, and a requirement for anyone collecting waste to separately collect paper, plastic, metal, and glass for recycling. This target is set to increase to 65% before the UK leaves the EU.

We can also be required under the Localism Act 2011 to share in any fine the UK Government has to pay if it fails to meet the 50% recycling target.

General waste

Why have you reduced the grey bin to three weekly? Surely this is a health hazard?

More environmentally friendly to have the vehicles out for less time, increasing what can be recycled at the roadside also increases recycling rates which will be better for the environment. The most ‘hazardous’ type of waste – food waste – will be collected weekly.

Why can’t I just put everything in the black bin?

If you put everything in the black bin you are likely to run out of space over 3 weeks and we will not collect extra bags left by the bin. You need to separate your waste into materials that can be recycled and that are collected separately. Legally we are all required to separate waste.

Recycling is important to protect the environment. We can put your waste materials to good use, and we have a legal requirement to recycle as much household waste as we reasonably can.

All the waste in the black bin costs Warwickshire County Council (who must dispose of waste we collect) to get rid of it. This would also increase your Council Tax further.

Each collection made also costs a lot of money. If we can reduce the amount of waste generated this will help to keep the cost of waste collection down.

I can’t fit all my rubbish in my bin – what shall I do?

Make sure you are recycling as much of your waste as you can. Use your blue lidded bin for paper, card, glass, cans, and plastics. Use your food waste caddy for all food waste including raw and cooked food. Home compost your garden waste or subscribe to the new garden waste collection service.

Can I have an extra black bin or a larger black bin?

We would encourage you to see if you can slim the contents of your bin, by reviewing the items you recycle and consider if you could recycle more. The size of your black bin should be adequate if you are using the new improved recycling service and the caddy for your food waste to their full potential. The new recycling bin offers more room for recyclables over a two-week period (240 litre capacity) than the weekly recycling box collections (100 litre capacity per week)

You can request an additional large bin if you have either:

  • Six or more permanent occupiers in the household
  • Two or more children in disposable nappies
  • A medical need not covered by clinical collection (e.g., the use of incontinence products).

My black bin smells – what can I do?

Food waste, which can cause smelly bins, is collected every week, so please make sure you are using this service. Other tips include:

  • If possible, please keep your bin out of direct sunlight.
  • Items such as disposable nappies and animal waste should be double-bagged and tied tightly before putting in the black bin to minimise smell.
  • Rinse food packaging that can’t be recycled before you put it in the bin to help stop smells.
  • Wash your bin every now and again with washing up liquid and water to avoid a build-up of waste stuck to the inside.
  • Don’t overfill your bins and keep bin lids fully closed.

I’m worried I will get maggots in my bin – what can I do to prevent this?

Maggots are the larvae of flies, and while they are unpleasant, there is no evidence to suggest that they cause health problems. If you are concerned about them, the first step is to make sure that flies can’t get at your rubbish. You can do this by:

  • Putting all food waste into your food waste bin, which is collected weekly.
  • Never leaving food uncovered inside the home – this includes cat/dog food.
  • Rinsing polystyrene food trays and other food packaging that can’t be recycled before you put it in the bin.
  • Squeezing out the air from bags and tying them tightly.
  • Double wrapping any food scraps, pet waste or nappies you put in your bin.
  • If using disposable nappies, empty any ‘solids’ down the toilet.
  • Ensuring the bin lid is kept closed and that the bin is kept out of direct sunshine if possible.

I have maggots in my bin – how can I get rid of them?

  • Try using fly-spray
  • Pour over boiling water with a small amount of bleach.
  • Once emptied, clean the bin with disinfectant or bleach and plenty of water. Use a cleaning product with a fragrance as this will help deter flies in the future. Professional bin cleaning companies also offer this service.

My children are in nappies – how can I prevent smells?

To avoid smells please put all used nappies into a tied bag (or double bag) before placing them in the black bin. If you are still concerned, then we would advise washing your bin occasionally with washing up liquid and/or boiling water.

We appreciate that households with children in nappies may also produce a larger quantity of waste. If you have two or more children in disposable nappies you are eligible for an additional large bin.

Why don’t you charge for food waste collections or nappy waste collections?

The law only allows us to charge for garden waste and bulky waste collections – and a few other specialist things such as asbestos.
What do I do with absorbent hygiene waste products (incontinence pads or sheets, stoma bags etc)?

Absorbent hygiene products (AHP) such as incontinence pads or sheets and colostomy bags should be double-bagged and placed into your wheeled bin. You can request an extra bin to help contain this waste.

Food waste

What types of food waste can be put into the caddy?

All leftover raw and cooked foods, including vegetable peelings, out of date food, plate scrapings, solid fats, meat, and fish bones. Please do NOT put any liquids in the caddy.

I compost my fruit and vegetable peelings – should I stop?

No, please continue to use your compost bin. You can use the food waste collection service for other types of food waste that you can’t compost such as meat, fish, and leftovers.

I don’t want to use my food waste bin – do I have to?

No, but we hope that you will give it a go. It’s an important way to reduce the amount of waste going into your black bin.

What size are the food waste bins?

The small one has a capacity of 7-litres and the large one is 23-litres.

I do not have enough room in my food waste bin – can I have a second one?

Yes – if you find you are regularly running out of room in your caddy, please contact us to request a second one.

What should I line my caddy with?

You can use compostable bags and plastic caddy liners that are available to buy at some supermarkets and online, but a liner is not needed and it is more environmentally friendly to not use one.

Will the food in my caddy smell?

Not if you empty your food caddy regularly into the outside container. Your outdoor caddy has a lockable lid to contain smells and stop vermin getting in.

Where does the food waste go

To an anaerobic digester that will turn the food waste into electricity and compost.

How can I reduce my food waste?

For hints and tips to help you reduce food waste, visit