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Presenting your bins correctly on collection day


The following guidance relates to the ‘kerbside collection service’ and ‘shared bins kerbside collection service’  (see Waste collections for details).


  • Make sure your recycling and waste has been presented on the correct day and is ready for collection by 6am (6.30am for households in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames).


  • Your bins, boxes and caddies should be placed at the front of your property, close to the pavement but not on it. Please make sure they can be seen easily by our collection crews from the road.

Photograph showing how bins should be presented on collection day (at the front of the property, close to the pavement but not on it).

  • If you are physically struggling to put your recycling and rubbish containers at your property boundary on collection day, and there is no one else in your household who can help, we can provide an ‘assisted collection’. This is where the crews will collect the bins, and return them, to a pre-arranged location. Please contact your local council if you feel you qualify for the assisted collection service.


  • Please make sure your recycling and waste is sorted into the correct containers – use our ‘BinSmart’ tool to search a list of common household items and find out which bin they should go in.
  • If non-recyclable items are mixed up with recycling (or paper and card is mixed with plastics, glass, cans and cartons), then it could contaminate the whole truck load. See: What is contamination and why is it important?


  • Please ensure the handle of your food waste caddy is left in the locked position. This should prevent foxes and other animals getting in and creating a mess.

A photograph showing how the lid on an outside food waste bin can be locked by putting the handle in the forward position.

  • No plastic bags in your food caddy please (you can use biodegradable liners if you like, or wrap your food waste in old newspapers).

Wheelie bins

  • Please ensure the lid of your wheelie bin is closed and leave the wheelie bin with the handle facing out towards the road.
  • Each household should only present one general waste wheelie bin per collection.


Letting you know there’s a problem


Common problems with the way recycling and rubbish is presented include:

  • Recycling or waste in the wrong bin, box or caddy (contamination)
  • Rubbish (non recyclable general waste) in the recycling containers (contamination)
  • Plastic bags in the recycling box or food caddy (contamination)
  • Containers put out on the wrong week for collection
  • Rubbish wheelie bin too heavy or contains items we can’t collect from the kerbside (contamination)
  • Rubbish bags placed on top or next to the wheelie bin (excess waste)
  • Bins presented too far from the pavement (containers should be placed at the edge of your property, close to the pavement but not on it – unless you’re registered for our Assisted Collections service)
  • Bins not put out for collection in time (by 6am) 

In these circumstances, the crews may not collect your recycling or rubbish and you will not be able to report it as a missed collection. 

Advice tags

Whenever possible our crews should leave a tag attached to the bins or box to help you identify the issue:

Images of the three tags that collection crews should leave on a bin if there is a problem (like contamination). Blue tags are left on paper and card recycling bins, green tags are left on 'container mix' recycling bins and brown tags are left on food waste bins.

What to do if you’ve received a tag


  • If your recycling or waste container has been tagged, and materials left behind, you won’t be able to report it as a missed collection
  • If your container contains an item/items that cannot be recycled, please remove the offending item(s), place it/them in the correct container and wait until your next scheduled collection day for that container
  • If your container was put out on the wrong week, just wait and put it back out for collection next week
  • If your general waste bin was too heavy, you should remove any heavy items and place your bin out for collection on your next scheduled collection day. Most heavy items can be taken for free to your council-run Household Reuse and Recycling Centre (the tip) or you can pay for a Bulky Waste Collection
  • Excess general waste (waste that did not fit into your wheelie bin) can be taken free to your council-run Household Reuse and Recycling Centre (the tip), as can items such as fluorescent tubes and DIY waste (which are not collected from the kerbside)
  • Please remove the advice tag from the container once you’ve dealt with the issue.