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FAQs on changes to recycling and waste collections - October 2023

FAQs on changes to recycling and waste collections - October 2023

Frequently asked questions

What has changed?

You have received your new grey wheeled bin for the separate collection of paper, card and cardboard, which is emptied every 4 weeks.

The blue wheeled bin is still used for the collection of metal cans, plastic bottles, pots, tubs, trays and cartons and is emptied every 4 weeks.

The green wheeled bin for non-recyclable waste is emptied every 4 weeks. 

Garden waste collections have not changed and food waste collections continue to be weekly.

What goes into the new grey bin?

Flattened card, paper and cardboard only for example newspapers and magazines, brochures and catalogues, leaflets, junk mail, envelopes, cereal boxes, corrugated cardboard boxes.

Please keep it clean and dry and place the materials loose in the bin (rather than in a bag) or it may not be emptied.

You can’t recycle tissues and napkins, padded envelopes, hardback books, kitchen towels, wet paper, wallpaper or toilet paper.

Why are we making these changes?

The Council declared a climate emergency in August 2021 and part of our response is to encourage:

  • a reduction in carbon emissions from the waste collection service and the treatment of landfill waste,
  • less waste to be produced by residents,
  • more waste to be recycled and an improvement in the quality of the recycled material that we collect.

The changes will also help to meet Scottish Government recycling targets in the future including the Scottish Household Recycling Charter.

Why have we got a new grey bin?

It is important that we separate paper, card and cardboard from other recyclables to keep it clean and dry.  When collected with other recyclables, the paper and card can become contaminated with food and drinks residue. 

Do I need to do anything? 

The new bin has been delivered, along with a collection dates calendar and information on what goes in each of your bins.  You can also check the collection dates online.

You should separate paper and card from the other recyclable materials.

If you don’t already recycle everything that you can, including food waste, please start to do so now.  This will help you to take part in the new service.  

When should I start using my grey bin?

You should start using your grey bin in October.

What day do I put my bins out?

The day you put your bin out will depend on the area you live in. You will have received a printed calendar to let you know the new bin collection dates. You can also  view the  collection dates online from October.

How will this save money? Do you make money from recycling?

Savings will be made through reducing the frequency of collections and eliminating the need to separate the types of recycling. 

Recycling waste is cheaper than sending it to landfill disposal. 

It can generate an income that can be used to offset the cost of the service and/or support other essential Council services. 

I produce a lot of paper and card. Can I have a larger version of the new grey bin?

We do not offer larger bins but you can apply for an additional bin of the same size. This can be requested using the additional capacity application form.

Space can be conserved in your grey bin by flattening all cardboard.  

What’s the point in recycling? It all goes to landfill. I don’t want a new bin.

Choosing not to recycle has a negative impact on the environment and your green bin may not be emptied if it contains materials which are suitable for recycling. Waste placed in the green bin goes to landfill - the waste from all other bins is recycled.

Please see our Recycling A-Z Guide and Recycling leaflet for full details of recycling specific items.

We are proud that Clackmannanshire has a good rate of recycling in comparison to other areas in Scotland and we want to build on this success by recycling more efficiently. By separating your recycling and using your new bin, you are reducing carbon emissions and reducing the amount of paper and card recyclables that get contaminated. 

How does this service change lower carbon emissions?

Our collection vehicles that empty the green bins will travel less miles and therefore consume less diesel and generate fewer emissions.  

An increase in recycling and a reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill will cut carbon emissions further.

You’re reducing the frequency of the collection of some of my bins – why should I continue to pay council tax?

We are making these changes to reduce the impact we have on the environment and to improve the efficiency of our waste and recycling service which means your council tax money goes further. The cost to implement these changes comes from external funding and any savings made will go towards other essential services.

For information on how council tax is spent, view our Council Tax booklet.

How will the new bins be paid for? 

The cost of the new grey bins is being covered by a grant worth nearly £600,000 from Zero Waste Scotland’s Recycling Improvement fund.

Can I just put paper and card in my green bin?

Your green bin may not be emptied if it contains materials which are suitable for recycling and if you do that your green bin is likely to be overflowing after 4 weeks. 

I won’t have enough room in my green bin for 4 weeks’ waste. What help can you give me?

You can discuss household waste management with one of our waste officers.

You can apply for additional bin capacity if you meet the following criteria:

  • Larger households of 6 or more
  • Households where there is a medical condition that generates unavoidable non-recyclable waste
  • Where there is more than one child in nappies
  • You can demonstrate that you are recycling all that you can

This can be requested via the additional capacity application form.

I don’t have space to store another bin. Can I refuse to accept it?

We will only empty bins containing the correct material. Please note that green bins containing recyclable material may not be emptied.

Smaller versions of bins can be requested where space is limited, or bins can be shared with a neighbour.

Can I have a smaller grey bin?

The delivery of 23,000 new bins is a significant undertaking, and to help the process go smoothly, our focus is on ensuring each household receives its new bin, before dealing with any additional requests such as the need for a smaller bin.

Requests for smaller bins will be recorded and we will try to accommodate them. If customers who request a smaller bin receive the 240 litre bin initially, it will be replaced with a smaller 140 litre bin as soon as possible.

What happens if I use a communal bin?

New communal bins will be provided for the separate collection of paper and card for recycling. 

The existing blue bin will then be for the separate collection of metal cans, plastic bottles, pots, tubs, trays and cartons.

All new and existing bins will be labelled to describe exactly what should be placed in each. 

A recycling guide for those residents who use communal bins will also be issued.

I have received my new calendar, and it appears that I have to wait 5 weeks for my first green bin collection. Is that a mistake?

Residents who would otherwise wait more than four weeks between green bin collections, because of the transition to the new collection calendar, will receive an additional one off collection on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October. You will receive a letter confirming your additional collection.

How do I contact the waste collection service?

In the first instance, contact Customer Services on 01259 450000 or email If you are unhappy with the service then the Council has an official complaints procedure.

Related Publications & Documents

For Further Information Contact

Waste Services
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000