Changes to your bin collections

On 22 June 2022, Test Valley Borough Council’s cabinet agreed a number of changes to your bin collections, which will go live from 2024. These changes will increase our recycling rate and help keep our carbon footprint as low as possible whilst providing a cost-effective service.

Thanks to your fantastic efforts so far, we have a 37.6% recycling rate. We know that you want to recycle more at the kerbside and these proposed changes will make our collection service one of the best in the country.

In addition, the Government has a target to recycle 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035 and these changes will go some way to help us to meet these targets.

At the moment, we provide weekly collections – collecting recycling from your brown bin on one week, and household waste from your black bin on the following week.  Residents can also subscribe to the Garden Waste Collection Service, which collects garden waste on a fortnightly basis.

From 2024, we will start collecting:

  • Fibres from your brown bin – e.g. paper, cardboard, magazines etc.
  • Containers from your new blue bin – e.g. plastic bottles, cans, tins, aerosols, glass bottles and jars, cartons, plastic pots, tubs and trays.
  • Food waste from your new caddy
  • Non-recyclables from your black bin – e.g. vacuum bag contents, nappies, pet waste etc.
  • Your weekly collections will continue as we will collect your brown bin on week 1, your blue bin on week 2, and your black bin on week 3.
  • Your food waste will be collected weekly.
  • The Garden Waste Collection Service will remain unchanged.

You can read the full cabinet report "Review of Waste and Recycling Services in Light of the Environment Act 2021" at           


We have put together this section to provide further information on the changes. We will continue to update this section based on your feedback and questions as the project develops.

Why are you changing the waste collections?

We want to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle, which in turn will help tackle climate change. It’s a major ambition in our Corporate Plan and something we’ve been keen to do for some time now. The new Environment Act is key too. The Government is looking to standardise recycling collections across the country, ensuring everyone can recycle the same materials at the kerbside regardless of where they live. The Government has also set a 55% recycling rate target by 2025 which we hope to exceed with our new collection service.


By how much will our recycling rate increase?

We estimate that our recycling rate will exceed 55% once the changes have been made. This means an increase of approximately 17% on our current performance.


Why do we have to wait until 2024?

We’re planning to introduce our new collection service as soon as possible after Hampshire County Council builds and opens its new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). The new MRF will have improved facilities to recycle a far greater range of materials than we can collect currently.  More information on the new MRF will be shared soon.

In the meantime, we have a lot of work to do in order to be ready to implement the changes. Over the next 18 months, we will be buying new collection vehicles, purchasing new bins and caddies and recruiting new staff. As the Environment Act will affect recycling collections across the country, lots of local authorities will also be ordering new bins and vehicles and we want to get our orders in as soon as possible, to avoid any future delays.


How will the changes affect me?

We will be collecting more materials at the kerbside, and they will need to be sorted into either the brown ‘fibres’ bin or the blue ‘containers’ bin. This means that everyone will have an additional, blue recycling bin at their home.

We will also provide everyone with two food waste caddies – a smaller one for the kitchen and a larger one for the collection day.  The caddy can contain all kinds of food waste including kitchen scraps, leftovers, food that has gone mouldy, fruit and vegetable peelings etc. Your caddy will be emptied weekly.

Your brown, blue and black bin collection days will remain the same.  You will receive a new collection day for your food waste caddy.  Garden waste collection days will remain unchanged for those who subscribe.


I may not have room for additional bins, what can I do?

We will be working with residents over the next 18 months to support them through the change to the new collection service and we will help those who have specific issues or concerns such as space at home.


Will I have to pay for my new bins? When will they be delivered?

As part of the introduction of our new collection service, the new blue bins and food waste caddies will be delivered free of charge.  New bins and caddies will be delivered in readiness for when the new collection system starts.


How will it work for me, I live in a flat and share bins?

We understand that there can be difficulties with shared or communal bins so we will be working with each managing agent/landlord etc. to agree the best solution for each one. We will also be working with residents to support them through the change to the new collection service. Our aim is to provide our new service to as many residents as possible.


Will these changes mean fewer collections?

We currently offer a weekly collection service, with waste sorted between the black and brown bin. The new collection service will remain weekly, but the waste will be sorted to a greater extent, now we will be able to recycle more materials.  You will also get additional collections for food waste.


Why aren’t you collecting other materials at the kerbside too?

We are looking to collect as many materials at the kerbside as possible. We will update these pages when we can confirm we can collect new, additional materials.


Will these changes lead to fly tipping?

Items most commonly fly tipped are bulky items or trade waste, neither of which are collected as part of our collection service. It is not anticipated that fly tipping will increase, and this is not the experience of other local authorities who already operate similar collection services.


Won’t my black bin attract pests or be smelly?

Food waste will be collected weekly which limits the likelihood of pests or odours. If you are concerned about odours, other items such as pet waste, nappies or hygiene products can be double bagged and tightly tied. Always keep your black bin lid closed too.


Will my Local Recycling Centre close?

We currently have a network of over 100 local recycling centres (LRCs).  We will continue to operate these as the new collection service is launched, and we will monitor their use. No decision has yet been taken on the future of our LRC network.

If your questions have not been answered please click here to contact us