Consultation on new approach to bin collections now open


Local people are being invited to have their say on proposed changes to black bin collections in North Somerset.

North Somerset Council has today, Monday 18 March, launched its seven-week consultation on proposals to switch to three-weekly collections of non-recyclable (black bin) rubbish, in a bid to reduce waste, boost recycling rates and cut costs.

This year the council will need to spend about £5million disposing of black bin rubbish. However, a waste analysis found that almost half (45 per cent) of the content of black bins from North Somerset households could have been recycled instead, which would have generated an income to help pay for vital local services.

Treating and disposing of black bin rubbish costs about £130 per tonne, whereas North Somerset Council’s weekly separated kerbside recycling collections result in a high quality of recycling material which can be sold to generate an income of about £30 per tonne.

The proposed changes would also be in line with North Somerset Council’s Recycling and Waste Strategy, which aims to reduce non-recycled rubbish and reach a recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2030.

Cllr Annemieke Waite, North Somerset Council’s executive member for waste, said “We want to create a thriving and sustainable North Somerset. We know many people are enthusiastic about recycling as much as possible every week and many others don’t fill their black bin all the way to the top, so they could adapt to a three-weekly bin collection. 

“However, we also understand that three-weekly black bin collections may not work for some households, which is why we are holding this consultation. We need everyone’s feedback to help us understand how the proposed changes might work, particularly around any concerns about storing and dealing with waste between collections. 

“We also want to build up a picture of how people currently recycle and how the service could be improved in future. We’re keen to introduce the collection of soft plastics, such as crisp packets and vegetable packaging, as part of our weekly kerbside recycling service at the same time as any changes to bin collections, to make it easier for local people to recycle more.”

Several other local councils in the south west have already successfully made the switch to three-weekly non-recyclable rubbish collections, including Somerset, East Devon, and Mid-Devon. All have seen a reduction in non-recyclable waste, an increase in recycling rates and a financial saving. 

Consultation is open until midday on Tuesday 7 May 2024, and local people are invited to fill in the questionnaire online at For anyone who would prefer a paper questionnaire, these will be available at libraries across North Somerset. 

In-person information events will be held at various locations across North Somerset throughout April. Further details for these will be promoted over the next few weeks and information added to

Cllr Waite added “Not only will the proposed changes save council tax payers’ money, it will also help protect our environment. We can only consider feedback received through the questionnaire, so please complete yours by midday Tuesday 7 May 2024, and make your voice heard.”

Final proposals for a three-weekly black bin collection service will be based on the feedback from the consultation. Executive members will then make a decision this summer.