Renfrewshire Council

Frequently Asked Questions

This section of the website aims to answer any questions you may have about your bin collection service.

We're committed to reducing the costs of disposing of our waste while reducing the impact on the environment and the amount of waste we send to landfill.

Our collection service is designed to meet our obligations and encourage a higher level of recycling.

What is my service?

  • Green bin/sack - Plastics, cans, cartons and glass*
  • Blue bin/sack - Paper, card and cardboard
  • Brown Bin - Garden and food waste
  • Food caddy - Food waste only
  • Grey bin/sack - non-recyclable waste
  • Your grey bin will now be collected every three weeks.
    • Some tenements/flats will remain on a fortnightly collection
    • Sack collections will continue to have a weekly collection
  • You will still receive a collection of at least one bin/sack every week
  • The collection cycle may differ for certain Erskine residents. Check if this affects you here: Erskine.

*Glass can't be collected in sacks and should go to the nearest recycling point

I live in Erskine and I haven't changed?

Not all Erskine properties switched to the new service in November 2018.

Changed in November 2018: East Freelands, West Freelands, Garnieland, Sandielands, Millfield, Linburn

Changing in August 2019: Bargarran, North Barr, Rashilee, Parkmains.

Why are we changing the bin collection frequency?

We need to change the frequency in order to maximise the quality of our waste collection and reduce costs to the public.

Our recycling rate was 47.8% in 2017 however, there is a requirement for us to recycle 60% of household waste by 2020 and 70% by 2025.

Why are some areas of Erskine on a fortnightly cycle instead of three-weekly for the grey bin/sack?

As a substantial number of properties in Bargarran, North Barr, Rashilee and Parkmains present sacks for collection, it is not feasible to ask people to store these for three weeks. Those on sacks collections outside of Erskine have theirs collected fortnightly, with some weekly, so it is important to maintain this consistency.

Due to the collection routes, it's not cost-effective to have those on bin collections in this area on a different schedule to those on a sack collection. Therefore, they are all on a fortnightly collection.

There are also issues with access for our collection vehicles in certain areas of Erskine so it makes sense to service these all at once to keep costs to a minimum.

I need more advice on the collection service?

A booklet explaining how to use the new service should have accompanied your new green bin. If you have lost this or it didn't arrive, please get in touch: My Bins.

We also use our social media channels to provide helpful advice and there is also information available in this section of the website.

My waste bin may fill up ahead of the next collection - what should I do?

Our research has shown that if all recycable material is seperated correctly, your bins should provide enough space within the collection cycle.

Make sure all possible items are placed in the correct bin, this will free up space in your grey bin. Ensuring you use your brown bin or food caddy for food waste will free up a substantial amount of space in your grey bin.

If you have additional waste, this can be taken to any of our Household Waste Recycling Centres free of charge.

Are we the only council area with this service?

A number of Scottish councils have implemented similar collection systems successfully including East Renfrewshire, Falkirk and East Ayrshire.

Why does the waste have to be split into blue and green bins?

Collecting paper, card and cardboard separately from plastics, cans and glass produces a better quality of material and reduces contamination of the recyclable items.

This means we can recycle and reuse more and it also cut down costs of disposal for us which can then be reinvested in other services.

What will happen if I put items in the wrong bin?

To avoid mixing recyclables and non-recyclables, it is essential that residents put their waste in the correct bins.

If a resident's bin has the wrong items in it, a member of the collection team will leave a tag on it advising on the corrective action required.

A full list of items that can and can't be recycled in each bin is available on the My Bins section of this website.

My recycling bin is not big enough?

We can supply larger blue or green recycling bins for households that produce a lot of recyclable material. Alternatively you are able to take additional waste to any of our household waste recycling centres.

I am using all my recycling containers but I still don't have enough room in my grey waste bin.

To create more space in the bins, try to collapse items such as boxes before putting them in.

Are you ensuring all your food waste goes into the brown bin or your food caddy?

Plastic containers and bottles can take up a lot of room, these should go straight into your green bin.

If you're using all your containers and find that you regularly have excess waste, you can apply for an extra or larger bin.

Depending on the circumstances, we'll provide extra bins or change your bin for a different size. Get in touch and a waste advisor will discuss your circumstances and your household's needs prior to any changes being made.

I have a lot of nappies/incontinence pads, what provision is there for me?

We will provide additional capacity for non-recyclable waste to householders meeting the following criteria;

  • five or more permanent residents in the household
  • non-recyclable healthcare wastes are generated
  • two or more children aged three or under in disposable nappies
  • exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Waste Services Manager.

If this affects you, please contact us to arrange a visit with a waste adviser.

My bin will smell and it will attract vermin - What will you do about it?

Making full use of your food waste bin/caddy will help to prevent smells.

Bin lids should be closed and regularly cleaned.

Other councils have successfully implemented a three weekly grey bin collection and have not reported issues with smells or vermin.

Will you still provide the biodegradable bags to collect food waste?

Yes. These can be requested in the following methods:

  • Tie one to the handle of your brown bin/food caddy
  • Email My Bins to request them to be sent to you
  • Pick them up directly from your nearest recycling centre

What is food residue - and why can this not go in my blue or green bin?

Food residue is any food that may have stuck to or soaked into any recyclable material. You should rinse all containers prior to recycling

If your paper and cardboard has food residue attached then it could contaminate the whole recycling process, making it more difficult to recycle and reuse the materials.

How often will the bins be collected?

For the majority of households the bins will be collected via the following frequencies:

  • Brown bin - every two weeks
  • Grey bin - every three weeks
  • Blue bin - every four weeks
  • Green bin - every four weeks (i.e. green - two weeks - blue - two weeks - green etc.)

If you stay in a flat or a property with limited storage or external space your collection frequencies may be different.

The frequency may also vary for certain areas of Erskine.

Will I get a bin collected every week?

Yes, you will still get at least one bin collected every week.

I currently receive an assisted collection. Will these changes affect me?

There will be no change to your assisted collection; it will automatically be applied to your new bin.

Where else can I recycle or dispose of waste?

We have five household waste and recycling centres:

  • Paisley, Underwood Road, PA3 1TL
  • Renfrew, Haining Road, PA4 0AJ
  • Erskine, Barrhill Road, PA8 6BU
  • Johnstone, Miller Street, PA5 8HP
  • Linwood, Middleton Road, PA3 3DP

For the full list of items that can be recycled at the household waste and recycling centres visit our HWRC section.

What if I live in a flat and don't have space for new bins?

Flatted properties have been assessed on a case-by-case basis. If there is not enough space for individual flats to have all of the new bins, flats will be allocated shared bins. We have a range of bin sizes available and will use these to minimise, as much as possible, the number of bins required at these locations.

My bin has a shared bin sticker on it, what does this mean?

Shared bins will be issued to some properties that are unable to accommodate any additional bins. These bins will be identified by a shared bin sticker and will be for the use of everyone in the block. It is the responsibility of the residents to present these bins.

I have no room for another bin, what can I do?

We understand that different types of property will have different needs. We're here to help.

If you are struggling with space issues, please contact our Waste Advisers on 0300 300 0380 and we will arrange to visit and look at the best solution.

What do I do if I have extra waste that won't fit in my bins?

If you have extra waste or recycling you can retain it until the next collection cycle or alternatively dispose of it, free of charge, at one of Renfrewshire's five household waste recycling centres at Paisley, Erskine, Renfrew, Johnstone or Linwood.

You can also recycle additional types of materials at these facilities such as large electrical items and metal.

Opening times and a full list of items accepted at our centres can be found here: HWRC.

I don't have a brown bin, why?

Not all properties have the full range of kerbside services due to types of housing or access issues for our vehicles.

Some flats and tenements and all rural properties are not provided with a garden and food waste collection. Flats and tenements are provided with a weekly food waste caddy service as an alternative.

Can I request a smaller grey, blue, green or brown bin?

Yes, please contact us via My Bins.

How do I organise a special uplift?

We can pick up large bulky items of household waste and rubbish from your home like cookers, fridges and furniture. There's a standard charge for each uplift, payable in advance. If you're a council tenant, two uplifts per year are included in your rent. We aim to pick up general household items within three working days after receiving your payment or order.

You can arrange an uplift on our website via the Special Uplift section or by calling 0300 300 0300.

I'm a new resident — how do I arrange to get my rubbish and recycling bins?

Please call the Customer Services Centre on 0300 300 0300 to order your bins.