Green banner with moving towards zero waste in white text. The Royal Greenwich logo is at the bottom right.

What's changed

We're moving Towards Zero Waste. From Monday 27 February, we started collecting general waste from your black top bin every two weeks.

We still collect your food and garden waste bin and recycling bin every week.  

Who this affects

If you live in a property that uses wheelie bins, we collect general waste every two weeks.

You are not affected if:

  • your property cannot have bins and you only use bags
  • you live in a flat with large communal bins  

Why we’re doing this  

We've made these changes to:

  • move Towards Zero Waste, this is a vital step in our action against the climate emergency
  • reduce our vehicle emissions by 60 tonnes of CO2 each year by making fewer collections 
  • incinerate less waste by recycling more which is kinder to the planet 

Watch our video to find out how we're moving Towards Zero Waste or read the video transcript

This change comes after a six week consultation in 2020 which confirmed that most residents understood the need for the changes we proposed.

Generating less general waste in the borough will also support the Mayor of London's Environment Strategy to reach a London-wide recycling rate of 50% by 2025. 

Many London boroughs who have switched to collecting general waste every other week have seen increased recycling rates.  

Read our Carbon Neutral Plan to see what else we’re doing to respond to the climate emergency. 

Saving money

The cost of disposing of general waste is going up significantly and recycling is cheaper to process. By taking steps to increase our recycling rates, we’ll be saving money as well as lowering our vehicle emissions and those caused by incinerating waste.

We will use any financial savings from this to fund other council services. Council services aren’t funded solely by council tax. Services are funded by a combination of council tax, money the council receives from central government, income from business rates and income from fees and charges. This means there isn’t a direct link between council tax payments and the services that you receive.

Changes to collecting contaminated recycling

In November 2022, we stopped collecting blue or green contaminated wheelie bins.

If the wrong items go in your bin, we'll put a red tag on it and send you a letter explaining why. You'll need to remove the item for us to empty it the next week. If your bin is contaminated three times, we'll remove it.

Find out how to recycle the right items and what we do if you put the wrong items in your recycling.

What we're doing to help with the change

What you can do to make the change easier

Extra black top bins if your household creates a lot of waste

If you have more waste than others, for example if you use a lot of nappies or incontinence products, you can request an extra black top bin.

Email or call 020 8921 4661.

About our collections

Put your bins and sacks outside your property by 6am on collection day. 

We will not collect extra bags of general waste not contained in your black top bin.

If you cannot have bins and you only use bags, we will collect a maximum of three bags of general waste per week.

Sometimes your rubbish may be missed. Find out about missed rubbish collections.

Assisted collections 

We will continue to assess requests for assisted collections and offer these to older people or disabled residents who cannot move their bin.

Call 020 8921 4661 to ask for an assisted collection assessment or email