Changes to waste collections FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know when to put my green bin out in December, January and February?

The collection calendar for December collections will be sent out to you within the Autumn issue of the South Cambs Magazine (out late August/beginning of September) and available on this website from around this time.

Is what we can and can’t put in the green bin changing?

No, not at all, this remains the same.  See our what goes in which bin
page for more information.

What do I do if I can’t get all my garden waste in my green bin?

Home composting is always the best way to deal with organic household and garden waste, and you can even include in it faeces/bedding from vegetarian pets. It’s preferable to composting through the council’s scheme as the waste is recycled where it is produced, reducing the need for vehicle movements and associated pollution. Composting at home also provides you with a free rich organic material to improve your garden soil.

To support you with home composting, South Cambridgeshire and other local authorities in the area (the RECAP Partnership) have teamed up with Get composting to bring you offers on home composting bins and other composting products.

You can also take your garden waste to any of your Cambridgeshire recycling centres.

What about recycling food waste?

The Love Food Hate Waste campaign suggests ways in which we can firstly reduce our food waste and our food bills, revealing that each month the average family throws away almost £60 of good food.  Any unavoidable food waste can be recycled in the green bin.  Wrapping this food waste in newspaper, or using brown paper liners, will help to keep your bin cleaner, and the lower temperatures in the winter period will contribute by having a refrigerating effect on contents. 

Alternatively, you can also home compost some of your food waste.  

How will you deal with seasonal variations, such as milder winters?

We have looked at the amount of waste collected in green bins over the past few years.  In each year the amount collected in the months of December, January and February is around half the amount collected in summer months.  This year has been unusually mild, and the amount of waste is still at its lowest than at any other time of the year.

Are these changes going to affect our recycling rates and therefore the environment?

Thanks to you, South Cambridgeshire is one of the highest performing areas for recycling in the country, achieving over 57% compared to a national average of around 43%.  Our aim will always be to improve upon this.  
Our research tells us that the total amount of composting set out for collection during the months of December, January and February can be collected through monthly collections during this time, and collected more efficiently with fewer vehicles on the road and therefore reduced emissions.   

I currently benefit from an assisted collection service, will this be affected?

No, not at all, you will continue to receive an assisted collection as before.

Can I burn any surplus garden waste during the winter?

Garden waste can be burnt provided that this does not cause a nuisance to others. Advice and simple steps to follow can be found on our smoke and bonfires page.

What about increased fly tipping?

Fly tipping is a criminal offence and anyone doing this runs the risk of being prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

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