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Bin collection changes

Bin collections for many residents of South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City changed from the week beginning Monday 18 September 2023. We wrote to everyone that had a change to their collection in advance to notify them.

You can check your new bin collection dates from the week beginning 18 September. 

Optimising collection routes is something that takes place every few years to accommodate housing growth. As new houses are built they are added to the bin collection round in an ad-hoc manner. Eventually this means that in some areas with a lot of new houses those rounds become too long to complete in the time available, while other areas remain the same. So, it becomes necessary to create new rounds so that the work is spread more evenly. This time we are also designing the new routes based on the capabilities of our electric vehicle fleet, as well as spreading collections over 4 weekdays instead of 5. You can find out more about the reasons for a 4-day week on our website, or by reading our news release.

On this page, below you will find out lots of information regarding the bin day collection changes and a list of questions we think residents will ask.

There will be no changes to how often your bins are emptied. Please also make sure your bin out from 6am on your collection day.

Remember, if there is a change to your bin collections, we will write to you in advance to notify you. You can also check the temporary bin calendar.

If your bin is missed, you can still report this on our website. Make sure to wait until 3:30pm on the day of the new collection day to report it if it has not been emptied.


If you are uncomfortable leaving food waste in bin for longer than 2 weeks, please alternate using your black bin and green bin for disposal of food during this time.

About 80% of households; around 104,000 households across Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire.

Assisted collections will be automatically moved to your new bin day (if it is changing). You need to ensure the bin is accessible to the crew on the new day, for example unlock your gate.  

We have redesigned all the routes that bin lorries take from scratch, to make them as efficient as possible. For some households their bin day will change but not the order in which bins are collected, for others both will change and a small number will not change at all. 80% of households will have some change to their collections.

No. These are carried out by an external contractor.


No. The service that customers receive will be the same as before – fortnightly or monthly depending on the season.

We have tested many of the routes beforehand to make sure the crews can complete the work in the allocated time. These have been successful and we will continue to monitor them.

You should receive a letter a couple of weeks before the changes begin (week beginning 18 September). You can also view your new bin collection calendar running from 18 September.

You can view your new bin collection calendar running from 18 September. 

Please check the rest of the FAQs to see whether your question is answered here. If not, you can contact us using the email address at the bottom of the page.

Please see our Complaints page.

No, around 45 other councils including Peterborough and Ipswich collect bins over 4 days. However this is usually achieved by the crews working longer hours. We are doing it differently in order to achieve benefits for staff and thereby increase staff retention and reduce agency costs.

We can collect ONE transparent sack of mixed recycling (excluding glass) and ONE bundle of cardboard left next to your blue bin on collection day. Please read our guidelines on how to set these out correctly. You can take separated materials (cans, paper, glass etc), and garden waste to the large Household Recycling Centres near Milton or Thriplow. We also recommend home composting if you have a lot of garden waste.

Please ensure that you place all items suitable for recycling in your blue bin. Excess black bin waste can be taken to the large Household Recycling Centres near Milton or Thriplow.

No. If you don’t have to move your bins to the kerbside for emptying (if they are in a bin store), then you don’t need to do anything differently. 

No. You will still receive the same service that you received before.

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