Boosting recycling rates: fortnightly waste collections to start next week

Waste crews have now completed the delivery of new wheelie bins

Waste collections at some properties in Hackney switch to every two weeks from 1 March to encourage people to recycle more. 

The change affects most street-level properties — generally houses, or houses that have been converted into flats and currently have green sack recycling services. 

Food waste and recycling collections will remain weekly under the changes to encourage residents to recycle as much as possible. The changes will not affect estates or blocks of flats, which keep weekly waste collections.

Currently, around half of the waste that is thrown away in Hackney could be recycled. It is hoped that the switch to fortnightly collections will increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration by 4,500 tonnes each year — the equivalent of 450 bin lorry loads of waste — and help tackle the climate emergency as fewer overall waste collections take place. 

The 15 London boroughs that have already implemented fortnightly collections in order to meet targets set in the Mayor of London’s Environment Strategy — which all London councils are signed up to — have seen increases in recycling, showing that it is a proven approach for increasing recycling rates. 

With fewer overall waste collections, it’s also expected that there will be reduced traffic disruption and fewer emissions generated from waste vehicles as they cover a reduced mileage.

Under the changes, households will keep their existing collection days, which they can check on the Council’s website, and on new calendars, which have been sent to all affected properties in the post. 

Residents have been provided with new wheelie bins, which not only limit the waste residents throw away, but also help to improve hygiene and prevent vermin from being able to rip open bin bags. The most significant step people can take to stop attracting foxes is to recycle all food waste in new fox-proof food waste bins, which are provided free by the Council and will be collected weekly.

Once new collections start, larger households and households with babies will be able to apply for an extra bin if they need it. 

Bins will only be collected if the lid is closed. No additional non-recyclable waste will be collected. 

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville
Hackney residents have made incredible progress in increasing the amount they recycle, with recycling rates up from 1% in 1998 to around 28% today. 

These changes will encourage residents to recycle even more, which will help us reduce the amount of waste we send to be incinerated. 

Recycling and food waste collections are staying weekly to help residents recycle as much as possible - and I’d encourage people to try using our new fox-proof food waste bins for their food scraps, which will help keep other bins clean.

We know these changes will be more difficult for some and are keen to help households through this process. We are committed to ensuring that our streets remain some of the cleanest in London.
Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville

New bins 

  • Residents have received new wheelie bins for non-recyclable waste, with space to write their house number on the bin
  • The bin should have more than enough space for the average household
  • Bins will only be collected if the lid is closed. No additional non-recyclable waste will be collected
  • Larger households and households with babies can apply for an extra bin if they need it
  • Assisted collections are available for older and disabled residents 
  • The Council can collect old bins and recycle them if requested
  • Neighbours can ask to share wheelie bins if they want to reduce the number in their front garden.

Find out more at hackney.gov.uk/waste-changes.