May 18, 2020

Coronavirus – waste and recycling information for residents

COVID-specific waste

If you are self isolating because you fall into a high risk category, you can continue to dispose of your general waste and recycling as normal.

If you are self-isolating because you or someone in the household is displaying coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus, most household waste items can still be disposed of as normal in your general waste bin and recycling collection.

However, personal waste (such as used tissues, kitchen paper and disposable cleaning cloths) must be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. You should wait for at least 72 hours (3 days) before putting this waste into your household general waste bin for collection.

Please do not contaminate your recycling collection with these materials. Recycling is often sorted by hand.

At the end of your self-isolation period, you may dispose of your personal waste as normal.

If you or an individual in your household tests positive for Coronavirus and storage of personal waste (tissues etc.) is not possible, please contact your local waste collection authority (your district or borough council) and request collection as Category B infectious waste.

They will supply you with orange clinical waste bags, so that the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment. They will also provide you with the necessary information about where to store your waste and when to present it for collection.

Kerbside waste collections

Your local district or borough council are responsible for kerbside waste collections. Find the latest information about kerbside waste collection services where you live at:

Blaby District Council

Charnwood Borough Council

Harborough District Council

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Melton Borough Council

North West Leicestershire District Council

Oadby & Wigston Borough Council

Leicester City


To find your local Council visit https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council


The quality of your recycling is important. Leicestershire residents (except residents of North West Leicestershire) can use this guide to what you can and can’t recycle. Guidance specifically for North West Leicestershire residents can be found here.

We understand that if you are spending more time at home than usual your bins may be filling up. If this is the case please don’t be tempted to place contaminated or incorrect items in your recycling bin. These items can’t be recycled and can lead to good recycling being contaminated and rejected, meaning it might end up in landfill.

Key points to remember are:

  • Empty, rinse and dry all bottles, jars and containers before putting them in the recycling. Any residue left in containers can contaminate other items and prevent them from being recycled.
  • Place lids back on
  • Items need to be loose, not in bags
  • Empty all packaging

Don’t place the following items into your recycling bin:

For advice on how to dispose of specific items in Leicestershire at the kerbside or elsewhere use the How do I dispose of … A-Z

Recycling and household waste sites

For the latest news and information on Recycling and Household Waste Sites please visit the Waste and Recycling pages of the Leicestershire County Council website.

Please note that you’ll need to make a booking in advance of making a visit.

 Garden waste

The best place for garden waste like grass cuttings, twigs or prunings is a compost bin or heap. Home composting reduces the amount of biodegradable material going into your general waste bin and reduces the need to collect and transport waste around via garden waste collection services.

Residents in Leicestershire can purchase a discounted compost bin. Currently compost bins are being delivered as normal but please check the website linked for further updates.

You’ll find more information about getting started with composting here.

If you are considering making your own compost bin to deal with garden or uncooked food wastes you’ll may find this guide to making a compost bin helpful.

Burning garden waste is discouraged, as this could be a nuisance to neighbours, particularly if they have any health conditions that could be affected by smoke. Please be considerate and safe.

Food waste

Make the most of the food you buy and reduce the amount that ends up in the bin.

  • Plan your meals – Plan your meals for the week ahead to avoid overbuying.
  • Get to know your dates -Foods are safe to eat after the ‘best before ‘date but may no longer be at their tastiest. Fresh items must be eaten before the ‘use by date’ to avoid health risks.
  • Use a shopping list – This will save you time and money by only buying what you need.
  • Love your leftovers – There are lots of great recipes to transform any leftovers into tasty meals.
  • Portion properly – Cooking and serving too much food means that you are more likely to waste it.
  • Make the most of the fridge and freezer – Many fresh foods can be frozen such as vegetables, meat, fish, milk, whipped cream, bread, cakes, hard cheese, even bananas. Just remember to portion, label and date things as you freeze them.
  • Get savvy with storage – Foods last a lot longer and keep in better condition if stored appropriately.


Textiles can’t go in your recycling bin, but they don’t belong in your general waste bin either.

Textiles and clothing can damage the machinery at recycling facilities which is why they can’t go into your normal recycling collection. You can however take clean clothing and textiles to a textiles recycling bin or bank regardless of their condition and they will be reused, resold or recycled.

Charity shops rely on donations and when they begin reopening they will need your unwanted clothes in good condition to help raise an income. Please support your local charity shops by keeping hold of your clothing and textiles (and other items) until they can be donated.

Please also check when, where and how your chosen charity is accepting donations in advance of traveling to make a donation. Many charity shops will not be able to accept donations in the same way as they used to. Leaving donations outside closed charity shops is fly-tipping

Now is a good time to learn about how to sustainably wear, care for and repair your clothing. The Love Your Clothes website has a wealth of advice covering everything from washing your clothes and removing stains to doing simple repairs and alterations.

Burning waste

Burning garden waste is bad for the environment and unpleasant for your neighbours.

Please consider that people are spending more time at home and in their gardens and your neighbours may have underlying health conditions which could be affected by smoke from your bonfire.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) advise that burning green waste should be a last resort. However, if you do feel you need to burn your garden waste, you should keep any bonfires away from sheds, trees and fences and do not use any accelerants, such as petrol. Do not leave fires unattended and have a bucket of water nearby. Further guidance is available on the LFRS website.

If you are planning to have a garden waste fire please also contact the Fire Control team on 0116 263 4180 to let them know in advance. This enables LFRS to avoid mobilising crews unnecessarily.

You cannot get rid of household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people’s health. This includes burning it.


Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and you could be prosecuted.

The consequences of illegally dumping rubbish can range from a fixed penalty notice to an unlimited fine, a criminal record or time in prison.

Leaving waste outside a recycling and household waste sites is classed as fly-tipping and is a criminal offence.

Even if you mean well and leave items outside charity shops, or next to full recycling bins, this is still fly-tipping.

Please be aware that if you are using a third-party waste carrier, you should always check they have the correct licence to collect waste. If your waste is fly-tipped by an unlicensed carrier, it’s still your responsibility.