May 18, 2020

Coronavirus – waste and recycling information for residents

From Monday 18 May 2020, some Leicestershire waste sites have reopened. However, they are operating differently from the way you’re used to and you’ll only be able to visit if you have made a booking. More information is available on the Leicestershire County Council website.

Some recycling and household waste sites will remain closed for the safety of residents and staff, and so we’re supporting residents to think differently about waste and take positive steps to manage their household, food and green waste.

See more information about how council services, including waste collection and disposal, are affected in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.


Recycling and household waste sites

Only book yourself a slot and make a trip to the tip if it's absolutely necessary

Some Recycling and Household Waste Sites are open to Leicestershire residents for the disposal of stored waste that is becoming unsafe at home and at risk of causing injury, illness or harm. These sites are at;

  • Barwell
  • Lount
  • Market Harborough
  • Melton Mowbray
  • Mountsorrel
  • Oadby
  • Whetstone

Residents will need to pre-book a time slot for their visit and initially the sites will only be accepting limited types of waste.

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

We appreciate it can be difficult to manage household waste at the moment and site closures and restrictions are regularly being reviewed in line with government guidance.

In the meantime, we encourage residents to consider if now is the best time for a clear-out, DIY project or large-scale home improvement job which will create waste, if there is nowhere at your property to safely store waste.

If you do have bulky waste, please keep it somewhere dry and safe at your property until you are able to either take it to a site or have it collected by your local Council in a bulky waste collection. You’ll find updates on your council’s website and on social media. To find your local Council visit https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council, you’ll find links to the waste pages of Leicestershire Council websites at the bottom of this page.



The quality of your recycling is important. We understand that your bins may be filling up but 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.

Remember to:

  • 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 please use the How do I dispose of … A-Z or check our guide to what you can and can’t recycle.

Guidance for NW Leicestershire recycling.


Garden waste

The best place for garden waste like grass cuttings, twigs or prunings at any time is a home compost bin or a compost heap. Composting reduces the amount of biodegradable material going into your general waste bin and may be of interest if garden waste collections where you live have been impacted by current restrictions.

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.

The key to effective composting is getting a balance between ‘greens’ and ‘browns’.

Greens – Grass cuttings, tea bags, fruit scraps and vegetable peelings

Browns – Torn-up cardboard, dry leaves, scrunched-up newspaper, garden prunings and eggboxes

If you often throw away lots of these items, a compost bin could be a good way to reduce your waste and produce a free source of compost to help your garden.

The following should never be put in a compost bin, and may lead to unpleasant odours or encourage pests – cooked food, nappies, meat, dairy products diseased plants.

You’ll find more information about getting started with composting on this website.


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, as everyone is spending much more time at home and in their gardens.


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. Charity shops rely on donations and when they reopen, they will need your unwanted clothes if they are still in good condition. Please support your local charity shops and save the sort out for later, or keep hold of your items until they can be donated.

Now is also 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.

Textiles can damage the machinery at recycling facilities so they can’t go in with your normal recycling collection, you can also take them to a recycling bank when they reopen or if in good condition, donate to charity.


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.  

Please also contact the Fire Control team on 0116 263 4180 to let them know. 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.

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 centre 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.


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.

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.

Please do not contaminate your recycling collection with these materials.

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 collection updates

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

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