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Rubbish and recycling collections

Reducing waste

Taking simple steps to reduce your rubbish and recycling as much as possible will be helpful in managing your waste. Using up leftover food, planning meals in advance and managing portion size can really help the amount of food waste and packaging produced. Squashing bottles and cartons can free up essential space in your recycling bin. Remember that all food waste including meat, fish, bones, bread and dairy can be recycled in your brown food bin, which is emptied weekly.

Flattened cardboard can be placed neatly alongside your blue-lidded recycling bin on your scheduled collection day. Larger cardboard boxes should be broken down into more manageable pieces. Any additional recycling that you have can also be placed out in clear plastic sacks alongside blue-lidded recycling bin on your scheduled collection day and it should be clearly marked for recycling.

Extra sacks of general rubbish will not be taken.

For more information, see how you can prevent waste and how you can recycle more (PDF).

Collection information

Find your collection day and week

We collect your rubbish as normal on bank holidays, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

If you don't have space on your property, place your bin on the pavement as close as possible to your home on collection day only.

Having the property name or number on your bin will help us return it to you.

We begin collections at 6am on some red routes, shopping and time-banded areas. We will notify you if this is the case.

Garden waste

You can subscribe to or renew your paid for garden waste collection service. The service year runs from 1 April to 31 March. We are unable to collect garden waste from non-subscribed households, or alongside your rubbish or recycling bins.

Composting at home is a low-cost alternative to the service and storing garden waste for a while will not pose any hazards. 

Infected items

Any potentially infected items, such as used tissues or cleaning cloths, should be placed in separate plastic bags and double-bagged. These bags should be put aside for at least three days before being put in your rubbish bin.

Time-banded collections

We are trialling a system of time-banded collections in the town centre. If you live in this area, you will only be able to place your rubbish and recycling on these roads and pavements at specific times for collection.

If you miss the time-band to put out your bins, you must wait until the next collection.

Residents who don't follow the time-band restrictions will first receive a warning letter. If they don't correct the problem, they will receive a formal notice. If the property still puts out their rubbish incorrectly, they can receive an £60 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

Assisted collections

We offer assisted collections to elderly or disabled residents who can't move their bins.

After your application, a council officer will visit you to determine a pick-up location. Bins will be collected and returned to this pre-agreed site.

You can only request an assisted collection if:

  • there's no one else living with you who could put the bins out
  • you don't have a carer who could put the bins out
  • you live in a house

Request an assisted collection

Missed collections

You can report a missed collection if your rubbish, recycling, food or paid for garden waste hasn't been picked up by 4pm on your collection day. Bins are picked up at different times by different vehicles throughout the day. Allow all vehicles to complete collections by late afternoon before reporting a missed collection.

We will not collect your bin or sack if:

  • it contains the wrong items (there will be a sticker to show this)
  • it is not put out for collection by 6:30am
  • it is put out in an area that is difficult to get to
  • it is too heavy (there will be a hanger to show this)

If waste is too compacted in the bin, some items may remain inside after emptying. Our collection crew are unable to loosen waste by hand.

We will not collect items placed by the side of your bin or an overflowing bin or sack.

You can only report a missed collection within 24 hours of your collection day so we can investigate. If your bins were put out correctly, we will revisit your address within five working days.

From 2 March 2020, rubbish and recycling bins will be collected on alternate weeks. If you have put your bin out on the wrong collection week, it will not be emptied and you will be unable to report a missed collection. A hanger on your bin will tell you that you have put out the wrong bin. Please return the bin to your property and place it back out for collection on the correct week. You can check your collection day and week above.

Report a missed collection

From 2 March 2020, most residents will have:

  • a 140 litre grey/black lidded rubbish bin collected every other week
  • a 240 litre blue lidded recycling bin collected every other week
  • a 23 litre brown food recycling bin collected weekly (from 4 November 2019)
  • a 140 or 240 litre garden waste bin collected fortnightly (this service is optional and paid for)

If you live on a property with limited front space, you may have:

  • a 140 litre rubbish bin
  • a 240 litre recycling bin
  • a 23 litre brown food recycling bin collected weekly (from 4 November 2019)

If you live in a flat or estate, you may have shared rubbish and recycling bins or sacks.

Properties with no front space are given grey rubbish and blue recycling sacks.

For information on what you can put in your bin or sack, see what goes in your bins.

The separate collection of garden waste is now a paid for service. For more information, see paid for garden waste collection service.

Request a bin or sacks

You can request a new bin for a charge of £60.60. Brown food recycling bins are currently free of charge. If you get sacks, these are delivered twice a year.

This includes when you have just moved house and there is no bin. Speak to your landlord if you are renting.

If you have a bin that has been damaged, lost or stolen, you can only request a new bin for a charge of £60.60. We won't collect any rubbish or recycling that's placed out for collection on the street or next to your bin.

It's your responsibility to prevent your bins from being stolen. You can do this by:

  • labelling your bin
  • not putting your bin out the night before
  • having your bin brought in as soon as possible after collection (your neighbour may be able to help)

If you don't want to pay for a new bin, you can take your rubbish and recycling to one of our recycling centres. We only collect rubbish or recycling from bins purchased from us. All bin charges are fixed.

We do however offer a reduced price of £30.10 for each additional bin (maximum of two) purchased at the same time. For example, if you purchase a rubbish bin at £60.60 and an additional recycling bin, this will be charged at £30.10.

We will deliver your bins within ten working days after we receive your payment. While you are waiting for your bin, store your rubbish and recycling or take it to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre. You must contact us if you find your missing bin (within three working days), or you may be charged a cancellation fee of £18.20.

If we deliver your new or replacement bins and see that you have a full set of bins, you will not receive a bin or refund. Only one 140 litre rubbish bin (grey lidded bin) is allowed per household.

Request a new or replacement bin or sacks

Larger rubbish bins

You can apply for a larger rubbish bin if there are five or more permanent residents in your house, at least two children in nappies or you produce large amounts of medical or incontinence waste. A larger rubbish bin is chargeable at £60.60.

Once you have expressed an interest in a larger rubbish bin, we will contact you to complete a questionnaire.

To assess eligibility, we will then carry out a waste survey at your property to make sure you are recycling correctly and using your brown food caddy regularly. Failure to demonstrate this may cause us not to progress with your application.

Staff will be equipped in full PPE to maximise safety during these assessments. If our staff knock at your door to show their presence, or you see them at the property, it's important to maintain the two-metre social distancing rule at all times.

Any potentially infected items, such as used tissues or cleaning cloths, should be double-bagged. These bags should be put aside for at least three days before being put in your rubbish bin.

As part of this visit, there are some important things to remember:

  • you will need to make sure your bins are available for inspection - failure to do so may result in a delay
  • you must maintain the two-metre social distancing rule if you see any staff
  • if you are unavailable on the day of assessment, we will leave an acknowledgement card through your door on next steps to follow

Following a successful visit, residents will be requested to pay for the larger rubbish bin, and the smaller bin will be swapped for a larger bin within four weeks. We will remove the smaller bin after collection when empty and replace with a larger bin. The exchange may not happen at the same time, but the replacement bin will be delivered on the same day.

Your visit may be unsuccessful if you cannot demonstrate that you are recycling correctly, reducing your waste effectively or have adequate capacity in your bins.

You can reduce the amount of waste generated by following the simple tips:

  • recycle your waste wisely
  • think before you shop, avoid buying too much and stick to your shopping list
  • buy products with less packaging
  • avoid wasting food (this can also help you save money)

Most flats above shops and some blocks of flats don't have an appropriate space for recycling bins. In these instances, an alternative service is provided through regular collections of blue recycling sacks.

Blue recycling sacks are provided to residents for free and a wide range of materials can be put into them for recycling. These will be picked up at the same times and locations as existing grey rubbish sacks.

Your grey rubbish sacks are delivered twice a year (spring and autumn). If you've requested blue recycling sacks, these will be delivered at the same time as your grey rubbish sacks.

To find out what can go in your blue recycling sacks, see what goes in your bins.

For information on communal rubbish and recycling bins (shared bins), see landlords, letting agents and tenants.

The optional paid for garden waste service is a fortnightly collection of a small 140 litre or larger 240 litre green lidded garden waste bin.

The annual charge for the garden waste collection service is £65 per bin and runs from April to March.

If you are renewing your subscription, you need to register as a new customer for the new year (April 2021 to March 2022).


Subscribe to or renew the paid for garden waste service

Once you subscribe, you will receive a permit through the post along with information on the service (within ten working days). Stick the permit on your garden waste bin, following the instructions included about where to place it. The permit will also have your address pre-printed on it to identify it as your bin. You are expected to continue using your existing green bin for garden waste as this is better for the environment than issuing new bins. If your bin has been removed, you can request a replacement when you subscribe.

View the full terms and conditions of the service (PDF).

Subscribed customers

If you subscribe to the garden waste service, you can:

  • cancel your subscription (if you decide not to renew your subscription for 2021/22, your garden waste collections will stop from 1 April 2021, so there is no need to cancel)
  • reduce the number of bins collected
  • tell us if you're moving out of Enfield
  • tell us if you're moving within Enfield
  • request a replacement permit

For information on what you can put in your garden waste bin, see what goes in your bins.

Collection days

Once you subscribe to the service your garden waste will be collected fortnightly. Allow ten working days for us to process the information and add your address to our collection list.

Find your collection day and week

Missed collections

We collect your garden waste between 6:30am and 4pm on your collection day. Your bin must be placed in the front of your property boundary by 6:30am or it may not be collected. Missed collections must be reported within 24 hours of collection day. Reports made after this time may not be investigated

Our collection vehicles are fitted with electronic systems to record each time we collect bins. If bins are not out for collection at the required time the system will record this information.

All properties that have kerbside wheeled bins receive a free weekly food recycling service. All food waste should be recycled using this service. This replaces the previous mixed garden and food waste collection service.

Your food recycling will be collected each week on your normal collection day.

By recycling food waste you will be creating compost for agriculture, which is good for Enfield and the planet.

To use your smaller silver indoor kitchen caddy, line the caddy with a 100% compostable liner or use newspaper or a compostable paper bag. You must not use plastic bags. All food waste, leftovers and kitchen scraps can be placed into the kitchen caddy.

The kitchen caddy can be stored on a work surface or in a cupboard. The lid closes securely to stop smells. Once full, place the filled compostable liner into the larger brown outdoor caddy. The lids on brown caddies are lockable, to prevent spillages and keep out wildlife.

On collection day, place the brown outdoor caddy out for collection. This must be placed in the front of your property boundary by 6:30am or it may not be collected. Make sure the lid is closed and secure, using the handle.

The smaller silver kitchen caddy is for indoor use only and should not be placed out for collection.

For information on what you can put in your caddy, see what goes in your bins.

View the weekly food recycling booklet (PDF).

If you need a replacement bin, including food recycling caddy, you can request one below.

Rubbish and recycling advice

Our Recycling team will be out and about in Enfield offering rubbish and recycling support and advice. You can find them at:

  • Farmers Market at Forty Hall Farm - 10 October, 10am to 3pm
  • Culture Palace, Palace Gardens Shopping Centre - 19 October, 11am to 1pm

Garden waste park collection

As part of the garden waste service change, Enfield residents can bring garden waste to some parks on selected dates in October.

Saturday 9 to Sunday 10 October, 8am to 2pm

  • Jubilee Park – Galliard Road entrance
  • Albany Park – Albany Road entrance (tennis courts / car park)

Saturday 16 to Sunday 17 October, 8am to 2pm

  • Pymmes – Park Lane entrance
  • Trent Park – Cockfoster Road entrance – public car park

You will be asked to empty your garden waste directly into the container provided at the drop-off point. So please bring your garden waste in a bag, bin or box that you can take back home with you. The loose garden waste will then be taken for composting.

Here’s a full list of garden waste we do and don't accept:

You can bring Please don't bring
Flowers and plants
Food waste
Garden weeds
Plastic, compostable, or biodegradable liners/bags/containers
Grass cuttings
General household waste
Hedge trimmings
Nappies (even ones labelled as compostable)
Leaves and bark
Plastic, paper, cardboard and other packaging
Small twigs and branches (less than 10cm in diameter)
Soil, stones and plant pots
Weeds (not Japanese knotweed)
Logs (greater than 10cm in diameter)
Windfall fruit
Japanese knotweed
Shredded paper
Manufactured wood (treated or untreated)
Dog waste and pet litter
Garden furniture, BBQs, paddling pools, etc.

Please note that this service is not for landscape gardeners, or for people who pay a gardener to maintain their gardens.

More recycling events

To find out about rubbish and recycling events in the borough, visit Wise up to Waste.