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Home   Bins, litter and recycling   Bins   Bin collection changes 2019

Bin collection changes 2019

From April 2019, households on the mainland and Cumbrae will be given additional capacity with the introduction of a new 240 litre purple bin.

This does not apply to:

  • businesses
  • customers on Arran

whose services will be reviewed separately at a later date.

This new purple bin will be collected every three weeks, along with your blue and grey bins.

This is designed to help:

  • increase recycling
  • reduce the amount of waste sent to disposal

You should start using your purple and blue bins for the new recyclable materials after your last blue bin collection in March 2019.

What goes in each bin?

The purple bin will be used for:

  • glass
  • cans
  • plastic containers

This will create more space in the blue bin, which will be used for paper and cardboard only.

The other bin types will remain the same:

  • grey - for anything that cannot be recycled
  • brown - for garden waste and food waste

Collection days

It is likely that your collection day will change.

Your collection day will be highlighted on your new collection calendar which you will receive in early 2019. You will also be able to view your calendar online.

We are also making it easier to never miss bin day with the introduction of smart phone/tablet calendar alerts. You can download your current collection calendar straight to your smart phone/table now:

  1. Visit
  2. Search for your location.
  3. Select the ‘Bin Collection Days’ tab.
  4. Select ‘Import Your Calendar'.

Each week, your collection day will be the same - only the bin type will change.

For example, if your collection day was Monday:

  • week 1 (Monday) - grey
  • week 2 (Monday) - blue
  • week 3 (Monday) - purple

Your brown bin collection will still be collected every fortnight.

Why are we changing?

We are committed to improving our environment.

We are signed up to the Scottish Government’s Household Recycling Charter and associated Code of Practice. This aims to maximise the amount and quality of the material we collect for recycling.

The Scottish Government has set recycling targets of:

  • 60% by 2020
  • 70% by 2025

We must work together with our residents to do even more when it comes to recycling and achieve these targets.

In North Ayrshire, over 55% of waste is currently recycled.

However, our studies have shown that around 71% of the contents in the average grey bin could be recycled or composted, but is instead sent for final disposal.

This shows that there is significant room for improvement.

A review of our current recycling bin (blue bin) showed that a twin bin recycling system could:

  • reduce instances of contamination (when non-recyclable material is placed within a recycling bin)
  • increase the amount of material we recycle

With the introduction of the purple bin, we are providing our residents with additional recycling capacity. This will allow us to divert recyclable items from the grey bin into either the blue, purple or brown bins.

Please note: Currently, the Scottish Government’s Household Recycling Charter and associated Code of Practice does not apply to business waste.

What happens next?

The average household type should have sufficient space for an additional bin.

However, we will deliver two learning projects. These will consider households in which space and storage for additional bins may be an issue.

This will include:

  • high density housing
  • flats

The aim is to identify if communal bins could help to:

  • relieve these issues
  • improve the overall appearance of the location

A survey has been conducted and we will contact any identified households to discuss and advise of alternative arrangements.

From July 2018, we will roll out a trial communal bin collection service across 5 small flatted areas. This reduces the footprint required and has the aim of improving the visual amenity.

We also plan to conduct a pilot on the use of underground waste storage systems at a suitable new Council housing development during 2020/21.

Keep an eye on this page for updates on the project.

Further updates

Please see our dedicated page which addresses other questions and concerns, including:

  • nappies and incontinence products
  • people with large families
  • impact on other services

Prior to the introduction of the new bin and collection service, we will be issuing information to all households on the mainland and Cumbrae which will include:

  • why we are making these changes
  • when to expect your new bin
  • your new collection calendar
  • how to use each bin correctly
  • frequently asked questions

Not received your information pack (PDF, 1.4kb)? Contact and we will post one out to you.

Information will also be available via social media, local press and radio.