Coronavirus outbreak: bins and recycling updates

Bin collections

Details of bins we’ve missed and when we will return are on our Missed Bins page.

Guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

Store personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths securely within disposable rubbish bags. Place these bags into another bag, tie it securely and keep it separate from other waste. Wait at least 72 hours before putting it in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

For more advice on what to do while you are self-isolating visit the UK government’s website.

Don't leave extra waste around your bin

Help protect public health and the health and safety of our collection crews and don't leave side waste (that is, extra waste left beside or on top of bins).

Our policy on additional bins is also unchanged. If you have more waste than usual recycle as much as you can in your bins.

Make more space in your bins by:

  • squashing plastic bottles (squash and put the cap back on)
  • squashing cans
  • flattening cardboard completely and stick it flat down the side of the bin as the bin fills up
  • squashing general waste in the kitchen bin. If you don’t want to touch the waste, take an old plastic bag to cover your hand and push down on the bin contents

Don’t compact waste in your wheeled bin. It may not empty properly, leaving you with a half-emptied bin.

Don't have a clear-out or carry out DIY unless you are sure the resultant waste (no rubble or heavy waste) fits in your purple bin or can be stored at home. Make sure all waste in purple bins is bagged.

Get more tips and advice on managing household waste during the coronavirus outbreak at Zero Waste Scotland.

Gas cylinders, gas bottles and batteries

Please do not dispose of gas bottles and gas cylinders in your household bins while recycling centres are closed. They may explode under heat or pressure and cause injury.

If you can, hold on to them until current Government restrictions are lifted. Some bottles/cylinders are refillable. Alternatively, contact the gas provider or selling agent. They may be able to arrange collection.

We also ask you to not dispose of batteries in your household bins. These too can be hazardous. Again, please keep them until recycling centres are able to re-open.


As many people are now working at home, there are more parked cars on streets. To allow us to safely access your street on bin collection days, we ask drivers not to park close to junctions and keep turning points clear. Narrow streets can also be difficult to access so please park considerately as not doing so might mean we cannot carry out a collection.

Recycling Centres

Our recycling centres in  Arbroath, Forfar, Monifieth and Montrose are set to re-open on Monday 1 June. 

Brechin, Carnoustie and Kirriemuir will re-open as soon as health and safety guidance and staffing resource permits.

For further information visit our recycling centres page.

If you are throwing out old furniture or other bulky household items, the household special uplift service is available again and could be used instead of visiting a recycling centre.

Commercial waste

Glass collections stopped on Monday 30 March as most businesses that generate glass have now closed. All other collections are as usual. Please check household collections info for any updates on food, mixed recycling or general waste collections.

If you have not yet paid your commercial waste charges for 2020/21, you do not need to do anything until it is safe for your business to re-open. Contact us then and we will reinstate your service.

If you have paid your commercial waste charges for 2020/21 and would like a refund for the period you are closed, email

Commercial garden waste can still be taken to Restenneth Recycling Park.

Commercial waste will not be accepted at the centres reopening on 1 June. For more information visit our commercial waste at recycling centres page.

Missing or damaged bins

Bin repairs have been suspended.  We will only deliver bins to properties where no containers exist e.g. new builds, or where an existing container is unsafe to use.


You can still report flytipping and we will use the resources available to us to deal with this within the safety guidelines. 

We can consider cases where CCTV evidence or a witness statement is available.

We will record reports of fly-tipping on private ground but, again, we cannot visit at this time. As in normal circumstances we will not remove the waste.

We will try to remove waste tipped on public ground. But this must be balanced against other priorities at this difficult time.

Since the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic we have seen public-spiritedness and a willingness to help. Against that positive background, we hope that flytipping will not be tolerated.

Zero Waste Scotland

Get tips and advice on managing household waste during the coronavirus outbreak at Zero Waste Scotland.