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Cambridge City Council

Domestic bins and bin collections

All houses in Cambridge should have at least:

  • one blue bin for recyclable items including paper, cardboard, glass, cans and plastic
  • one green bin for compostable garden and food waste
  • one black bin for general rubbish

Some properties such as flats will have access to communal bins instead of an individual set of bins.

If your property does not have space to store bins, we can provide alternatives. We use brown paper sacks instead of a green bin, white plastic sacks instead of a black bin, and clear sacks instead of a blue bin.

We empty your black bin every two weeks and empty your blue and green bins in the week between. We reduce green bin collections to once every four weeks from December to February.

Bank holidays, affect bin collection dates, including Easter and Christmas. We publish these changes online.

In some cases you can have more than one of some types of bin – find out how many extra bins you can have.

We provide various recycling leaflets and posters in other languages.

It can help to set up a separate bin for recycling in your kitchen, next to the general rubbish bin. You can download a label to put on your kitchen recycling bin [PDF, 1.5MB].

Bin collection day

On your collection day, place your bins at the kerbside or your agreed collection point by 6am. You should not do this before 6pm the day before.

Take your bin back onto your property as soon as possible after collection. You should do this within 24 hours unless you have reported a missed collection.

Ensure your bin lids are fully closed. We will not collect excess rubbish left next to your black or green bins. We will collect extra recycling if you have more than will fit in your bin, if you bag or bundle it correctly.

If your bin is too heavy or contains items that we do not accept, we might not empty it. You should be able to easily tip and move the bin. Check what goes in which bin to find out about items we do not accept.

If your bin is not emptied by 3.30pm you can report a missed collection. You must report missed collections by 3.30pm on the day after your bin day.

If you cannot put your bins out and nobody can help you, you can apply for assisted bin collections.

We can issue a fixed penalty if you do not follow our requirements for putting your bins out for collection. The waste duty of care code of practice explains your responsibilities.

Read our Household Waste and Recycling Policies and Procedures [PDF, 0.3MB] for more detailed information about our bin-collection policies.

Service related queries

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form