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Cambridge City Council

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Domestic bins and bin collections

All houses in Cambridge should have at least:   

  • One blue bin (or a recycling box) for recyclable items including cans, paper, glass, plastic packaging, cartons and cardboard.
  • One green bin (or brown paper sacks) for compostable garden and food waste.
  • One black bin (or white plastic sacks) for general rubbish.

We empty your black bin every two weeks and empty your blue and green bins in the week in between. In the winter months (December, January and February) we only empty green bins once every four weeks.

Bank holidays, including Easter and Christmas, affect bin collection dates. We’ll publicise any changes online, and you can subscribe to an online calendar of your collection dates.

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

  • Place your containers out for collection at the kerbside or your agreed collection point by 6am, and no earlier than 6pm the day before.
  • Take your bin back onto your property as soon as possible after collection, and 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 some extra recycling if it is presented correctly.

We might not empty your bin if it is too heavy or contains items that we do not accept. You should be able to easily tip and wheel 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 are unable to move your bins to the kerbside for collection, and nobody else can do it for you, you can apply for assisted bin collections.

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