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Home > Waste > Waste collections during COVID-19

Waste collections during COVID-19

Last updated 3 March 2021


During the current COVID-19 outbreak, we are working as hard as we can to continue to collect your waste. This includes prioritising our most essential services. 

This may mean that there are some delays, some bins get collected less often, or some collection services stop for a period of time.


Garden waste (brown bin) collections

Garden waste (brown bin) collections will restart on Monday 8th March 2021.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, garden waste collections were temporarily suspended on Monday 11 January 2021. This was to allow our crews to prioritise essential waste services, such as the collection of refuse, recycling and clinical waste.

Collections will resume following the normal garden waste collection schedule.

  • For those with an Area 1 collection schedule, this will be from the week commencing Monday 8th March.
  • For those with an Area 2 collection schedule, this will be from the week commencing Monday 15th March.

If you are unsure, please check your garden waste collection schedule.

To help prevent any delays, we can only collect garden waste which has been put into your brown bin. We are unable to take any additional garden waste which has been left by the bin. Please also ensure that the bin can be easily moved and is not too heavy.

Check what can and can't be put into a brown bin.

If you do have any extra garden waste, please put it in the brown bin over future collections until it’s gone. Alternatively, you may wish to compost your garden waste at home.

If it's absolutely essential, garden waste can be taken to a Suffolk Recycling Centre

If you still have a real Christmas tree* to dispose of, please leave it beside your brown bin on your collection day. All decorations must be removed.

*This excludes large trees (trees that are more than 7ft tall/have a 3 inch trunk). We are unable to collect large Christmas trees as part of our garden waste collection service. These can be taken to a Suffolk Recycling Centre instead.

Please ensure the brown bin is out by 6.30am on your collection day, with the lid closed and easily accessible.

Please note, that future invoices will be adjusted to compensate for this period of non-collection.


Other collection services are currently running, however please check for any local delays.


How to get rid of your waste if you are either self-isolating or confirmed to have COVID-19

Any individuals who are self-isolating (as a precaution or because they are confirmed to have COVID-19) should follow this advice. This will ensure that the virus is not spread:

  1. Individuals should place all personal waste such as personal protective equipment (PPE), used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, securely in a plastic bag or bin liner
  2. This plastic bag should then be placed in another plastic bag and securely tied
  3. These bags must be stored separately to other waste for at least 72 hours before being placed in the general rubbish (refuse) collection

Read further information on Waste Services and COVID-19 at Suffolk Recycles


Disposing of face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE)

Please put disposable face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) into a bag, and then place into your general rubbish (refuse) bin.

These items must not be put into recycling bins.


Lateral flow device (LFD) testing

At home

Any lateral flow device (LFD) testing related waste needs to be put into a bag, tied up, and placed in your general rubbish (refuse) bin.

Schools and workplaces

The Department of Health and Social Care have updated their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), sent to those undertaking lateral flow device (LFD) testing.

The latest SOPs clarify that:

  • waste from LFD testing being carried out as an ancillary function to normal business (such as at a school or workplace), is not considered to be healthcare/clinical waste.

Therefore, waste generated from LFD testing can be put into black sacks and placed into the general rubbish (refuse) bin.

Please note this excludes locations where LFD testing is being carried out at registered healthcare facilities and dedicated testing sites (such as mass population testing).