Paying for bins

From January 2021, we are introducing a charge if you want to replace your recycling bin or your food waste bin. We understand you have questions on this and we have tried to answer them below.

I’m already paying a high amount of council tax, why do I have to pay for this now too?

We understand this is a change for our residents, but we feel the charge is a necessary part of our budgeting for 2021 and beyond and important in our effort to safeguard services for residents. The Leader of the Council has set out the context and information on council budgeting in this statement which further explains the situation.

I don’t care about recycling, but the council say we have to recycle so why should I pay when I am being forced to recycle?

Recycling is beneficial for our environment and while we are doing all we can to ensure our residents to recycle we also have to make budget decisions for 2021 and beyond to safeguard all our residents services.

The design of the food container does not lock very well, and the foxes push the bins over and damage them. Why should I pay if container is poorly designed and not fit for purpose?

The outside food bin is a standard design in use across much of Surrey.  Its design is often tweaked by the manufacturer to improve its durability and ease of use.  Where foxes are a problem, if possible, place the bin on a wall or out of the way of foxes which will scavenge in any bin.  

I have just moved into a property and paying rent.   Why should I pay and not my landlord?

The landlord would usually provide the bins as part of the tenancy.   However, please check your lease agreement to see what’s in your agreement.

I have just moved into the area and the previous owner has left their bins behind, but due to the risk of COVID-19, I think the council should provide brand-new bins free of charge.

We understand you concern but please by reassured that the plastic bins are easily cleaned and can be disinfected with sanitiser or common bleach, including the handle and lid.  

The bins are not very robust, why does the council not sell spare parts such as lids and wheels so that I do not have to pay for a complete bin?

The wheeled bins are manufactured to a robust international standard to match the levels of stress and strain during lifting and emptying they go through each week.   Sooner or later the wear and tear causes some parts to become brittle and break.  When this happens its usually when the bin needs to be replaced entirely rather than repaired.

I don’t receive Housing Benefit, but I am on a low income/pension credit/disabled and cannot afford to pay.

We recognise some households may require assistance to replace their bins.    We provide concessions for residents in receipt of means tested benefit.  In this situation please contact us to discuss.

My bin is missing / stolen so why should I pay?

If you think your bin is missing, please do check nearby properties before contacting us. If your bin has been stolen it may be covered by your home insurance.  

The crew always throw my food container on the ground after collection. So, if the crew damage my food bin or any other bin, when being collected, why should I pay to replace damage that wasn’t my fault?

Our crews are trained to carefully replace emptied bins and containers, please report any instance where bins are mishandled by the crew. We will discuss the situation with you and if appropriate we replace any containers that have been damaged through mishandling by the collection crews. 

I live in a flat and have communal bins. Who is responsible for payment? The managing agent or residents?

The landlord / managing agent would usually provide the wheeled bins.   However, please check with your agents to see what’s in your agreement. 

Your crew sent an email saying bin delivered, but I cannot see it anywhere? Why should I pay for another?

If you have received confirmation from us that a new bin has been delivered but you cannot find that bin, please contact us in the first instance.

Other councils such as Kingston deliver the bins free of charge, why are Elmbridge different? 

We understand this is a change for our residents, but we feel the charge is a necessary part of our budgeting for 2021 and beyond and important in our effort to safeguard services for residents. The Leader of the Council has set out the context and information on council budgeting in this statement which further explains the situation.

With how important recycling is in today’s society, surely charging customers to recycle would be discouraging?

Recycling is beneficial for our environment and while we are doing all we can to ensure our residents to recycle we also have to make budget decisions for 2021 and beyond to safeguard all our residents services.

Will this affect the pricing for refuse and garden waste subscriptions? Will they be made cheaper?

Elmbridge Borough Council doesn’t charge residents for the collection of recycling, recycling and food waste.

Garden Waste subscriptions include the hire of the wheeled garden waste bin and that subscription charge is reviewed each year as are all council charges.  The Leader of the Council has provided a statement on the 2021 council budget which maybe of interest to you.

Why are you charging me for a (larger) recycling bin when you are encouraging residents to recycle more?

Recycling is beneficial for our environment and while we are doing all we can to ensure our residents to recycle we also have to make budget decisions for 2021 and beyond to safeguard all our residents services.

My food bin is regularly damaged by foxes and squirrels – this is beyond my control, why should I have to buy a replacement.

The outside food bin is a standard design in use across much of Surrey.  Its design is often tweaked by the manufacturer to improve its durability and ease of use.  Where foxes are a problem, if possible, place the bin on a wall or out of the way of foxes which will scavenge in any bin.  

Can this policy be changed?

We feel the charge is a necessary part of our budgeting for 2021 and beyond and important in our effort to safeguard services for residents. The Leader of the Council has set out the context and information on council budgeting in this statement which further explains the situation.



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