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Durham County Council

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Household recycling and bin collections FAQs


Answers to common questions about household rubbish and recycling collections.

How can I find out my bin collection days?

Please enter your house number and postcode into the 'My Durham' section of our website. You can download a collection calendar which tells you which bins are emptied on which day.

My property is not suitable for storing a bin or has restricted access. What can I do?

There are some households who are unable to use wheeled bins. 

If you live in one of these you should have separate instructions about your bin collections. Contact us if you're unsure what these are.

What can I do to stop my rubbish bin smelling?

  • Compost your fruit and vegetable waste.
  • Reduce the amount of food waste in your bin. For advice, see our Love food, hate waste page.
  • Securely double bag and tie up any food waste or nappies.
  • Do not leave any food, including pet food, uncovered as flies could lay eggs on it before it goes in the bin.
  • Avoid using supermarket carrier bags as they tend to have small holes for flies to get in and for waste to leak out.
  • Ensure the bin lid is always closed.
  • Try to avoid storing the bin in direct sunlight.
  • Occasionally rinse out the bin with disinfectant.

Can I put out extra recycling?

Yes - you can put out extra recycling in plastic carrier bags or clear bags.

Do not use black bags. They will not be picked up as our recycling crews won't be able to see what is in them.

What happens to my recycling when it has been collected?

Last year, we collected more than 8,000 tonnes of glass, 18,700 tonnes of paper and card, 2,000 tonnes of tins and cans and 1,700 tonnes of plastic.

Recycling in County Durham

Watch this video to see what happens to the items you recycle when we've collected them.

Currently your recycling is delivered to one of three local companies for sorting before it is sent for reprocessing into:

  • new glass items. 
  • new road surfacing or sand.
  • recycled paper and card products.
  • loft insulation.
  • car engines and aircraft.
  • garden furniture, window frames and even clothing such as fleeces.

Bin It Right