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Consultation on proposed changes to rural and isolated bin collections

This consultation invited affected residents to have their say on proposals to change the way refuse and recycling is collected from properties situated on private unadopted lanes and farm tracks.

Background information

The vast majority of households in County Durham have their refuse and recycling collected at the kerbside, next to the public highway. Rural properties in the Teesdale and Weardale areas also do this. However, there are exceptions - in some rural and isolated parts of the county, bin wagons travel down farm tracks or private roads to empty the bins from outside properties.


The consultation took place between 9 November 2015 and 11 January 2016. The consultation proposed all properties situated down private roads or farm tracks would have their bins collected from the lane end in line with collections in Teesdale and Weardale. This meant households that got their bins emptied from outside their property would, instead, have their rubbish and recycling collected at the lane end, close to the highway, unless it is not practical and safe to do so.

All affected residents were written to directly to seek their views on this proposal.

Why were the changes proposed?

  • Due to cuts in Government funding we must look at ways to operate our services more efficiently.
  • To bring the bin collection service for those households in line with Teesdale and Weardale rural properties where this system has been operating for many years.
  • Switching to this new system would mean less damage to farm tracks and private roads and less damage to the collection vehicles.
  • Open new opportunities to collect glass and paper for recycling from properties previously excluded because a full size collection wagon couldn't access narrow farm tracks and private roads.

Cabinet decision

Resident views were taken into consideration as part of the consultation process. 

At a County Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, 15 June 2016, Cabinet agreed to implement bin collections from the 'lane end' where it is practical to do so. 

Next steps

Safeguard assessments will be carried out at affected properties to ensure collections from the lane end are suitable. We will:

  • work with affected residents to identify a new collection point where bins will be permanently relocated; residents will then take their rubbish and recycling to this point
  • identify a suitable time for the new system to start
  • determine whether individual bins can be replaced with large communal bins to share between two or more properties
  • assess whether households qualify for assisted collections due to age, health or disability.

Further information

For further information about this consultation, please contact us.


Contact us
Rural lane ends refuse and recycling collection consultation
03000 26 1000
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • Regeneration and Local Services
  • Hackworth Road Depot, 2 Hackworth Road
  • Peterlee
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • SR8 2JQ
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