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Your Household Collection Service - Mainland

General Information

In an effort to increase recycling rates in the County, encourage reduced consumption and waste generation, and save on waste collection costs, Orkney Islands Council (OIC) has - like the majority of all other Scottish Local Authorities, an Alternate Weekly Collection (AWC) service across the Orkney Mainland. Orkney Islands Council have reintroduced an alternate weekly collection – grey bin waste picked up one week, recyclables in green bins and boxes the next.


Every household (paying Council Tax) is entitled to 1 grey refuse bin and 2 green recycling bins (with or without internal caddies for separation of recyclates). The ‘Wheelie Bin Allocation’ guide at the bottom of this page in the ‘Related Downloads’ section, gives further information on the bins provided.


The ‘Bin Collection Guide – Mainland’ document in the ‘Related Downloads’ section of this gives information on how to present your bins on the collection day.

If a bin store is used, please ensure that all relevant bins are out of the bin store and presented for collection at the kerbside by 08:00 on the day of collection.

What day is my bin collected?

You can use our MyBins online search tool to find out when and what is being collected in your area. 

Maps for the East and West Mainland are also available in PDF format from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page, graphically summarising the collection areas.

Please remember, your bins/bags need to be put out at the collection point by 8am.

In Need of Assistance

If you need help with:

  • An additional refuse bin - Properties no more than 75 metres from the collection point are provided with 1 grey refuse bin and up to 2 recycling bins. Households can apply for additional capacity if they feel the bins or bags are not sufficient. Residents can also request extra or larger recycling bins/ boxes and bags provided that they have the storage capacity and are presenting additional recyclates for collection on a regular basis.
  • An alternative collection method - For those properties over 75 metres from the collection point or for those who may have storage problems, an annual allocation of up to 75 red bags and a box / 3 bags for recycling can be provided.
  • An assisted waste collection - Assisted Waste Collections can be provided to those who need help, such as the elderly or those with mobility restrictions. Home visits or telephone contact may be carried out as required to determine whether and/or how assisted collections can be performed.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the collection and disposal of Household waste on mainland Orkney, please phone 01856873535 or email

Household Clinical Waste

If you have any comments or questions regarding the provision of household clinical waste collection, e.g. used syringes, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and disposal services, please contact Development and Infrastructure, Waste Team on Telephone: 01856873535.

Septic Tank and Cesspit Emptying

Orkney Islands Council does not empty septic tanks or cesspits.  Scottish Water provide this service and can be contacted via their website, available from 'Related Sites' section of this page.

Skip Hire

Orkney Islands Council does not offer skips for hire. However, they are available to hire from Orkney Aggregates, who are contactable on 01856871187.  It is the responsibility of the skip hirer to dispose of the contents safely and responsibly. A skip permit may also be required.

Skip Permits

If you propose to occupy or open part of a road, i.e. carriageway, footway, footpath or cycle path etc, there is a requirement under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 to obtain permission from the local Roads Authority.  This is done by applying for the relevant permit. For further details please contact Development and Infrastructure on telephone 01856873535.

Links to websites are available from the 'Related Sites' section of this page.

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