If your bin has been missed, you should report this to our customer services team on 01856873535. Please note your bin/bags should be out at the designated collection point no later than 08:00 on your collection day. Our refuse vehicles will not normally be sent back to your property if your bin has been missed unless in exceptional circumstances. If your bin has been missed, you can hold onto your waste until your next collection day when the Council will collect double or alternatively you can take your rubbish/recycling to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.
During inclement weather such as high winds, the service may choose not to collect certain types of recyclates that are more prone to being blown away from the truck when the wheeled bin is being uplifted such as plastic bottles or paper and card, or they may choose to not collect any waste/recycling at all. When there is snow and ice on the roads, they may only collect waste/recycling where it is safe to do so for the refuse collection vehicle. For example they may miss side roads. In such circumstances, the service may return to collect the waste/recycling and notification is usually provided via OIC Updates on Facebook, or you can contact us on 01856873535 for further information. You are advised in these circumstances to leave your bin out for possible collection the following day or days.
Contaminated Recycling bins
Recycling containers that include items they shouldn’t are considered 'contaminated' and are not generally emptied. If the item(s) are clearly visible to the collection crews, they will attempt to empty the bin and put back those items that are not accepted. However, if there are a lot of mixed items that shouldn’t be in the bin, your bin may have been left and ‘tagged’. The crews will attach a white tag to your bin and mark on the tag the items which are not accepted for example, cardboard or food container.
The Council does not have a facility at the waste transfer station to manually sort recyclable materials. The materials are dropped into their different bays ready for baling and onward shipment to relevant re-processors on the Scottish Mainland. To see items that you can recycle using the kerbside collection system, please review our recyclate guide called "What to Recycle" in the related download section of this page. Don’t forget you can recycle a larger range of items at our recycling centres around the County including juice cartons, batteries, cooking oil, green waste, textiles and cardboard. We can also provide you with free bin stickers for your recycling bins that clearly show what can go into the recycling at home and what can’t.
If you would like a set of stickers posting out to you, please contact our Waste Strategy Officer on 01856 873535 extension 2343.
Love your bin - love your bin collector!
Below are some reminders of the simple things you can do to help bin collections run smoothly and prolong the life of your bin.
Taking these steps will help our crews empty bins quickly - and safely - and complete their schedules so that everyone’s bin gets dealt with.
Have your bins out at the designated collection point by 8am (or your council-issued bags if you use those) . Routes do change from time to time so whilst you might be used to getting your bin emptied at a certain time of day that doesn’t mean it will always be done at that time. Putting your bin out by 8am means that it won’t be missed. Don’t forget to bring it in as soon as you can after it’s emptied.
Remember to put the right things out on collection day – you can check the website for details at www.orkney.gov.uk/mybins
Clean bin handles before and after putting it out - to help minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and other nasties.
Put bins with within 2 metres of the public carriageway. Bear in mind that a small side road, farm access road or unadopted housing scheme may appear to be ‘roadside’, but they may not be in fact be a public road – if you are unsure, get in touch with the Council to check.
Make sure you leave your bin where it can be easily seen by the operatives so that they don’t overlook it - don’t hide it behind cars or leave it halfway up your drive. Handles turned outwards is really helpful and means the operatives can get hold of your bin quickly and easily.
If you use cords to tie your bin down it’s really important to remember to take them off on collection day, as our operatives don’t have time to untie secured bins. And please no bungee cords – they are an injury risk for our crews, particularly to their eyes.
If you live in an exposed area and feel you do need to put a stone on the bin to hold the lid in place, or to stop the bin moving in high winds, then the size of that stone should be no bigger than a house brick – and no heavier than 2kg.
Report a broken or split bin as soon as you notice. Don’t be tempted to risk using a broken or split bin – it’s a safety risk to crews and passersby if bins split or fail during the lift. Instead, let us know so we can replace your bin as soon as possible. There is currently no charge for replacement bins.
Remember to look after your bin – store it out of sunlight in a sheltered place if you can, and don’t overstuff it. Pay special attention when disposing of heavy and dense materials such as ash. Food waste and disposable nappies are high in liquid and can quickly add up to an overweight bin – actively minimising food waste and using washable nappies when you can are two great ways you can reduce the waste you generate and look after your bin.
A word about caddies - we no longer accept waste in caddies, either inside a bin or presented separately (this has been the case for some time now). Compared to wheeling a bin to the lorry and hooking it on, the additional actions required with emptying a caddy adds considerable time to the collection routes, meaning that we may not be able to get to all households as planned. But equally importantly, caddies also represent an additional manual handling burden on staff, with the health and safety issues that go with that. So please don’t present caddies for collection – putting your recycling in a bin is the safest and most efficient way of making sure that it can be collected properly.
Bin too full? We don’t pick up ‘side waste’ - waste left beside bins or not in a Council-issued bag. This is to minimise the heavy lifting crews are tasked with - and the vermin risk. So please don’t leave extra waste out beside your bin, or overstuff your bin. Speak to us instead about whether you might qualify for our additional capacity service (a larger or additional bin) - or if it’s only an occasional problem for you, recycle what you can, hold over extra waste for the next collection, or visit one of our HWRCs (household waste and recycling centres). Check ahead what's accepted at each HWRC.