Putting rubbish bags out correctly in Westminster
There is a right time and a right place for putting out rubbish bags on the street for collection in Westminster
Keeping Westminster’s streets clean and free of rubbish is one of Westminster City Council’s key objectives. Clean streets are essential in providing a welcoming place in which businesses thrive. Businesses should ideally use internally stored bins (containers) for their rubbish rather than putting it out in bags on the street for collection. We are fully aware of the limitations which some existing older buildings have around accommodating this. Sometimes this means there is no other option but to use the street to present rubbish bags for collection; however, we would like this practice to be kept to a minimum. Many businesses have restrictions on using the street for waste collection incorporated into their premises license conditions, planning permission or operating consent.
In order to avoid streets becoming overrun with rubbish bags, there are a few rules around when they can be placed out. These rules are the same for everyone using the street to present rubbish for collection. If you want to avoid placing your rubbish out in bags then please speak to us about the other options we have available. We want to help you do the right thing so please let us know if we can help you here.
Only at the right time
There are set times for those who want to place rubbish bags and bundles of cardboard on the street for collection, regardless of whether these are from a household or a business and irrespective of who will collect them. If someone other than Westminster City Council/Veolia is going to collect your rubbish you need to make sure that you have made them aware of the collection times in your street. The collection times of every street in Westminster can be found via this link.
It is important you only place out your rubbish bags 30 minutes prior to the start of the collection time. If you can’t meet the collection timebands you could use collections in a nearby street, present bags on your own forecourt, on your entrance steps or in your doorway. You can’t place rubbish bags on the street outside of collection times under any circumstances.
Only in the right place
Put your rubbish bags outside your own premises only and as close to the building line as possible. Clinical and hazardous waste is not allowed to be presented on the street under any circumstances. This waste can only be collected from inside your premises in the appropriate specialised packaging. If you use food waste collections please note that for obvious reason bagged food waste is not allowed to be presented on the street for collection. Food waste can be collected in bins only.
When rubbish is found out at the wrong time or in the wrong place, our enforcement officers will issue a fine or take prosecution action.
In the right bag
If rubbish is not placed in the correct bags it can be left behind by the collection crew. You do remain responsible for it.
As such please note that when you put the rubbish out you have done the following:
- Only present rubbish/recycling in the Westminster City Council red and blue bags as appropriate
- Properly sort your recycling and don’t put general waste in your blue recycling bags or vice versa
- Don’t put builders waste, sharp items and hazardous waste in your rubbish bags
- Don’t make your bags heavier than the weight limit printed on the bag
Closed up, tied up and not leaking
One of the disadvantages of placing your rubbish out in bags is that it can leak. This defaces the street through staining and unsanitary patches. You must ensure your rubbish bags don’t leak. See these tips on how to do this. If your rubbish has caused staining on the street then please ask our deep cleaning service to help.
Please always tie up and close your rubbish bags before placing them out for collection so they do not end up spilling all over the street. Cardboard boxes placed out for collection need to be flat packed, tied up and have a cardboard sticker attached. If you dispose of lots of food waste, for example from hospitality operations, then please use the food waste service instead. Segregated food waste (catering waste) can’t be presented in bags on the street due to Animal By-Product Regulations which are in place to prevent outbreaks of livestock diseases.
Right Waste Right Place
Every business in the UK has the responsibility to manage it’s waste properly. This is your Duty of Care. Westminster supports the Right Waste Right Place campaign which helps you comply with the law. Please see this link for more information.
We’ve created a handy guide to help our customers put their waste in the right bag or bin, download your copy below.
Fines and enforcement
The Commercial Waste service doesn’t look after the enforcement of waste rules and laws. This is done through the Street Management service who can issue fines (FPNs) and notices when rubbish is mismanaged (fly-tipping). This service operates on a 24/7 basis and are happy to assist you with any enforcement related questions. Find out more on what they do via this link.
If you are unsure about something or want more advice then please get in touch.
Our waste A-Z contains advice on how to get rid of over 200 items.