Missed bin collections - Industrial Action

We apologise for the current disruption to collections due to industrial action by Unite the union. Find out the latest on the dispute and which areas we plan to collect bins from this week

Update on daily collections

Unite have announced their intention to pause their recent industrial action. Previously they had announced industrial action each working day through to 21 September 2017. As a result of the industrial action, collections have been severely impacted across the city and due to the significant accumulation of waste, we are still working to a three-weekly plan. It is our intention to get back to scheduled collections as soon as possible. Please see below the wards where we will be collecting during our recovery plan.

Progress on clearing outstanding collections

We aim to have visited every street once every three weeks as part of our strike plan. We will continue to keep you updated on progress.

The second three-week rotation began on week commencing 14 August and we have collected from the following wards during this week: Acocks Green, Bartley Green, Brandwood, Handsworth Wood, Hodge Hill, Kingstanding, Ladywood, Moseley & Kings Heath, Northfield, Quinton, Soho, Sutton Four Oaks, Sutton Trinity, Washwood Heath.  If you live in one of these wards and have not received a collection you can report a missed collection here

For week commencing 21 August we are operating in the following wards:

  • Aston
  • Billesley
  • Bournville
  • Edgbaston
  • Erdington
  • Longbridge
  • Nechells
  • Lozells & East Handsworth
  • Oscott
  • Shard End
  • Stechford & Yardley North
  • Sutton Vesey
  • South Yardley
  • Sparkbrook

If you live in one of the above wards we request that you leave your bin out for collection.You can check which ward you live in here.

In addition to this plan, we will be tackling other ‘hot spot’ areas and have a resource removing additional refuse bags.

You can dispose of your refuse and recycling at the city's household recycling centres, Perry Barr, Tyseley and Lifford have extended opening hours, 7am to 9pm, from 17 July until further notice.

Where are the recycling centres and is there a queue?

Report a missed collection

Read more about plans to modernise our waste services

Request a pest treatment

Frequently Asked Questions


I have had my rubbish removed today, when do I need to put my bin out again?

We are currently working to a plan which focusses on collecting missed collections in specific wards, with the aim of clearing the city within a three week period. The plan also includes support crews working early evening and at weekends, emptying bins and or additional sacks. If your bin has recently been emptied it is likely that it will be collected again in approximately 2 to 3 weeks’ time. A list of wards we are visiting is published above.

Do I need to leave my bin out?

If you live in one of the wards listed above please leave your bins at the edge of your property or at the collection point and we will collect as soon as possible, including the evening and weekend

My residual (grey lid) bin is overflowing. Will you collect it?

We would ask that you ensure the bin lid closes completely. Extra rubbish, securely bagged and placed at the side of your bin will be taken. An alternative, if you have a vehicle, would be to consider taking some (or all) of your waste to your local Household Recycling Centre.

My recycling bin (blue lid) is overflowing. Will you collect it?

We would ask that you ensure the bin lid closes completely. If you flatten any cardboard and crush any plastic bottles, that will create more capacity in the bin. If the bin still fills up before your next collection, extra recycling, securely bagged and placed at the side of your bin will be taken. Please note, as a result of the industrial action we are regrettably having to mix the waste, so it will not be recycled – because our number one priority during the strike is to keep the streets as clean as possible. We apologise for this. An alternative, if you have a vehicle, would be to consider taking some (or all) of your waste to your local Household Recycling Centre.

Are you collecting my garden recycling (brown lid) on the same three-week cycle during the strike?

We are endeavouring to stick to the regular fortnightly cycle for the collection of garden waste. Please leave your bin out as you would for the regular garden waste collection, and we will get to you as quickly as possible.

Will crews collect additional bags of rubbish/excessive waste?

Providing the additional bags of rubbish are the result of a missed collection, then we will remove reasonable amounts of suitably bagged waste placed next to your wheelie bin.

Are the piles of rubbish causing a risk to public health?

Advice issued by Birmingham Public Health indicates that the public health risk associated with household waste is very low and can be easily managed by taking a number of the precautions listed on our advice page.

I have seen a rat, what do I do?

We offer a free service to treat for rats in residents houses and gardens. You can book this service online.

Is the strike for a full day?

No, the industrial action is for a total of three hours per day.  However from the 11th August the times of this action have changed to 7am-8am, then 10.30am-11.30am and finally 1.30pm-2.30pm.  In between these times crews will be returning to the depot for all of their breaks, which includes 15 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes for lunch. As a result crews who are taking industrial action will spend the majority of their ‘working’ time, travelling to and from the depot, which will have a significant impact on the number of bins which can be collected in a day.

Are there further industrial action dates planned?

We are aware that further industrial action dates have been announced by Unite. Continuous industrial action has been proposed until 21 September. Discussions are continuing between the council and the union; in the meantime we will be doing all we can to collect your refuse and recycling asap.

Why has my collection been missed?

We want to ensure that Birmingham has a modern, high quality, value for money and reliable refuse service so we are proposing changes to our Waste Service. We have already introduced a number of different ways of working but we believe we need to do more if we are to deliver the savings and improvements (such as fewer missed collections) that the citizens of Birmingham demand. We have been in consultation with the trades unions about these proposals since January 2017. Regrettably, one of the unions (Unite) has announced plans for industrial action – starting on 30 June – which are impacting collections in certain parts of the city.

My bins were not emptied before the disruptions, why?

Usually we collect over 99% of the waste presented. However, there are times when collections get missed and there are many reasons for why this happens. We are working hard to ensure no missed collections occur and where multiple missed collections are reported for the same property, each case is investigated to try and prevent further problems.

One of the reasons for the proposed changes is to reduce these missed collections further by increasing productivity and improving the service to the citizens of Birmingham.

Will I get a rebate on my Council tax for the lack of collections?

Council Tax is not paid to fund a particular service and there is a legal obligation to pay. It’s also important to understand that the cost per household for each weekly collection is about 92p - for all refuse and recycling collections.

The gross cost of services provided by the council amounts to just over £3 billion per annum of which just under 10% (around £271 million) is funded by Council Tax. Within that total the cost of refuse collection including recycling collections, delivered to about 420,000 households is less than £20 million per annum.

Will I get a rebate on the garden waste service I have paid for?

If garden waste has been reported and is not picked up on three consecutive collections and on each occasion the issue is not rectified, then the service will investigate. If all three missed collections are determined to be the fault of the council then a refund will be issued.