Coronavirus (COVID-19) service updates

Waste and Recycling updates

In light of the COVID-19 response, the following temporary alterations to waste and recycling services have been put in place with immediate effect.

We are currently prioritising the delivery of our main services, so there potentially will be some disruption for households and customers.

We would greatly appreciate your cooperation, patience and understanding at the present time.

A new national campaign by Zero Waste Scotland has been launched to help households manage their waste during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 


If you have any questions about waste and recycling, make sure you check our FAQs.

Community Recycling Centres

Community Recycling Centres will reopen on 1 June with some temporary restrictions in place. Please see our dedicated pages for more information.

Kerbside general waste collections (grey bins)

We plan to collect grey bins as normal. Please ensure your bin is presented for collection for 7.30am.

Will the Council accept excess waste (side waste)?

In the current climate when many people are at home please be mindful of the amount of waste you are producing.

Our long term policy on excess/side waste remains in place: excess/side waste should not be presented at kerbside and will not be uplifted.

This position will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and amended as and when necessary. In the meantime we will continue to uplift your general waste bin as normal until further notice.

Please ensure you are using the kerbside recycling and food waste collection services effectively. Putting the right waste in right bin will maximise the capacity of your general waste bin and will also help protect the environment.

We would also ask residents to consider whether it is necessary to put items in their general waste bin at this challenging time, when access to Community Recycling Centres is not available. For example:

  • Can you compost garden waste at home?
  • Can you safely hold onto items until a future point?

Trade waste

We understand this is an extremely difficult and uncertain time for businesses across the Scottish Borders including those with a trade waste contract with us.

Our contract renewal process took place as usual this year with contracts and duty of care paperwork posted out in early March. 

For those businesses who have already returned trade waste contracts, stickers for your bins and recycling bags, where required, are currently on their way to you if you have not already received them. 

If you have not been in touch we have assumed that you are not in a position to return your contracts to us at this time, or no longer require a trade waste collection service from us. Please therefore be advised that services from your premises will be withdrawn as of Monday 4 May 2020. 

If you do still require a collection service, please ensure you return your completed paperwork as soon as possible or if you have not received such documentation, please contact us.

If you require any further information or advice, or have any urgent enquiries please do not hesitate to call us on 01835 825 111 or email [email protected] and we will try to get bac to you as soon as possible.

Due to the closure of all Community Recycling Centres, we will also be suspending the sale of Trade Waste Access Permits.

Existing Permit holders will be able to use our Weighbridge facilities at Easter Langlee, Eshiels and Hawick, please contact [email protected] for further information.

Household isolation waste disposal advice

Household isolation will reduce the community spread of COVID-19. This means that everyone living in the same household as someone with symptoms of COVID-19 should follow ‘stay at home’ advice on NHS Inform.

The following details the NHS Inform ‘Stay at home’ waste disposal advice as outlined on 18 March. Please check NHS Inform for up to date advice:

You can securely store personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths within disposable rubbish bags. These should be:

  • placed into another bag
  • tied securely
  • kept separate from other waste in your room
  • put aside for at least 72 hours before being putting in your usual external household waste bin

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Kerbside bulky waste collections

In order to prioritise other key services we are suspending the bulky uplift service until further notice. We will aim to collect existing booked items but if this is not possible we will contact you directly.

Kerbside recycling collections (blue bins and clear sacks)

We plan to collect recycling as normal. Please ensure your bin/sacks are presented for collection for 7.30am. Do not put used tissues in your blue bin/sacks. Place these in your general waste bin.

Kerbside food waste collections

We plan to collect food waste as normal. Please ensure containers are presented for collection for 7.30am.

Missed bins

Please ensure all waste and recycling is presented for collection for 7.30am. Please understand that it may not be possible to return for missed bins/sacks until your next scheduled collection day.

Bin delivery/replacements/uplifts

Please understand that we may not be able to deliver/replace/uplift your bin within the usual 10 working days as we redeploy our resources to priority services.

Bin presentation

As more people will be working from home, please consider where you park your vehicle on your scheduled bin collection day. To allow us to safely access your waste and recycling on scheduled collection days:

  • Park more than 10m (32ft) from a junction
  • Park close to the kerb with wing mirrors folded in
  • Keep turning points clear

Assisted collections

There maybe changes to the usual collection crews so please ensure your waste and recycling is easily accessible and visible for staff.

Recycling points and bottle banks

We plan to maintain the provision of recycling points and bottle banks.

However it is possible that there may be disruption to the servicing frequency. If banks are full please take your materials home and store them for a future visit.

We do not have the staff resource to clean up fly-tipped material.

Waste aware activities

All waste education and promotional activities are suspended at this time. If an event has been arranged, you will receive an email from our waste and recycling advisors.