17 Nov, 2023
Written By: Josh Morris

What to Do if You Miss Your Bin Collection 

Picture of 3 very overflowing bins in front of a terraced house blocking the entrance.

There is not much worse then coming home from a long hard day and seeing your bins still full to the brim. 

We've all been there!

It's bin collection day, and you rush to get your waste out, only to find that the little blighters have come and gone without a trace. Frustrating? Sad? Might cry a little bit? Well, wipe away those tears & fear not, because missed bin collections can be resolved with ease, and we're here to guide you all the way!

Let us walk you through the steps to take when you've missed your bin collection with the council. From checking your schedule to reporting the issue and making sure your waste is stored safely on your property , we've got you covered. 

So, let's jump in and turn that missed collection hiccup into a minor bump on the waste management road.

Why did your bin collection get missed? 

There could be various reasons as to why your bin has been missed, it is important to remember that missed bin collections are unintentional and not personal.

Most issues may be resolved easily by communicating with the council, so don't start cursing the waste gods just yet!

There are plenty of valid reasons as to why your bin collection was missed, this could be anything from: 

Scheduling Errors: There may have been a change in collection schedule that you have forgotten about or you may have put your bin out on the wrong day. Slap your wrist for us!

Traffic or Route Delays:  Traffic Jams, Road Closures, Tornadoes, Just Stop Oil! Unforeseen events can cause delays in your bin collection.

Technical Issues: Mechanical problems with the collection vehicle can disrupt proceedings, causing some bins to be missed. 

You Forgot: We are grown ups here, let us all own up to it. Or better yet, blame it on the neighbour for not getting theirs out quick enough to remind you! The doghouse awaits!

Overloaded / Inaccessible Bins: If a bin is too heavy, overloaded, or placed in an inaccessible location(Blocked by a car or locked behind a gate), it won't not be collected.

Weather Conditions: Severe weather, such as heavy snow, storms, or flooding, can sometimes force the cancellation of collection routes for safety reasons.

Public Holidays: Bin collections may be rescheduled or delayed during public holidays, and you may have been too busy celebrating to remember! 

As always, don't go shouting and hollering at the council workers & customer service. They are just doing their jobs and mistakes do happen, nobody is perfect and we need to remember this. Clear, precise and friendly communication will help resolve your issue quicker. 

AND, if all that doesn't work, then why not look at a private bin collection service. 

There are a few businesses that offer One Off Household Bin Collections. And as if by magic, we are a business that offers this! 

You can book here if you are struggling getting the council to empty your bin. 

How to Report a Missed Bin Collection

Check the Schedule: First, double-check your collection schedule to make sure that you haven't accidentally put out your bin on the wrong day or week. It happens to the best of us.

Contact the Council: If you're sure you didn't make a scheduling error, get in touch with your local council's waste management department. They can provide information on the next scheduled collection or if there were any issues with the collection.

Report your Missed Bin: Many councils have online sites that allow you to report a missed collection. Use these services to let them know about the problem without having to wait on hold for 4 hours.

Wait for the Reschedule or the Extra Bags: In many cases where the council are at fault, they will reschedule your collection for a specific day. Follow their instructions and have your bin out for collection on the rescheduled date. Hopefully you can get the next scheduled collection day.

Make Waste Accessible: While waiting for the rescheduled collection, ensure your waste is stored properly and can be easily seen and accessed by the city council. 

Make a Complaint: If you aren't fully satisfied with how they have handled it, look to make a complaint.

How to Prevent Missed Bin Collections

Stay Informed: Sign up for alerts or notifications from your council regarding collection schedules and changes. We like to get all the UK councils alerts sent to our phone, so that we can pretend we have friends. 

Know Your Collection Schedule: Is it Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday? When do the bins need to go out by? Drill your partner or get your children earning their pocket money by having them know the collection schedule better then the new maps on Fortnite!

Set Reminders: If you can't remember what you had for tea last night, how are you going to remember when the bins are? Download phone apps to remind you of your bin collection days to ensure you never forget.

Proper Placement: Leave your bin in the spotlight! Typically you could place this on the curb or near the road. Make sure they are easily visible and accessible for the collection crew.

Follow Guidelines: Don't be cheeky! Separate recyclables from general waste and use the correct bins. Also, it is only on Xmas Day that you are allowed to overfill yourself, so make sure those bins stay within the limits. 

Secure Lids: Keep bin lids closed to prevent wind, rain, or pests from causing issues on collection days.

Avoid Blocking: The ultimate bin block. Don't block your bins chances of getting emptied. Ensure that vehicles, obstacles, or parked cars don't obstruct the access to your bins. 

Clear Snow and Ice: In areas with winter weather, keep pathways to your bins clear of snow and ice to ensure collection crews can access them safely.

The Consequences of a Missed Collection 

A missed council bin collection can lead to issues like overflowing bins, inconvenience, hygiene concerns, and potential pest attraction. 

If you are missing regular bin collections this may result in fines, impact the environment, and cause community dissatisfaction. To address this, you should promptly report any missed collections to your council as soon as possible or look to arrange a one-off bin collection.  

Extra Waste: Immediate build-up of waste in bins can lead to overflowing containers and a temporary lack of space for additional rubbish.

Hygiene Concerns: Especially in warm weather - We have all walked past the stinky food bins, seeing maggots crawling out the side of them. Nobody wants that!

Pests: We aren't talking about the local creeps you find in the nightclubs following you around all night. We mean Rats, Mice and any other pest that you don't want.

Health Risks: Accumulating waste heightens health hazards by fostering bacteria and attracting pests, leading to potential disease spread and water contamination.

Fines or Penalties: Consistent failure to manage bin collections can lead to fines and legal repercussions under strict municipal waste management laws.

Environmental Impact: Neglected waste management leads to environmental damage through increased littering, wildlife harm, and escalated greenhouse gas emissions from decomposing waste.

The Role of Weather in Missed Bin Collections

Mother Nature can really throw a spanner in our bin collection works sometimes! Bad weather can seriously mess with your bins being picked up on time, causing all sorts of delays and cancellations.

We're talking about heavy rain, storms, snow, and floods wreaking havoc on collection crews and making it impossible for them to get around. The roads could be a nightmare, trucks could break down, and suddenly they are dealing with rescheduling issues.

So, do yourself a favour and keep an eye on the weather updates from your local council. It's the best way to prepare for any potential hiccups in your bin collection schedule.

You never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve, after all. 

Waste Collections During Holidays 

Council waste collections during holidays can be subject to changes and adjustments. Bank Holidays, Festive Hols and other events can cause quick changes in schedules, so always make sure to watch out for the following:

Change in Schedules: During holidays, councils may alter waste collection schedules. Regular collection days might shift to accommodate the holiday, so it's crucial to be aware of any changes.

Special Collections: Some councils offer special collections or additional pickups after holidays to manage the increased waste generated during festive periods. Your normal pick-up day might switch up to make room for all that holiday rubbish, so keep an eye out for any changes.

Check with Your Council: To stay informed about holiday waste collections, check with your local council for specific information on schedule changes, special arrangements, or any additional services provided during holidays. Many councils provide notices or publish holiday collection schedules well in advance.

Proper Planning: Be active in managing your waste during holiday periods. If there are changes to the collection schedule, plan ahead to ensure your bins are placed out for collection on the correct days.

Understanding how your local council manages waste collections during holidays helps you change with any adjustments and ensures a smooth waste disposal process during festive seasons.

Contaminated Recycling Bin Collections: Common Mistakes 

We all make mistakes, especially waste related ones! Keep your eye out for these common mistakes when filling your waste bin: 

  • Not rinsing containers before recycling - Rinse and go
  • Greasy recycling boxes - Tear off the clean parts to recycle.
  • Broken Glass - Put your broken glass in boxes. Its own mini funeral.
  • Shredded paper - Bag it up.
  • Plastic bags - Let the recyclable items breathe. 

Bin Collection Etiquette: Do's and Don'ts 


  • Lids Secure - Like a bald man and his toupee. Keep the lid securely on.
  • Correct Household Waste - They all have the correct home. Reunite them with their trashy friends!
  • Easy Access - Bins out waiting to catch the councils eye for collection please. 


  • Overfill bins - Keep the waste line down!
  • Block Access - No bin blocks allowed in this club.
  • Hazardous Materials - Save that for Walter White.

Be a doer not a don'ter


Navigating the wild world of council bin collections may not be that glamorous of a journey, but hey, someone's got to do it! Remember to keep an eye on any scheduling twists and turns along the way, and always give your bins the special treatment.

Now, armed with your new waste wisdom, go forth with confidence and charge into our next collection.

You've just proved once and for all that not all heroes wear capes - some just wheel out the bins!

Thanks again for reading and remember, if you are ever having trouble with missed bin collections and other waste woes, come and join the service with a smile. www.busybins.co.uk

To view more blog posts related to this one, just click on the tags below...

Our Services