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Household waste - collection

Blue bin  

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West Lothian Council collects domestic refuse in all areas of the district on a regular basis.

All bins should be out on the kerb side by 7am on collection days.

If you're elderly or disabled and struggle to get your bin to the kerbside, please contact us on 01506 280000, and we will assess the situation. If you qualify, we can arrange for your bin to be collected from the back or side of your house and put back there afterwards.

Unfortunately, we cannot take any refuse that is not in the bin. It is vital that all refuse is in the bin with the lid shut.

If you have any queries regarding your bin not being emptied or your bin has gone missing, please call the Customer Service Centre on 01506 280000. You will normally receive a new bin in between three to five working days. There are two sizes of bin available - 240 litres, which is the standard domestic bin, or 140 litres, which is a smaller version.

Service standards for waste collection:

  • We will provide a weekly collection service on a pre-determined day.
  • We will clean up any spillage, from bin or vehicle, caused by council employees as a result of carrying out this service. If possible this will be carried out immediately, otherwise it will be carried out within 24 hours.
    Any changes to your normal collection will be communicated in writing to the affected households at least 10 working days before changes are due to occur.
  • We will advertise, through local media, any changes due to the public holidays at Christmas and New Year. This will be at least 10 working days in advance.
  • On the rare occasions when extreme weather conditions occur, please continue to leave your bin out on the kerbside. This waste shall be collected as soon as possible and at the latest on the following Saturday including any bagged waste, which has built up during this period.
  • For health and safety reasons we will only collect containers with the lids fully closed. We will not collect waste outwith containers other than in the circumstances stated above. Any side or excess waste will be placed back in the bin.
  • Bins should be presented for collection by 07:00 on required day.
    We will acknowledge complaints within 24 hours. In normal circumstances any action we believe is required will be completed by 12 noon on the following day.

360ltr grey bin requirements:

  • The household must be actively participating in the kerbside recycling scheme.
  • The household must contain 5 or more permanent residents, or contain 4 permanent residents with at least 2 children under the age of 3.
  • Proof of residence will be required at time of assessment by pre-arranged appointment.
  • Registered foster carers and child minders with a potential to have more than 5 residents in household, or 4 in household with 2 children under the age of 3, are entitled to a larger grey bin on proof of their registered status.
  • Householders will be able to rent a 360ltr bin, in place of their 240ltr grey bin at a cost of £26.78 (including vat) per year. These bins shall be identified by a different coloured lid to the standard grey bin. The original 240ltr grey bin will be removed.

Replacement bins:

  • Missing bins: If your bin has gone missing please contact us to ascertain whether or not the collection vehicle has uplifted it. If the bin has been uplifted by accident, we will action a replacement.
  • If your bin is suspected stolen, it must be reported to the local police station where a crime incident number must be obtained. Thereafter we should be contacted to request a replacement bin. You will be asked at this stage to quote the crime incident number.
  • Damaged bins: This should be reported to us,so that we are able to arrange a replacement.
  • All replacement bins may not be new as we repair and reuse wherever possible. Any bin beyond repair is recycled.
  • We will provide your replacement bin within 5 working days.

Assisted collections:

  • When requested we will assess the householder for an assisted collection, whether it is a permanent or temporary situation. This assessment will take place within 5 working days of the request being submitted.

Contact Details

Waste Services,
Nairn Road,
Deans Industrial Estate,
EH54 8AY

Customer Service Centre 01506 280000 or email on

updated 20/02/13

Frequently Asked Questions

Click a question to see the answer.

Are there different sizes of recycling bins?

There are 3 sizes of Blue wheeled bins available on request. Normal blue bins are issued in 240 litre size. There is a 140 litre bin - same height, but nearly half a width smaller than the normal bin. 360 litre - same height but a half width larger than a normal bin. Unfortunately the Brown recycling bins only come in the normal wheeled bin size. Additional recycle bins are available on request. Bins may be shared e.g. this is popular with residents with small gardens that do not produce much garden waste, but still wish to recycle. It is common for several neighbours to share a bin for this purpose

Can I put extra bags out for collection beside my bin?

No. It is Council policy that we cannot take extra bags beside a bin.

Can I put whatever I want out for my normal rubbish collection?

You may put general household waste into your normal rubbish, but NOT items such as masonry or bricks, car batteries or corrosive chemicals, and so on. Please try and recycle as much as you can instead of placing it into the regular rubbish collection.

Does the Council supply sacks for rubbish collections?

Yes. Households on a refuse sack collection route get sacks supplied either weekly or annually.

I am taking part in the 3 bin scheme, how often will the bins be emptied?

Grey and blue bins are uplifted once a fortnight on alternative weeks. The brown is uplifted once every four weeks. Please see your kerbside calendar for details

I need an assisted collection?

When requested we will assess the householder for an assisted collection, whether it is a permanent or temporary situation. This assessment will take place within 5 working days of the request being submitted.

If my usual bin is only emptied every two weeks, won't it smell?

If you wrap and seal food waste in unwanted plastic bags before placing in the bin, then it shouldn't smell. Similar projects throughout the UK have demonstrated that food waste can be safely and hygienically stored for extended periods in a lidded, wheeled bin.

My bin is due to be emptied on a public holiday. When will it be done?

If your bin day falls on a public holiday, your bin will be emptied that day as usual, except over Christmas and New Year, in which case you will be informed of the alternative dates when your bins will be emptied.

My wheelie bin has not been emptied who do I contact to report this?

Please contact Waste Services on 01506 280000 giving the details.

What are the rubbish and recycling collection arrangements following a bank holiday?

There will be no change to your rubbish and recycling collection due to bank holidays. The only holidays to affect rubbish and recycling collections are Christmas and New Year and in these cases we will send you details of any change.

What happens if I put the wrong items in my recycling bins/box?

One contaminated bin can spoil an entire vehicle load so it is important that the correct items are put in the appropriate bin. If the people doing the uplift notice a wrong item in the bin, they will not take it.

What happens to the recyclable waste?

Waste from the brown bin is composted at West Lothian Recycling in Addiewell. The compost is used within the council for grounds maintenance or external forestry.Waste from the blue bin is sent to a local materials recycling facility. It is separated using a combination of automatic and manual methods before each separate material is baled and sent on for reprocessing into newspapers, and a variety of plastic and metal products.We aim to improve our service by expanding the range of materials we collect for recycling.

What is kerbside collection?

Kerbside collection of recyclable material is a method of collection whereby you (the resident) sort your domestic waste according to type of material. You then gather these together in specially-provided bins/bags/boxes, which are collected on a regular basis by the council to be taken away and recycled. It means that you do not have to carry everything to your nearest recycling place, which may be difficult for you.

What should I do if I have additional rubbish which will not fit into my wheelie bin?

If you have additional rubbish which will not fit into your wheelie bin then you can either arrange for a special uplift or take it to one of our recycling centres at East Main Street, Blackburn. Greendykes Ind Est, Broxburn. Braehead Road, Linlithgow. Deans Cleansing Depot, Livingston. Oakbank, Livingston or Dixon Terrace, Burnhouse Ind Est, Whitburn.

Where should I place my bins for collection?

Please place your bins on the pavement at the front of your house, or if access proves a problem, at the nearest vehicle access point.

Where should I place my recycling for kerbside collection?

Please place your recycling on the pavement at the front of your house, or if access proves a problem, at the nearest vehicle access point.

Why do we need to recycle?

Scotland is producing increasing amounts of waste; the majority of this waste is buried in the ground in landfills. However, new Europeanlaw require the Countries who are part of the European Union to lower the amount of waste they send to landfill. When we landfill out waste we are throwing away valuable materials that could be used to make new products. Materials that breakdown in landfill sites contribute to climate change and can pollute surrounding land and rivers.