Frequently asked questions | Need help managing your rubbish? | Oldham Council
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2. Frequently asked questions

Why are the bins only collected every 3 weeks?

Your general rubbish bin is collected every three weeks as every household in Oldham has access to supporting recycling services.

  • Week 1 - general rubbish (grey) bin  
  • Week 2 - paper & cardboard (blue) bin
  • Week 3 - glass, cans, tins & plastic bottles (brown) bin

Food and garden waste (your green bin or food caddy) is collected weekly.

The reason for moving to 3 weekly collections was to maximise our recycling services as the cost of waste disposal is increasing every year and this an unnecessary drain on Council budgets.

Environmentally it is important that everyone takes responsibility for the waste they produce and do the right thing by recycling as much as possible.

When should I put my bin out (use the 6-7-8 rule)?

Use the 6-7-8 rule. Only place your bin out after 6pm on the day before collection, ensure your bin is out by 7am on the day of collection and take it in by 8am the day after collection.

What can I recycle in my blue, brown and green bins?

You can find out what goes in which bin here:

I put my bin out for collection, why has it not been emptied?

Was your bin out by 7am on your collection day?

If so, please report your missed bin either online here:

Does your bin have something in it that it shouldn’t have? If so, the crews are unable to empty your bin as it will contaminate the full load

Details about what can go in which bin can be found here:

Has your bin been overfilled or is it too heavy?

Bins that are too heavy cannot be emptied, as the machinery on the vehicle will not lift it.

When can I report a missed collection?

Missed bins can only be reported online after 6pm on the day of collection and the following day if you are reporting by phone. This is because our crews work up 5pm and we need to process tall the issues the crew may have faced in their working day before we can accept any missed bin reports.

I need help with my bins

For help with putting your bins out please see here:

For help with managing your rubbish please see here:

If you would like a new bin, box or bag, please see here:

What happens if I contaminate my bins?

If you put something in your bin which shouldn’t be in there (contamination) we cannot empty the bin.

Collecting too many contaminated bins would lead to the entire vehicle load of recycling material being rejected at the recycling facility. Rejected loads not only waste residents’ efforts to recycle they also cost Oldham in additional charges as all the rejected material must then be disposed of as general rubbish.

If your bin has not been emptied on your usual collection day, please check if the bin has the right things in it. Your bin may also have a tag on it from the crews letting you know that your bin could not be emptied.

If your bins are contaminated the crews cannot return to empty it and you’ll need to remove the contamination before your next scheduled collection so that the crews can empty it.

You can check here what goes in which bin:

Someone has put something in my bin, which shouldn’t be there

We know that this is frustrating and not your fault.

Unfortunately, we are unable to control irresponsible behaviour from a small minority and the contamination does need to be removed before the crew can collect it.

If you would like to discuss this further please speak our Contact Centre:

  • Phone: 0161 770 6644.

What is Bulky Bobs?

Bulky Bob’s is a service which will to collect bulky waste from outside your door.

  • Book a collection by calling 0161 770 6644.

You can find out more information about Bulky Bob’s here:

Bulky Bobs are an award-winning social enterprise that aims to re-use, recycle and refurbish at least 70% by tonnage of the items that they collect.

Thousands of items of furniture picked up by crews are made available to families on low incomes.

Current charges (2021/22) are three items for £19 with any additional items at £6.20 each (fridge and freezers have an additional charge of £10).

Please note that Bulky Bobs will also collect any bagged fabric or small electrical items, like kettles and toasters, for free as part of your paid collection.

I have bulky household items, which I’d like to get rid of

You can take any unwanted bulky goods to a Household Waste Recycling Centre - the nearest one is Arkwright Street OL9 9LZ

Arkwright Street has a Renew Shop which sells pre-loved household items donated by residents.

All money made from the shop goes to local charities.

I put my general rubbish bin out and it got stolen, so why should I pay for a new bin?

We appreciate your frustrations and know that this must seem like an unfair situation.

Unfortunately, this is a common problem and as a council, we have to balance resources.

In order to do this, we do charge for replacement refuse bins.