Waste Management Survey

Cornwall Council’s Waste Management Survey 

We regularly survey the public about Cornwall Council’s

  • rubbish collections
  • recycling collections
  • street cleaning
  • public open space cleaning

These are provided by our contractor, Biffa. 

Your answers are anonymous. Your feedback really helps us to understand where services are working well, and where to focus our efforts to improve.

The survey will be open from 1 to 31 May.

Take the survey online

Here are answers to some of the questions you raised in the last survey: 

Changes to rubbish and recycling collections 

I’ve heard there will be changes to how often my rubbish and recycling will be collected. What are the changes and when are they happening? 

We’ll begin making changes from 2023 to help us to increase Cornwall’s recycling and reduce waste. You’ll hear more about these changes as they are introduced in your area. We’ll let you know well in advance when the collection services are going to change, and we’ll give you lots of information about how to use the new services. 

When will I be able to recycle food waste? 

You will be able to recycle your food waste once the new service is introduced in your area. This will be done in phases beginning in 2023  

When can I have a wheelie bin? 

We will give most households a wheelie bin when the service changes. If you cannot reasonably store a bin, we will give you a reusable protective sack instead. 

This will be done in phases, beginning in 2023.


Is there any point in recycling? 

Yes, there is. Recycling is something we can all do to help combat the climate emergency. When we recycle, we save 95% of the energy that it would take to make that item or product new from raw materials.

Why do I have to sort my recycling into different containers?  

We need everyone to sort and separate their recycling. This is so we can provide manufactures in the UK and Europe with high quality materials that are not contaminated. They would be contaminated if everything was just mixed in together. 

The people of Cornwall are really good at separating their items. Because of this, over 99% of the material you put out for recycling is sent to be turned into new products. 

If all of the recycling is mixed together in one bag or bin, it has to be sorted by machinery and by hand. This is both time consuming and expensive. Sorting at home avoids all of that.  It also

  • increases the quality of the material we collect
  • reduces contamination

Some local authorities collect recycling all mixed together. Sometimes they struggle to find long-term, sustainable markets for their materials. This is because the materials can be considered ‘low quality’. 

Why can’t I recycle items like juice and milk cartons or metal-based containers that things like cocoa and custard powder come in, or Pringles-style crisp tubes? 

We aren’t able to take these items as part of the kerbside collection service. However, we can accept these for recycling at most of our Household Waste and Recycling Centres in Cornwall. 

Household waste and recycling centres


How do I report a missed collection? 

You can report a missed recycling, rubbish or garden waste collection online.

Report a missed collection

How can I find out when my rubbish/recycling is due to be collected? 

Please go to the www.cornwall.gov.uk/my-area and

  1. Put in your post code
  2. Select your address
  3. Click on 'View my area'

It will tell you your next collection days and you’ll be able to download a collection calendar. 

My area information

How do I order new or additional recycling bags/boxes? 

You can order your recycling bags and box at in our recycling section.

Recycling information

How can I order a protective sack? 

You can buy reusable protective sacks from us using this our online form.

Order protective sack

You can also purchase and collect from some town and parish councils offices. Please check our webpage for locations that stock reusable protective sacks. 

Find out about where to buy sacks

Why has the crew not cleared up rubbish or recycling that has been spilled during collection? 

Collection crews are responsible for clearing all rubbish and recycling that may have been spilled as a result of collections.

If they haven’t, please report it by calling 0300 1234 141 to register your complaint.

Please help the crews by protecting your bags of rubbish either with a bin, a protective sack or covering it with sheeting to stop animals or birds attacking it.  

I’m not happy with the behaviour of a collection crew – how do I report it and what will be done about it? 

If you have concerns about the conduct of any member of staff, please call 0300 1234 141 to register your complaint.  

All complaints received about our crews are passed on to our contractor to fully investigate.  

Investigations are carried out in line with our contractor, Biffa’s disciplinary policy and procedure.  Some investigations may require one of the Biffa’s management team contacting you to obtain further details. 

My neighbour puts out their rubbish before collection day/doesn’t protect it from seagulls etc.  What should I do? 

You can report that to us using our contact form.Contact Us We will contact them to remind them of their responsibilities when their placing rubbish out for collection. 

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Use our contact us form

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service