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Rubbish and recycling

About waste management

Please note that the dates for household waste collection are changing from 1 April 2024. You can find out more details about why this is occurring in our frequently asked questions section.

The Council is committed to reducing the amount of waste that is generated locally. As a local authority we are responsible for collecting bins and waste in the Borough.

We provide three waste collections:

  • black bins for household rubbish 
  • green bins for recycling 
  • brown bins for garden waste (subscription service)

We are also a member of Norfolk Recycles, a scheme run by Norfolk County Council and local authorities in the area aimed at:

  • providing a quality recycling service across the whole of Norfolk
  • reducing the amount of rubbish collected in the residual waste bins

You can find out more about the scheme, including ways you can recycle more at home and at work, on the Norfolk Recycles (opens new window) website.

Where is the tip/recycling centre?

Norfolk County Council's website gives information about opening times and directions to the Caister Recycling Centre (opens new window). You can recycle cookers, household furniture, garden waste, televisions and fridges or freezers. You can also recycle up to five tyres a month, although you will have to pay £6.00 per tyre. You are able to take trade waste to Caister recycling centre for a charge - please see Norfolk County Council's Business Waste (opens new window) page.

Please note that wet paint is now classed as hazardous waste and can only be disposed of on hazardous waste amnesty days. If you need to dispose of half filled paint tins at other times please allow the paint to dry out by adding earth or sand and leaving the lid off.

To check if the recycling centre can accept specific items, or for any other questions about recycling, you can check online for the types of waste accepted (opens new window) or call Norfolk County Council's enquiry line on 0344 800 8020.

How do I find my bin collection day?

We empty green recycle bins and black waste bins on alternate weeks. Check your bin collection dates by entering your postcode on our Find my waste collection days page.

Make sure that the correct bin is left at the edge of your property, on the kerb or at your collection point with the handles facing the road, ready for collection by 6.30am. You may leave your bin out ready for collection no earlier than 6pm the evening before collection, the bin must then be returned to within your property boundary as soon as possible after emptying and must be stored within your property boundaries between collections.

Communal bins work in the same way as household ones.

You can request an assisted bin collection if there is no one in the property who is able to move your bin. You can apply for an extra black/green bin if there are more than five people in your house, or five including a nappy need. Call Great Yarmouth Services Ltd for advice.

If your property is on a sack collection scheme, please do not put your sacks out before 6.30am on your collection day.

How do I report a missed bin?

You can report a missed bin, but to make sure your bin is collected, you must:

  • make sure that the correct bin is left at the edge of your property, on the kerb or at your collection point with the handles facing the road, ready for collection by 6.30am
  • make sure the right rubbish is in the correct bin, e.g. no carrier bags or nappies in the recycling or garden waste bins and no garden or DIY waste in the black bin
  • make sure that your bin is not overweight, if you can't move it neither can we

If we have not emptied your bin because you haven't complied with the above we will not return to empty your bin and you will be expected to rectify the problem in time for your next scheduled collection.

Please make sure that you report any missed recycling or general waste bins within five working days of your missed collection and garden waste bins within two working days.


Will you collect household bulky items?

Yes, we will. Use our online booking system (opens new window) to arrange and pay for this service. Your payment must be made before we will collect anything.

Fees for collection of bulky items
Number of itemsFee
One £30.00

What can I put in each bin?

Green bin

This is for your recycling items:

  • paper and card
  • plastic bottles
  • steel and aluminium food and drink cans
  • aerosols
  • glass bottles and jars including lids
  • plastic pots, tubs and trays (including yogurt pots, margarine tubs, plastic meat and vegetable trays)
  • Tetra Pak® containers (like the ones containing juices and soups)
  • envelopes (including window envelopes)
  • kitchen foil and foil trays (like the ones containing takeaways and ready meals)

You should make sure that items are clean and loose - you cannot recycle black sacks or carrier bags.

We collect your green bin once a fortnight - please make sure it is outside for collection by 6.30am on your collection day.

You can put out extra recycling beside your green bin on collection day, but the items must be in a recyclable bag or box, and not in a black sack. Please make sure that all glass bottles and jars are placed within your bin to comply with health and safety.

Check the 'Reduce My Rubbish' page on Norfolk Recycles (opens new window) guide to see how you can recycle other items.

Black bin

This is for general waste. Please do not put garden waste, recyclables or DIY waste in your black bin - it will not be collected.

Please do not put extra black sacks or other items beside your black bin as these will not be collected and may be considered fly tipping.

If your bin is too heavy to be safely loaded onto the collection truck it will not be emptied.

Brown bin

This is for your loose garden waste - see our garden waste page for details.

Trade waste must not go in any domestic bin. Contact us on 01493 846478 for more information.

Why has my bin got a red tag?

If you find your bin has had a red tag put on the handle it means there is something wrong and we have not been able to empty your bin. It could mean that the:

  • green bin contains wrong items
  • black bin has garden waste, DIY waste or is too heavy to move

Always follow the guidance in What can I put in each bin? to avoid your bin being red tagged.

We will not return to empty your bin before your next collection and we would expect the items that have been placed incorrectly in the bin to have been removed. If you feel that you cannot manage until your next scheduled collection, you are able to pay to get your bin emptied by calling Great Yarmouth Services Ltd.

What happens to the items I put in my green recycling bin?

You can now look around the Main Recycling Facility at Costessey, with an interactive 360º video (opens new window), showing what happens to your recycling after it has been collected from your home.

You can see inside the recycling centre and follow how items from your green bin are sorted by hand and by machine. There is also information on the locations where the various categories of recycling end up for processing, both in the UK and overseas.

How can I get rid of garden waste?

You can recycle garden waste and put the following in your BROWN bin if you subscribe to the service:

  • leaves
  • twigs
  • prunings
  • grass cuttings
  • weeds and plants
  • cut flowers
  • small branches (under 10cm in diameter and 60cm in length)
  • plant cuttings
  • hedge clippings
  • uncooked vegetable peelings

We collect your bin once a fortnight. Bins that are too heavy to be safely moved will not be emptied. Please note your bin must be clearly labelled with your address to enable us to identify and empty it.

To purchase a NEW brown bin, order and make payment online. The purchase price includes the cost and delivery of your brown bin and a 12 month collection period from receipt of your bin. Your first collection will take place on the next scheduled date shown on our Find my waste collection days page.

For RENEWAL of your brown bin service, you will either receive an email or a postal notification with instructions on how to pay for your collection. You will need the reference number (on your email or letter) or post code when renewing your subscription.

You can check your upcoming collection dates for all bins, including your brown bin, on our Find my waste collection days page. As we now provide this facility to customers, we are no longer providing online calendars.

If you no longer wish to continue with the garden waste collection service you may choose not to renew. If you do not renew, collection will cease automatically. You are able to take your garden waste free of charge to Caister Household Waste Recycling Centre but please note soil and turf are classed as DIY (opens new window) waste and you will be charged to dispose of this at a recycling centre.

If you have a smaller garden and do not need a brown bin, you can buy garden waste bags in packs of 12 or 24. Call Great Yarmouth Services Ltd to place an order.

Our Garden waste collection service: terms and conditions information sets out the rights and obligations of the service user and the Council.

You may wish to compost at home, hints and tips on how to do this are found on the composting section of the Norfolk Recycles website (opens new window) and as a special offer you can order compost bins from £12 (220 litres)  through (opens new window). You are also able to order by phone on 0844 571 4444 or can purchase at Caister Household Waste Recycling Centre. Please quote special offer code NFK12L.

Ash trees, leaves and prunings cannot be accepted by your local Garden Waste Collection Service for composting or at any Recycling Centre. Ash dieback disease is affecting ash trees across the country. Defra and The Forestry Commission recommend that householders who have any ash trees, leaves or prunings burn them on site where permitted to do so. For more information visit the Forest Research (opens new window) website.

Can I have an extra wheeled bin?

To qualify for an additional bin, there must be either:

  • six or more permanent residents in the household, or
  • five or more permanent residents including a nappy need

There is an administration charge unless the nappy need is clinical.

Any bins allocated should be returned when:

  • the number of residents in the household reduces, or
  • nappies are no longer required

Use our online form to apply for an extra black bin.

If you require an extra black bin for clinical needs, please read our information on what to do with clinical or hazardous waste and complete the additional bin for clinical waste application form.

You can place extra recycling beside your green bin if it is in a cardboard box or paper bag, meaning you may not require an extra green bin. Always ensure that glass bottles and glass jars are placed in your green bin rather than in a box or bag beside the green bin. For health and safety reasons, we will only collect glass items that are within your green bin. If you constantly have lots of extra recycling, please contact Great Yarmouth Services Ltd for advice. Please do not place extra recycling in black sacks or carrier bags, as they will not be collected.

Any extra bins that we issue will be subject to a regular review. If we inspect an extra black bin and it contains any items that should be in the recycling bin, we reserve the right to remove your extra bin without further notice.

If it is reported that your property has extra wheeled bins and we do not hold your application on our database, we may collect any spare bins at our discretion.

If you have any questions, please contact the Recycling team at Great Yarmouth Services Ltd.

What should I do with clinical or hazardous waste?

We collect clinical waste from homes free of charge. Clinical waste includes incontinence pads, stoma bags and dressings.

Call Great Yarmouth Services Ltd for advice if you have clinical waste that is contaminated with blood borne matter. If you have incontinence items, including incontinence pads, urinary catheter bags/tubes and stoma bags these should be double-bagged and placed in your black rubbish bin.

If this extra waste causes capacity issues within your black bin, you can apply for an additional black bin for clinical waste.

Wound dressings, some forms of dialysis and some wound/blood catheters need a special collection and cannot be placed in your black rubbish bin. For these, please contact Great Yarmouth Services Ltd.

If you have clinical sharps, please see our information on pharmacies where residents of the borough can take clinical sharps for safe disposal.

We cannot collect any of the following items: 

  • gas bottles
  • asbestos
  • chemicals
  • paint
  • sunbed tubes
  • coal bunkers
  • any unidentified substance in any type of container

You can take other hazardous waste to your local recycling centre on certain weekends, that we will advertise closer to the time. The hazardous waste weekends are usually held in the autumn. Norfolk County Council (opens new window) schedules the hazardous waste days for Caister.

Visit the Caister Main Recycling Centre Plus (opens new window) page for general opening times, directions to the centre and additional information.

Visit Norfolk County Council's hazardous waste page (opens new window) to check which items you can take and the hazardous waste weekends at other Norfolk recycling centres. Please note that paint is now classed as hazardous waste.

The Health and Safety Executive website (opens new window) offers advice on managing asbestos.

What should I do with clinical sharps?

Residents can take their clinical sharps to the following pharmacies:

Pharmacies in the borough that accept clinical sharps
Pharmacy nameParent companyLocationTown/villagePostcode
Jhoots PharmacyJhoots Healthcare Ltd19-21 Station Road NorthBeltonNR31 9NF
Well Bradwell, Millwood SurgeryBestway Panacea Healthcare LtdMill LaneBradwellNR31 8HS
Lloyds PharmacyLloyds Pharmacy LtdCaister Medical Centre, 44 West RoadCaister-on-SeaNR30 5AQ
Well PharmacyBestway Panacea Healthcare Ltd46 High StreetCaister-on-SeaNR30 5EP
Your Local Boots PharmacyBoots Group PlcColiseum Precinct, High StreetGorleston-on-SeaNR31 6QX
Online ChemistNomaz Ltd82 Middleton RoadGorleston-on-SeaNR31 7AH
Well PharmacyBestway Panacea Healthcare Ltd8 Lowestoft RoadGorleston-on-SeaNR31 6LY
Superdrug PharmacySuperdrug Stores PLC138 High StreetGorleston-on-SeaNR31 6QX
Well Gorleston, Magdalen WayBestway Panacea Healthcare LtdMagdalen WayGorleston-on-SeaNR31 7AA
Well PharmacyBestway Panacea Healthcare LtdCobholm and Lichfield Medical Centre, Pasteur RoadGreat YarmouthNR31 0DW
PharmacyexprezzPhetalz Ltd183A King StreetGreat YarmouthNR30 1LS
Your Local Boots PharmacyBoots Group Plc3 Market GatesGreat YarmouthNR30 2AX
Well/Natural Health PharmacyBestway Panacea Healthcare Ltd3 KingswayHemsbyNR29 4JT
Hopton PharmacyRoshban Limited1 Warren RoadHopton-on-SeaNR31 9BN
Well Martham, The Medical CentreBestway Panacea Healthcare LtdHemsby RoadMarthamNR29 4QG
Well PharmacyBestway Panacea Healthcare Ltd2 The Folly, Cromer RoadOrmesby St MargaretNR29 3RH

What should I do if I discover fly-tipped waste?

Most residents are very responsible and manage their waste properly, but a small group choose to ignore the rules. Our environmental rangers will investigate any reports of accumulations of waste and bulky items.

Fly-tipping can be reported via:

The abandonment of waste is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act and the maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.

If you have excess household waste or bulky items, you can:

My bin has been damaged or lost, what can I do?

You can order a replacement bin online or by calling Great Yarmouth Services Ltd. Please note there will be an administration charge of £45 for this service.

This administration charge is also payable for bins that have been removed by Great Yarmouth Borough Council due to incorrect resident storage, so please ensure that your bins are stored within your property boundaries unless it is your collection day, and that both wheeled bins are clearly marked with your property number.

What happens if I move home?

Black waste and green recycling bins are the property of the Council. If you move home you should ensure that one black waste and one green recycling bin are left at the property. Please do not fill the bins up with the incorrect items when you leave.

Your brown bin is your property and may be taken with you when you move. If you move to another property within the borough, you need to let us know by calling Great Yarmouth Services Ltd, otherwise your brown bin will not be emptied.

If you have ordered additional wheeled bins you may take these with you to your new home but please let us know by calling Great Yarmouth Services Ltd, otherwise extra bins will not be emptied. If your household has changed and you are no longer entitled to the extra capacity please let us know so that we can arrange for the spare bin to be collected.

If you have recently moved to a property within the borough and the bins have been removed, you can order new or replacement bins by calling Great Yarmouth Services Ltd. Please note there is an administration charge for this service.

I have just moved to a new build property - how do I order refuse bins?

You can order new bins online or by calling Great Yarmouth Services Ltd.

Please note there will be an administration charge of £75.00 for this service.

Can I donate unwanted items?

Yes. Contact one of the following organisations that can arrange collection of larger items:

Contact for donating unwanted items
OrganisationContact details
Furnishaid01493 331919
Cancer Research UK01493 442206
British Heart Foundation01493 222100
FreegleFreegle website (opens new window)

You could also think about taking unwanted items to a charity shop; many will accept bric-a-brac as well as items of clothing that are fit for resale. Please only take your items to a charity shop during opening times as it is an offence to leave unwanted items in the doorway or outside a charity shop.

Please do not leave unwanted items as 'free to good home' on the public highway as this is an offence and further action may be taken.

Bring banks are available for clothing and shoes - they are usually found at local supermarkets, community centres and some public houses. Please do not leave other items beside the bring banks as this can be classed as fly-tipping and could lead to further action being taken or the removal of the bring bank.

What should I do with commercial, business and trade waste?

Generally, you cannot dispose of it like household waste. A number of main Recycling Centre Plus sites across Norfolk will however, accept commercial waste at a charge, including:

The service is aimed at small businesses and travelling tradesmen who may not have the resource or the volume of waste to justify a commercial collection.

A range of materials are accepted from trade customers and prices start from a single bag charge. For more information on how the service works, the types of trade waste accepted and a full list of charges, please see Norfolk County Council's business waste (opens new window) service.

If you transport waste as part of your business you will need a waste carrier's licence. This is a requirement for all businesses, whether you are carrying your own waste or for other people/businesses. You can obtain a licence from the Environment Agency or by calling 03708 506506.

The business registration can be shown via a widget on your website, as per this example of the Council's own registration:

The registration number in the widget is a hyperlink to the full entry on the Environment Agency's Public Registers.

You can also contact Norse (opens new window) for advice or to set up a trade waste collection. Commercial waste carriers may offer different services. Please ensure that they hold the correct waste transfer and carrier licences as you are responsible for your own trade waste. You may find the information on the following pages helpful:

Bin storage and collection - guidance to developers

This guidance has been produced to provide useful information to developers, architects and building managers to enable them to design and construct successful refuse and recycling storage facilities in Great Yarmouth.

A set of wheelie bins, green (recycling), brown (garden waste), and black (general waste)

Charging for the provision of wheeled bins

Great Yarmouth Borough Council does not provide wheeled bins for household waste for new properties free of charge. Developers are expected to contribute all the costs of the waste and recycling infrastructure where the need arises directly from the development. This includes existing properties that are sub divided and require additional bin capacity. These charges are a one off cost for the provision of the bins; the bins remain the property of Great Yarmouth Borough Council. When residents move on, the bins remain for the next resident to use. Bins must not be moved between properties by residents.

A typical house will require two 240l bins, one green for recycling and one black for waste.

A set of communal bins

Where communal bins are required (for instance for flats), other sizes of bins can be provided depending on the number of residential units, the numbers of bedrooms per unit and the available space to house the wheeled bins.

Generally, we would not expect to deliver bins until the resident moves in and starts paying council tax. If you are ordering large numbers of bins, please give us sufficient time to arrange this.

Under section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 the local authority can define the kind of bin to be used and require it to be paid for. Bins must not be moved between properties by residents unless permission has been given ie garden waste bins, authorised additional black/green bins.

Bin storage design and location

There are a number of factors to consider when designing refuse and recycling storage facilities. Poor bin storage provision is difficult to rectify retrospectively. This information is useful for building designers and assures planning officers that a suitable refuse and recycling facility has been developed.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council operates a twin bin system whereby a BLACK bin is used for general rubbish and a GREEN bin is used for recyclables. The waste and recycling collection scheme is an alternate weekly collection scheme, collecting general rubbish one week and recyclables the next week.

  • bin storage areas should be located and designed for accommodating the number of bins required
  • storage areas for bins should be sited so that the distance residents are required to carry refuse does not exceed 30 metres, in line with the Building Regulations 2002, Part H
  • the collection vehicle should be able to approach to within a minimum distance of 8 metres of the bin store/agreed collection point
  • surfaces that bins need to be moved over shall be of a smooth continuous finish and free from steps or other obstacles. Any steps should incorporate a dropkerb. Doorways should provide at least 1.4 metres clearance.
  • a walkway at least 1.4 metres wide should be provided within the bin store that allows access to each of the individual bins and ensures that an individual bin can be removed from the store without the need to move any of the others
  • chutes are not encouraged in flat or apartment developments as they can create problems for segregating and storing waste for recycling
  • storage areas should allow a clear space of at least 150mm between and around each bin and be a minimum of 2m high - the storage area should be permanently ventilated and should have a paved impervious floor
  • it is the responsibility of the caretaker or management company (or similar) to allow the collection crews access to the bin stores or collection point on collection day and to ensure that access is not restricted, for example by parked cars
  • collection crews cannot be expected to hold keys, codes or electronic fobs in order to collect bins; following collection, bins should be returned to storage as promptly as possible - here should be a clear responsibility for who carries out this task
  • collection vehicles cannot collect bins that are presented on a slope exceeding 1:12; also the gradient of a slope that bins need to be moved over shall not exceed 1:12
  •  separate stores for refuse and recycling bins should always be provided for the commercial and residential aspects of a development  the mixing of commercial waste and domestic waste is forbidden

Sufficient room should be allowed to manoeuvre and load a refuse collection vehicle of the following dimensions (metres):

Room required for a refuse collection vehicle to manoeuvre
Height3.8m (including toploader arms)
Turning circle, between kerbs18.7m
Swept circle20.0m

Fully laden collection vehicles weigh approximately 32 tonnes, service manholes and road surfaces should be constructed with this in mind. Overhead service cables, pipes, archways and other potential obstacles must be at least 7 metres from ground level. Collection vehicles should not be required to reverse into the development from a major road, or reverse onto a major road when exiting the development.

In order to ensure collections are made, please contact the council to arrange bin provision before occupation. Please allow 14 days for delivery of bins where provided by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Typical bin dimensions

Dimensions of wheeled bins by size
Size1100 litre660 litre360 litre240 litre
Height (with open lid)2370mm2060mm1690mm1750mm

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