Coronavirus and your waste

Somethings have still changed in our everyday lives to help us find safe ways to live with Coronavirus and we’re proud of Norfolk and its residents with how well we’ve all come together in helping others.

We’ve put together below some ways you can continue to help with your waste.

Recycle Right

Recycle Right LogoLet’s still keep making sure the right things are in the right bin.

To find out what you can and can’t recycle in Norfolk, head over to our bins at home section where you can find a comprehensive list of items. You can download your handy guide here.

Don’t forget to keep your recycling Clean, Dry and Loose.

Any changes to your waste collections, including food waste and garden waste bins can be found on your local council website and social media.


Personal Waste, Face Coverings and PPE disposal advice

Image showing disposable gloves, mask, hand sanitiserFacemasks and disposable gloves are still used to help fight against COVID-19. These should be still disposed of in waste or litter bins, or even better choose a reusable mask instead. If not they could end up as litter, polluting the sea and environment.

City to Sea describes the scale of the problem caused by disposable face masks and PPE. They offer useful advice on the alternatives in their campaign: How to stop PPE becoming Plastic Pollution .

You can make a face covering from textiles you have at home. Click here to find out how to make yours.

If you have been isolating due to a case of Coronavirus it is important that you dispose of your waste differently to help avoid the spread of the virus.

Personal waste (such as used tissues, disposable cleaning cloths, gloves and other PPE ) should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Help your Bin Crews

Cartoon image showing bin crew members near bins and a bin lorryOur Waste Collection Crews are still busier than ever and doing a great job at keeping Norfolk’s services running. You can do your bit too with these 4 easy steps.

  1. Make sure your bin is out for the collection at the right time and keep them out until they have been collected- we may have to change your normal collection times. You can find your bin collection information on your local council website.
  2. With more of us at home be as considerate as possible when parking so our vehicles and workforce can access all properties as easily as possible.
  3.  Wash you hands after taking out or bringing in your bins. You could even wipe down your bin handles to keep them clean too.
  4. Give your collection crew a wave or say thanks. They love to see your pictures too.

Recycling Centres

Photograph showing a sign for Recycling CentreBefore you travel to a  Recycling Centre you should consider whether there are other alternatives like online reuse platforms that can make use of your items or whether they can be recycled at home. You may find it easier to use local council services or private waste carriers.

For information on which sites are open and guidance on using Norfolk County Council recycling centres visit Norfolk County Council Recycling Updates

Make sure you wear sensible clothing, gloves and footwear. Whilst not mandatory, we encourage residents visiting the Recycling Centres to wear a face covering when outside of their vehicle and take suitable precautions when visiting.

As there are likely to be queues, please avoid the beginning and end of the day when it is busiest. The recycling centres will close, at 5pm during the summer and 4pm during the winter, promptly and all vehicles will need to be clearing the site by this time.

You should not visit a Recycling Centre if any of the following applies to you:

  • Symptomatic with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Tested Positive for COVID-19

Our sites are now operating close to  normal but please note we may make changes to manage demand and help ensure safe operations, the centres may offer a restricted service and:

  • Require social distancing of two metres by all customers
  • Operate on a managed one in one out basis for vehicles
  • Manage any build-up of traffic for people’s safety
  • Only allow two adults out of a vehicle to unload their waste
  • Staff will not be able to help you unload items.*
  • Provide for the disposal and recycling of the main waste streams including green waste, general waste and charged for DIY type construction and demolition waste.
  • Payment is by card only, please use contactless where possible

* If you have a physical disability or other condition that prevents you from putting your waste into the container on your own please speak to a member of staff on site and seek advice on how to dispose of the waste.

Litter Picking during Coronavirus

image showing the Love Norfolk Hate Litter logoWith people keen to keep Norfolk clean and tidy. It is important that we stay safe whilst helping our local environment.

You can find guidance on how to safely carry out a litter pick here.

If you want to find out more about how you can stop litter for a cleaner county visit our Love Norfolk Hate Litter page. Where you can pledge to take action, download posters supporting the campaign and join local groups.

If you have been litter picking,  you can bring up to three bags of litter to one of our Recycling Centres  after completing our online form. We can only accept litter collected from public land and it must be bagged. Cans and glass can be separated for recycling.



Reduce and Reuse; Get savvy, Get crafty and Get local.

Logo to show the swap 2 save logoAs  we start to be at home less now is a great time to rethink how and what we purchase, can you create less waste?  Think about what you need, look into purchasing a reusable item or use an everyday item again instead of throwing it away. Why not let us know what you are doing. Pop over to our reduce your waste section for ideas on how to reduce your waste, make one of our Swap2Save swaps or visit our Pinterest page for some reuse and up-cycling ideas.


Can you help local businesses? Many are offering delivery and come with less packaging and recyclable containers.

Takeaway packaging and refill advice at the reuse hub

The reuse hub offers advice on sustainable takeaway packaging for businesses who may be offering takeaway options for the first time. Along with guidance on offering refill options for coffee and food.

Keep reusables on the menu at the reuse hub 

You can find local groups and help through your local council’s community support hub and social media.


Water bottle refills

Refill offers advice on using water refill stations. You can also download the brilliant Refill App to find your nearest refill point for water bottles, coffee cup, lunch box and groceries.

For more advice and guidance on using Water bottle refills click here. 

Have you become more food savvy?

A survey revealed that 90% of us have changed our food habits resulting in 35% of us cutting food waste during lockdown. We want these good food habits to stick so we have put together some food savvy tips:

Store it like a pro

These 10 tips for storing fruit and veg will help you keep your five-a-day in peak condition until you’re ready to eat them. All lush, no mush in your fridge and fruit bowl from now on.

Ten easy lunches

With many of us still working from home, we’ve put our aprons on and raided our fridges to come up with ten totally delicious lunches. If you’re missing ingredients, either leave them out or make a substitute.

Ingredient swaps

Run out of an ingredient? No need to rush to the shops just yet, check out our list of 10 ingredients swaps first. And dare we say it, the alternative might just be better than the originals.

Food Savvy Unlocked

Many of us have become more thrifty and creative with food in the recent months, so we’ve asked people to share their lessons from lockdown to provide us all with a little food-saving inspiration. Take a peek behind closed doors and discover the delicious, healthy and time-saving hacks that will help you become food savvy.

Rooting for Nature with Home Composting

Did you know interest in home composting has increased by 500% since the UK went into Coronavirus prevention measures.

Making homemade compost helps to recycle fruit and vegetable peelings, plus garden waste and much more. The nature in your garden gets to work on your waste to create a rich compost which improves the structure of you soil and feeds plants. This makes homemade compost great for your garden and great for nature too.

To encourage residents to explore the benefits of home composting and make the most of their gardens this spring, Norfolk County Council has teamed up with Get Composting to offer a range of discounted composting bins to encourage people to use their garden and food waste to make their own compost at home. Compost bins are now available from just £10.

To find out more about composting and to order equipment for delivery to your door visit our home composting section.

See the full range of new compost bin discounts here.