12 July 2018 by Daniel Moore

Bristol approves blue recycling box switch

Bristol residents will receive an additional blue recycling box, after the city council’s cabinet approved recommendations for changes to the city’s household waste and recycling collections.

The newcomer is designed for all recyclable materials and will be distributed to homeowners as part of the city’s waste strategy.

Bristol households will receive their blue recycling box in Spring next year.

This means Bristol households will now have a total of four containers, which includes a black box for ‘glass and paper,’ a green container for ‘plastic, cardboard and cans,’ along with a brown bin for food waste and a black bin.

The containers are currently collected on a weekly basis, with the exception of black bins and garden waste, which are taken away every fortnight. Bristol Waste Company (BWC) told letsrecyle.com yesterday (July 11), that a weekly regime is “likely” to be introduced for the blue recycling boxes, once they’re rolled out next spring.


According to the cabinet’s report, the decision was made to keep the current waste collection method “unchanged” in order to prevent any “confusion” or “uncertainty” to the public regarding their duties towards waste and recycling collections.

The report said: “This proposal ensures that an equitable service can be maintained whilst allowing for performance improvements and enhanced services to be introduced in the future without any disruption to residents and service users.

“The recommendation will be to adopt a slightly different methodology, which will see the same method of collection, with the same frequency of residual waste collection, with the only change being the provision of an additional box to assist residents to increase their recycling capacity.”

Fleet investment

Following its approval for the Baseline+ collection option, the cabinet has allowed Bristol Waste Company (BWC) to progress with its vehicle replacement programme.

The proposition came about as part of BWC and BCC’s agreement last year, where both organisations agreed to review the waste collection methodology to “fully inform the future procurement of a new collection vehicle fleet.”

The cabinet acknowledged based on the evidence submitted, that a Baseline+  infrastructure would be the “preferred model” of choice, for reasons addressed in its document: “This review identified the options available to the authority and each option was measured against its cost implication, health and safety implications, financial saving, increase in recycling performance, decrease in residual wastes, social inclusion issues and likely public reaction and satisfaction.

“The nationally endorsed WRAP consistency model was used, and 12 different options were identified focusing on differing collection frequencies and methods of collections each of which were evaluated against the above criteria.

“The Baseline+ model provides the least level of disruption to the residents of Bristol, provides for a marginal cost saving the council and assists in increasing recycling performance.”

Reduced costs

The initiative will trigger a £11M capital investment towards a new fleet of waste and recycling collection vehicles, plus an additional £0.3M, which will be utilised for allocating blue boxes to homes across Bristol.

An estimated revenue saving of £80,000 per annum is expected for this “enhanced public service,” which will come into force from 1st April 2019.


Under the Baseline+ collection infrastructure, there will be:

  • No change to residual household waste collection methodology or frequency of collection
  • No change in recycling waste collection methodology or frequency of collections with the exception that an additional recycling box will be provided to each household to provide additional capacity for recyclables

Related links

Cabinet report


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