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Bin information for residents who live in flats

Bins for flats icon

If you live in a flat in Harrow, your bin services may be different to residents who live in houses.

Some residents will have communal bins, others will have bins for their household.

Flats with shared communal bins

If you live in a block of flats, you may have use of shared communal bins including the use of a:

  • large general waste bin (grey)
  • large recycling waste bin (blue)
  • a food waste bin (red or black)

Flats with household waste bins

If you live in a flat conversion or maisonette, you may have your own household waste bins. This may include the use of a:

When are bins for residents of flats collected?

General waste bins and food waste bins are collected every week.

Some flats have higher volumes of waste on a regular basis. These identified flats will have their bins collected every week.

Recycling bins are collected every week on the same day as your general waste and food waste bins.

Food waste bins and Food waste caddies are collected every week.

To view your bin collection schedule, enter your address on our bins page.

Please note, not all addresses have a bin schedule currently. Please bear with us as we continue to improve this service for residents of flats.

What goes in what bin type?

To find out what goes in each bin type, select a bin type below:

Please take extra care to follow the guidelines. Contamination of bins may result in your bins not being collected by our bin crews.

For managers of flats

If you manage a block of flats our bin crews need to make sure they can access the bin stores.

Our bin crews will need to have the key code, key, fob (four sets) or a way of accessing bin stores. If our bin crews do not have the right access, they will not be able to collect the bins.

You can give the bin crews the correct access when you meet them on a site inspection, or access can be posted to:

  • Operations, PO 18, Civic Centre, Station Road, HA1 2UT.

Need to order a new bin for your flat?

If you have shared communal bins you cannot order individual bins online. If you have concerns about your communal bins, we recommend that you speak to the manager(s) of your flat.

If you have the use of household waste bins in your flat you can order new bins online.

When we receive your online form, we will visit your property to see if there is enough space for the extra bin(s).

After we visit your property, an invoice will be sent to the person who submitted the application. A payment will be requested and your bin(s) dispatched after payment has been made.

It can take up to four weeks to receive your new bin(s). Please note that we do not supply recycling bins to flats above shops.

This is because we cannot guarantee the bins will not be contaminated by members of the public. There is also a lack of space to store the bins safely and securely near shops.

Order a new bin for your flat

Food waste in flats 

Food waste recycling is coming to flats. If you live in a flat and do not already have a food waste bin, we will supply a communal food waste store alongside your other recycling bins.

You will receive a kitchen food caddy and biodegradable bags, along with instructions on what you can recycle and how.

When will my food waste be collected? 

Your food waste is collected every week, along with your general rubbish or recycling. To view your bin collection schedule, enter your address on our Bins, Waste and Recycling page.

How will food waste be collected? 

Every flat will receive a kitchen food waste caddy. Larger communal bins will be installed alongside your rubbish bins. You will need to line the caddy with one of the liners provided, or with newspaper.

When it’s full, tie the bag and put the waste in the communal bin ready for collection. 

What goes in the caddy? 

Leftover food, including raw and cooked food, fruit and vegetable peelings, dairy and eggshells, bread and pastries, meat, fish and bones, tea bags and coffee grounds, rice, pasta and beans.

Please do not put any packaging, garden waste or liquids in your caddy, and do not use a plastic liner – bio bags or newspaper only.

What if I don’t have room for the food waste caddy in your kitchen? 

The kitchen caddy is small and is designed to be kept on a kitchen work surface or under the sink. If you do not want to use the caddy, you can use the liners provided and put them directly into the communal bin outside. 

Won't my food caddy smell? 

Your caddy shouldn’t smell if you empty it regularly into the outside bin. The lids are designed to lock by flipping the handle, which will contain smells and stop contents spilling if it’s knocked over.

The caddies can be rinsed out and are safe to put in the dishwasher.

What happens to the food waste? 

Your food waste is taken to a processing plant where it is broken down and turned into energy and compost. Recycling just six tea bags can produce enough electricity to boil a kettle.

Can I have an extra caddy or replacement caddy? 

Yes, you can order a new kitchen caddy on our order a new or extra bin page

Can I use plastic bags in my caddy? 

No. Please do not use plastic carrier bags as they cannot be processed. 

Where can I get extra liners? 

If you run out of liners you can buy them from most supermarkets, as well as Harrow libraries. 

Why should I recycle my food waste? 

It costs us less to recycle food than to send as general waste. It can produce green energy and fertilisers so it’s good for the planet as well as your pocket.

From May 2023, a central Government directive means we will need to offer weekly food waste collections to all residents.

Where can I find out more? 

If you live in flats and have a question about your food waste collection, you can email flatsfoodwaste@harrow.gov.uk.