Recycle more, waste less

Sustainable Swindon:

The cost of collecting, recycling and disposing of every Swindon resident’s waste costs the Council around £14m annually.


We live in a consumer society that encourages the purchase of goods and products in ever greater amounts. This has led to an ever-increasing amount of waste produced at home which as a council we have to collect at significant cost to the tax-payer.


The way Swindon manages its waste today will not be suitable in the long term. The Waste Strategy is our plan for the future to make sure Swindon’s waste and recycling is collected in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible, as well as reducing waste in the first place. There are a number of factors to consider that affect how waste is processed, which are:

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In Swindon, recycling has fallen over the last five years from 48% to 38% . This puts us in the bottom half of all councils for recycling rates and we are significantly lower than some of our neighbours such as Oxfordshire who recycle over 60%. 

Government legislation and policy


Government has set a target that we must be recycling 50% of household waste by 2020 and 60% by 2030. We are awaiting the Government’s Waste Strategy which is due to be published this year and will set out their future plans.

Living within the council's means


The Council has to make significant savings over the next decade, meaning our service will have to be delivered within tighter budgets


Population growth


It is anticipated over 22,000 new homes will be built in the borough over the next ten years

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Our options for collecting waste


We have a number of options for how, when and what we collect from the kerbside. You may have experienced other options living under other councils

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for reuse


Waste Hierarchy


Local Authorities are required to follow the Waste Hierarchy which encourages the prevention of waste in the first place followed by reuse, then recycling. Energy recovery (waste to energy) and disposal (landfill and incineration) should be a last resort for non-recyclable items. 

Circular economy


We also want to play our part in contributing to a 'circular economy' which promotes recycling and considering the whole lifestyle of a product. You can find out more about the circular economy here.