Welcome to sthelens.gov.uk

Best place to find information and services that your council provides...

Household waste and recycling

Last reviewed on 28 May

Recycling and bulky rubbish services resume in St Helens

St Helens’ waste and recycling collection services began a two-week phased return to normal on Monday 25 May.

The easiest way to check your household’s collection schedule is to visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/collections, and enter your postcode and house number.

The website has been updated to reflect the phased return.

The recycling and food waste collection service was suspended in March to prioritise staff resources around household waste and clinical collections.

As part of the phased return, which will be completed by 8 June, brown bin services will go back to fortnightly collections. The final weekly brown bin collection took place on Friday 22 May.

Residents who have been storing excess recycling can put out as much of it as they are able to, so long as recyclables are not mixed and are properly contained, as follows:

  • Cardboard can be bundled together and weighted down underneath your black box.
  • Glass placed in a container or clear bag.
  • Plastic, tins and other pink or white bag items placed together in a container or clear bag.
  • Paper placed in a container or clear bag.
  • Excess food waste should be placed in your brown bin.

How the phased return is working

The easiest way to check your household’s collection schedule is to visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/collections, and enter your postcode and house number.

Residents without internet access may still have their personalised collection calendar, which were previously distributed to homes across the borough.

The calendars detail whether a household is a Week 1 or Week 2 property, which defines when they would normally have their brown bin and garden waste collected fortnightly, with weekly recycling collections.

Collections will revert to this schedule in three phases as follows:

Phase 1 – week commencing Monday 25 May:

  • If you were Week 1 during the week commencing Monday 25 May, you will have received a brown bin collection but no recycling collection.
  • If you were Week 2 during the week commencing Monday 25 May, you will have received a recycling collection only and no brown bin collection.

Phase 2 – week commencing Monday 1 June:

  • Week 1 – will receive a recycling collection but no brown bin collection. 
  • Week 2 – will receive a brown bin collection but no recycling collection 

Phase 3 – week commencing Monday 8 June:

  • Week 1 and Week 2 will both receive a weekly recycling service. Both Weeks 1 and 2 will now be back in line with the normal collection calendar, for fortnightly brown bin collections and weekly recycling collections.

An announcement is to be made soon about the resumption of garden waste subscription services.

You can support our waste collection team by cleaning your bin handles before and after use, ensuring bin lids can be closed, and not putting out extra bags of waste.

National Government guidance for those who have symptoms of COVID-19 is to dispose of any used tissues or hygiene products (such as disposable cleaning cloths) in a bin bag, tied securely.

These bags should be placed into another bin bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your general household waste bin (brown bin) for collection as usual.

There is no need to arrange for a clinical waste collection for this type of waste.

Bulky rubbish service

Our bulky rubbish collection service will return on Monday 1 June. Bookings are being taken via the Contact Centre by phone or online.

To book a collection, and learn more about the service, including costs and restrictions, go to www.sthelens.gov.uk/bulkyrubbish or call 01744 676789.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

The Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) reopened most Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), or tips, across Merseyside on Monday 4 May, with restrictions and traffic management plans in place for each site.

Town Centre, Burtonhead Road centre

A one-way system is operating on Burtonhead Road with a road closure at the mini-roundabout. Access to the HWRC and businesses is from Canal Street only.

HWRC cars are being directed into a queue in the right lane (now closed to oncoming traffic). Through traffic is using the left-hand lane.

Newton-le-Willows, Junction Lane centre: Opened as scheduled on Monday 4 May.

Rainhill, Tasker Terrace centre: TBC

What to expect

There are marshalls outside each centre to give you information about waiting times, direct you into a queue and at some sites direct traffic to prevent blocking the roads for non-tip traffic. Please listen to their advice as they are there for public safety and to reduce your wait.

Government advice is still to only make essential journeys, so please only visit the tip if you absolutely need to.

There are likely to be queues at the centres, which has the potential to cause traffic disruption on the road network.

MRWA along with its contractor Veolia, have implemented clear operating guidelines with respect to the necessity of visits, social distancing on site and queuing.

Our priority at all times is the safety of residents and the hard-working staff.

The restrictions are:

  • The number of vehicles allowed on site is restricted, and queuing times are significantly higher.
  • Cars only.
  • One person per vehicle (Blue Badge holders can be accompanied by one family member).
  • No vans, commercial-type vehicles or large trailers.
  • Social distancing of at least two metres is being strictly enforced.
  • Site employees are not able to assist with unloading.
  • Sites are open 8.00am – 8.00pm every day.
  • If households have had COVID-19 symptoms, waste should be left for at least 72 hours before disposal and personal waste should be safely double bagged. Place it in your brown bin collection if you can.

For more information, please check MRWA’s website: www.merseysidewda.gov.uk.

Textiles recycling

At the minute, we are unable to say when the textiles collections will resume. However, if you gather all of the textiles you want to recycle and bundle them all together, you will be able to book a collection when the service is back up and running and we will be happy to collect.

For more information on textiles recycling, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/recycling.

Reducing and reusing your food

Making your food last is really important now more than ever. An easy way of doing this is by reducing and reusing your food. The Love Food Hate Waste website gives food storage advice, leftover food recipes and much more.

Garden waste subscriptions

We can confirm that however many collections are lost while the service is suspended, the same number of collections will be provided free for all subscribers in 2020-21.

Another way to manage your garden waste is to compost. Composting is a simple method to reduce waste and to create free fertiliser to use on your garden. For more information, see below or go to www.sthelens.gov.uk/recycling. Please keep referring to this dedicated section of our website for updates regarding this and our other services.


Having an increase in waste and rubbish can be hard to manage, especially with the reduced services available at the minute. The composting process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner (the compost).

Compost is rich in nutrients and is used for gardens, landscaping, horticulture etc. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertiliser and as a natural pesticide for soil.

All you need for a successful compost heap is waste, air and water!

What to put in your compost:

  • Grass cuttings and dead leaves
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Plain cardboard
  • Old cut flowers and bedding plants
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags
  • Eggshells – these help to keep the heap from smelling
  • Newspapers – shredded paper can help to soak up excess moisture in a heap

Composting has surged in popularity since waste collections were reduced, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has said. Views of 'how to compost' on the RHS website increased by nearly 500 per cent in the first nine days of restrictions compared to the same dates last year.