Bin collections in bad weather

Stay connectedSign up for email updates on services affected by the weather.

Bin collections in bad weather

In case of snow and ice, there may be some disruption to service due to access problems for our vehicles. Check the council service disruption page for details. If you can, please assist neighbours who may be less able. If we have not been able to collect your rubbish, please bag it up and put it out alongside the bin at the next collection.

If conditions improve and you can get out, rubbish and recycling can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre. If there is no way for your rubbish to be collected after a week, you can request gritting. We cannot guarantee we can clear your road - there are many side and back streets that we cannot get down.

Why do we stop collecting when it snows?

Provided the roads have been cleared and treated, we will keep the wagons on the road. However, bin wagons are large, heavy vehicles, and could pose a risk to others as well as to the crews if conditions become treacherous. If a wagon gets stuck, it is a major exercise to rescue it – and it may cause further disruption to traffic while it is blocking the road.

What do the bin crews do if they can’t get out to collect the rubbish?

All refuse staff are assigned to hand gritting and snow shovelling, mainly around the following:

  • sheltered housing complexes 
  • hospitals and doctors surgeries

Why do we not collect from streets with snow or ice on the ground?

The large refuse collection vehicles are extremely heavy, and on an icy road they could pose a risk to other vehicles as well as to the crews if road conditions are treacherous. If a wagon gets stuck, it can require considerable time and effort to recover it. Because of the size and weight, it requires specialist equipment to get it back on the road, and while the wagon is stuck, collections on the rest of the round are disrupted.

Are some collections more likely to be affected if there is bad weather?

  • Bradford Council grits around 70% of the road network, but it cannot clear every street. If you live on a street that is not cleared (for example, a cul de sac, back lane or unadopted road), the wagon will not be able to get down it to collect your bin (see above about collecting from snowed in streets). 
  • The weather conditions in rural areas tend to be more severe than in more built up areas, also the smaller rural roads are a secondary priority for gritting and can be blocked for some time by vehicles after a snowfall. All of this means that the rural round collections are more likely to be affected than urban collections.

My road is now clear, why have you not come to empty my bin?

  • To minimise the number of households that are disrupted, we keep the regular round schedule going as far as possible, and catch up missed collections where we can. This means we cannot always say when a missed bin will be collected – keep checking council service disruptions or follow us on X to find out where catch up collections will be taking place 
  • If your collection was missed, the crew will probably have extra rubbish to pick up when it does get round to your bin. The bin wagons cannot store all the rubbish collected in a round – they make regular trips to one of our two Waste Transfer Stations (Bradford or Keighley) during the round. More rubbish means more trips to the Waste Transfer Station, means less time available to empty bins, so it takes longer to complete rounds.

What about recycling collections?

  • We do not cut recycling rounds to catch up the refuse collection, these are separate working sections. However, as these are on a fortnightly collection cycles it is not as easy to catch up as we are in different areas the following week. 
  • If you haven't had a collection, and your bins are full, leave them out and we shall try and collect at earliest opportunity. If you are able to wait for the next collection, or to take your recycling to one of the Household Waste sites when the bad weather subsides, this is a great help to us.

What can I do to help?

If we miss your bin, please be patient. We know we missed it, and we’re not ignoring you. If your collection was missed and you can leave your bin out safely, please do so.

If possible in such conditions, please park your vehicles in a way that does not cause further access problems (for example, pull up onto the drive if you can, ensure that you don’t obstruct the turn in if you park on the street).

If you have extra rubbish, bag it up and leave it alongside the bin.

If conditions improve and you can get out, rubbish and recycling can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Keep checking council service disruptions or follow us on X to find out the latest information.

Show community spirit where possible and organise snow shovelling exercises on your avenue or back street, this would help crews to carry out an earlier collection

If you do not currently recycle please think about doing so as this would reduce the amount of waste in your domestic bin. More information about recycling can be found in our recycling and waste pages.