Londoners encouraged to keep recycling going during COVID-19 crisis


London’s councils, and those responsible for collecting and processing our recycling and waste, are working hard together to provide the best possible service while we are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Waste and recycling crews are essential front-line workers and they continue to do a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances.

But with most people now staying at home, this will create more household waste and put pressure on our recycling and waste services.

Although collections from households are running across the capital, most of London’s local household tips and recycling centres are now closed. In some cases there are staff shortages due to sickness, and in response, councils are reducing some services like collection of garden waste and bulky items.

London’s recycling and waste collectors are doing everything they can to keep collecting everyone’s rubbish, recycling and food waste as often as possible, while protecting the health of both our workers and the general public; but the situation is fluid and incredibly challenging, so everyone’s help is needed to make sure services can continue to be delivered as efficiently and safely as possible.

London Recycles has provided the following tips on how Londoners can help:

  • Regularly check your local council’s website for updates on types and frequencies of collection services where you live.


  • Do not take your waste and recycling to your local tip or recycling centre. This is not defined by the Government as an essential journey, and most local household tips and recycling centres have been closed. If it can wait, please hold onto it for now if you can.


  • Try to minimise the amount of rubbish, recycling and food waste you produce. Every bit you can reduce will make a real difference to maintaining a good service for everyone.


  • If you’re self-isolating and feeling ill, put any potentially infected items like used tissues or cleaning cloths into separate plastic bags and double-bag them. These bags should be firmly tied and put aside for at least 72 hours (3 days) before you put them into your external bin.


  • Now is not the time for big clear-outs while at home, which will create more rubbish and strain on services.
  • Do not dispose of waste on a bonfire as the smoke causes air pollution and has potential health effects for you and your neighbours.
  • Continue to wash your hands regularly and maintain good hygiene when handling your rubbish and recycling. Please respect your council bin crews and keep your distance when the workers are doing collections where you live.
  • As always, do not litter or fly tip any waste, as this will put further strain on services and could impact the health of others.


London Recycles will be providing regular updates on recycling services across the capital so please check at for the latest information and advice. The advice will be updated regularly as the situation changes.