Kerbside Collection

FAQs: Residual (non-recyclable) Waste Collections

1. What are the residual restrictions?

Households are able to put out a maximum of three residual (grey / black) bags every three weeks. 

2. I have a large family. Can I put out more residual (non-recyclable) bags?

If you have six or more people in your household.

You are able to put out one extra green bag every three weeks for every two extra people in your household.

  • Households with six or seven people will be able to put out one extra green bag every three weeks
  • Households with eight or nine people will be able to put out two extra green bags every three weeks.

Note: Home visits may be made by our waste advisors to confirm that the request is accurate.

You can apply for this additional service online or by calling the contact centre.

3. Won’t restricting the amount of bags lead to fly-tipping?

By using the weekly food and recycling collections there will be enough room in your grey / black bags for waste that can’t be recycled. 

There is never any excuse for fly tipping, and we have no reason to believe that the vast majority of Pembrokeshire residents will start breaking the law in this way. Just because there may be a minority of people, who decide to fly tip does not mean that we should not make changes to the service.

The most common items that are fly tipped are bulky items or trade waste - neither of which would be collected from the kerbside.

Bulky household items can be taken to the Waste and Recycling Centres (WRCs) free of charge, in most cases. We also provide a bulky household waste collection. This can be arranged via My Account or through the Contact Centre on (01437) 764551

Anyone found to be fly tipping will be prosecuted.

4. Will I be able to put out more bags during the Christmas and New Year period?

Yes. We know that a combination of Christmas presents, visitors and changes in collection days will mean fuller residual bags during this period. We will allow properties to present one extra bag at the kerbside during Christmas collection.The date of this collection is shown on your households calendars and the bag does not need to be a grey / black sack, but any residual bag provided by the household.      

It is still important to recycle as much as possible though, including wrapping paper (test if it can be recycled by checking that it does not unfold again if you scrunch it up)– it also can not include glitter or foil) and food waste such as turkey bones and potato peel.

5. Can I use a wheelie bin instead of a bag?

No, only waste in a grey / black residual bag will be collected.

If households wish to place their bags in a container for collection at the kerbside this will be accepted. We would request the containers are no larger than 240 litres to enable the operatives to manually empty the container.

6. Why are you giving us plastic bags instead of wheelie bins?

When we planned this service we considered a number of options and decided that bags were the best option. Bags are easier to store for the majority of households and some residents are unable to handle wheelie bins or live in properties where the bins cannot be presented safely.

7. But shouldn't we be using less plastic?

Plastic bags are the most practical solution in terms of storage space, hygiene and weight. Also all of our new receptacles are made from recycled plastic.

8. Won’t this just encourage people to put rubbish in with their recycling?

There is no evidence to suggest that restricting the amount of residual bags people can put out would encourage them to put items that cannot be recycled in with their recycling – but there is plenty of evidence that shows there is a lot of waste that could be recycled (including food) currently placed in Pembrokeshire’s residual bag waste.

Restricting the amount of residual bag waste that is collected encourages people to think about what they throw away and to recycle more of the things that should be recycled.

9. Will I have enough space in the bags?

Yes, if you fully use your weekly food waste and recycling services you will have enough room in your residual bags.

Recycling facilities are also available at your local Waste and Recycling Centres (WRC).

There will be special arrangements for households of six or more people, for households who use a coal fire as their main source of heat and those with children using nappies or adults using incontinence products.

10. Won’t this encourage vermin?

Making sure that you use your lockable food waste caddy for any food waste and putting it out for collection every week is the best way to keep away vermin.

11. What about smells?

Using your lockable food waste caddy for any food waste and setting it out for collection every week will help avoid smells.

If anyone in your household uses nappies or other incontinence products, you can sign up for a FREE fortnightly Absorbent Hygiene Product (AHP) Collection Service

Bagging animal waste and putting it into the residual bag can also minimize the risk of smells.

12. We pay more council tax now; what are we getting for it?

We are going to be collecting more than ever; we are just changing how it is collected.

We are going to be recycling more materials so you will have fewer items in your residual waste bag. This will mean less of Pembrokeshire’s waste will go to landfill and incineration.

When the new AHP collection service is included in this data, 75% of all household waste will be collected every two weeks, with your core household recyclables being collected every week. Your remaining 25% of non-recyclable waste will be collected on a three-weekly basis.

13. What evidence is there that restricting waste improves recycling rates?

A number of other councils in Wales have already introduced restrictions to residual bag waste, which has proven to increase recycling rates.

Since Bridgend County Borough Council introduced their restricted residual collections, the recycling rate in the county has increased from 57.90% in 2017 to 68.55% in 2018.

14. What should I do with my pet waste and cat litter? Is there going to be an extra bag allowance for people with pets?

If dog waste is collected while out walking your dog it can be disposed of in street litter bins.

If cat litter, dog or pet waste is accumulated at home, it can be placed into your residual (grey / black) bag to be disposed of at the kerbside but it will be part of your three bag allocation per three weekly collection. If you are close to your limit or would prefer to dispose of this waste more frequently then it can be disposed of in the general waste container at any of our Waste and Recycling Centres.

Options for alternative disposal methods include the use of pet waste digesters and wormeries.

15. We have a coal fire or stove so produce a large amount of ash, what do we do with it?

If a coal fire or stove is your main source of heating, the ashes from this can be placed in household provided black bags when the ashes are cooled, the bag should  be clearly marked “COAL ASH” and should contain nothing but ash or it will be left, the maximum weight of this bag can be 15kg. This will be collected on the same day as your grey / black bags.

Please contact the Council on or 01437 764551 to make the Council aware that you will be placing Coal Ash Waste out alongside your grey / black bags.

All other ashes (i.e. wood) should be placed in the grey / black residual waste bags once it has cooled. The bags have a maximum weight limit of 15kg, but for households worried about the weight smaller bags of ash can be placed within the grey / black bag at the kerbside or taken to one of our Waste and Recycling Centres.

16. I live in a flat/an area that has communal waste collections.  Will the restriction apply to me?

We are asking all households to comply with the residual waste restriction.

17. What about flats that do not have places to store three weeks’ worth of bags?

We are currently working with specific flats management agencies where appropriate. Where this is not in existence, we will be liaising with tenants to detail the arrangements. Models will vary, depending on the nature of the property and accessibility. Our waste advisors will work with residents as a matter of priority.

18. In my street, everyone puts their rubbish bags into one big pile. How will you know who has put out more than their limit of bags?

There are some locations where, although collections have traditionally been made from a communal pile at the end of the road, there is no real reason why the residents cannot put their bags at the front of their property on the kerbside instead. Some residents in these circumstances may soon find that they will be asked to stop piling their bags. They will be supported to make that change by our Waste and Recycling Advisors.

19. If people on one street, all put out their black bags at the end of the road for collection, how do you know how many have come from each household?

We are currently working with residents to collect from their nearest kerbside where appropriate.

20. How are you going to enforce people putting out more than three residual bags?

Everyone has a duty to look after the waste they produce and follow the regulations set for their property. We understand that some will have questions or require further support. Any residents that disregard the three-bag policy,  will be visited by our waste advisors and where appropriate, fixed penalties will be applied.

21. I have children who are in nappies/I use incontinence products

The council now operates an absorbent hygiene products (AHP) collection every 2 weeks from the household. This service is free but you will need to sign up to the Absorbent Hygiene Product (AHP) Collection Service via My Account or call the Contact Centre. When you sign up you will be delivered a collection calendar as well as 2 rolls of purple bags. There is no limit as to how many of these bags you can put out every fortnight.

22. I am going to be away for my collection, will I be allowed to put out 6 grey / black bags on my next collection?

You will only be allowed to place 3 grey / black bags out for each collection unless there have an exemption agreement in place i.e. larger household.. If you are away for your collection and your neighbour or a family/friend is unable to place your waste on the kerbside for collection then you can take your bags to your nearest Waste and Recycling Centre.

23. I am unable to get to a Waste and Recycling Centre as I do not drive. How do I dispose of my waste if I miss a collection?

Try asking a neighbour or family/friends if you could accompany them when they visit a Waste and Recycling Centre.

If this is not possible, then please contact us to discuss or arrange a visit with one of our Local Environment Advisors to discuss the scheme, ensure you are recycling all you can and to discuss alternative options. Please contact the team by emailing


ID: 5491, revised 20/09/2023