Recycling banks overflow

Cllr Stephen Fenton has reported the tetrapak and bottle banks at Askham Bar Tesco that are overflowing. The responses received are summarised below.

Bottle banks

GRUK, the company which empties these banks, reported difficulties with their vehicles on Tuesday 6th April and are not able to collect until Monday 12th.

As an interim measure, Yorwaste have provided some wheeled bins, labelled appropriately, so that there is at least some provision for glass recycling before GRUK return.

Tetrapak bank

ACE, the company who empty the carton bank, are having difficulty with their vehicles and are not able to collect until the week commencing 12th April. Some stickers have been placed on the bank in the hope of dissuading residents from leaving cartons on site.

Cardboard banks

The second cardboard bank has returned after having to be repainted following an arson attack. The banks continue to fill up quickly, not helped by some residents who don’t bother to flatten boxes before putting them in the bank.

Further details announced on tip opening

The Hazel Court Household Waste Recycling Centre will re-open on   Monday 11 May. In anticipation of high demand, there is a booking system in place, which can be accessed on the council website HERE

The booking system matches the registration number to the vehicle, if they do not match you will be turned away from the site. Social distancing measures will be in place at the tip, which means that staff will not be able to assist residents unload waste from their vehicles, so please ensure you are able to do so.

Government guidance advises that journeys to tips must only be            undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means.

Dates set for tip to re-open and green waste collections

City of York Council has announced that Household Waste Recycling Centres will re-open on Monday 11 May (with a booking system in operation) and garden waste collections will get underway from Monday 18 May.

In a statement issued on Tuesday 5 May, Cllr Paula Widdowson outlined the plans:

“Today we have agreed changes which mean:

– Household Waste and Recycling Centres will reopen from 11 May by appointment only to residents and commercial waste customers for essential use.
– Bulky waste collections will restart on 11 May
– Garden waste collections will start on 18 May.

“The decision we took back in April wasn’t one we took lightly, however it was crucial we were able to keep residents and staff safe. I would like to thank residents for their understanding and also our incredible staff who have continued to collect household waste and recycling in these challenging times.

“The wellbeing of residents and our staff has been our number one priority and following resident feedback, we explored options to restart all waste collection services, including garden waste collections. In addition, these services can now be opened safely as staff absences have stabilised and we have developed new ways of working.

“Following my letter to the Secretary of State seeking further support and guidance to resume our services as soon as possible, the government released updated guidance today. The guidance advises that journeys to tips must only be undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means.

“The household waste and recycling centres will also have social distancing measures in place in addition to our booking system. We will announce further details of the changes, including the booking system tomorrow (Wednesday 6 May).”

Changes to recycling collections

City of York Council is introducing temporary changes to the recycling process in order to protect its vital frontline staff and allow for additional social distancing measures during the pandemic

Residents are still required to leave recycling boxes at the kerbside and continue to separate materials in their boxes as normal. Collection days will also remain unchanged.

Waste crews will now be working in smaller teams to ensure that they can maintain a safe distance during working hours to protect themselves from infection.

Residents should be aware of the following changes to recycling collections, which include:

  • recycling will be split into two vehicles
  • a vehicle will collect plastic, tins and glass.  Some mixing on the vehicle may take place
  • another vehicle will collect paper and cardboard
  • residents may experience two separate collections of recycling on the same day as the two vehicles may not arrive at the same time
  • in some instances, this may take a number of hours
  • as some mixing on the plastic, tins and glass vehicle will take place, the council will accept mixed plastic, tins and glass, but cardboard and paper must be separated
  • the council encourages residents to put out their recycling as normal, for 7am.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “Our waste crews are providing a vital service during the Coronavirus pandemic to every household in York. We have to take these additional measures to protect them as much as we can. By pausing the start of garden waste collections, we now have more staff to focus on collecting recycling and household waste.

“You won’t see any changes other than your recycling may be collected at different times, with some limited mixing of glass, plastic and tin.  It is important to highlight that some residents may have two separate collections of recycling on the same day and in some instances, this may take a number of hours between collections.

“Where mixing of glass, plastic and tin happens, we can assure residents that this will be separated after collection and recycled. We will seek to recover any additional costs of doing this from the government.” 

The council announced last week that it would be postponing the start of garden waste collections, due to start this month, in order to ensure household waste and recycling collections were given priority.

These steps are being taken because of extraordinary pressures on frontline services during the outbreak of Coronavirus and a significantly reduced workforce.  This decision has freed up more frontline crews and vehicles to focus on collecting recycling and household waste in a safe way for frontline staff. 

The situation with garden waste collections will be kept under constant review, with an intention to resume garden waste collections as soon as practically possible.  The council is encouraging residents to compost their garden waste at home, and to support residents in this effort, advice and tips for easy composting at home is available at

Recycling banks temporarily out of action

The recycling banks at the Askham Bar Tesco car park are likely to be out of use for the next two weeks as car park resurfacing work gets underway.

The banks are to be removed by Yorwaste but will be reinstated when the resurfacing work is completed. The work is much-needed, as many sections of tarmac in this corner of the car park have disintegrated and the area was becoming a mudbath.

The resurfacing work has been organised by Tesco.

Action to tackle Askham Bar flytipping

Local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton is leading efforts to tackle flytipping at the recycling banks at the Askham Bar Tesco car park.

There are persistent problems with household waste being dumped here, and there is an accumulation of litter around the recycling banks. The popularity of the clothes and shoes recycling banks has also led to bags of donations being dumped next to the full bins.

Dumping at Yorkshire Air Ambulance clothing banks

Household waste flytipped










On 20 August Stephen arranged a meeting on site with representatives from Yorwaste, City of York Council and Tesco to discuss the problems and what can be done to improve the situation. Actions arising from the meeting included checking on the frequency of emptying recycling banks which are sometimes overflowing, and exploring options for more proactive enforcement to increase the chances of catching flytippers.

It was noted that the return of the second cardboard bank has helped to improve matters in recent weeks.

Stephen commented  “There are many parties involved in the maintenance and management of this site – for example, a range of different companies are responsible for emptying the variety of banks. It was good to get some of the key players together to discuss the problems and try to come up with a plan.

“It’s important that when flytipping is spotted, the council’s Neighbourhood Enforcement Team is notified via or tel. 01904 551555. They can then look for evidence which will help to identify the cuplrit.”

Stephen has made contact with two of the companies responsible for emptying the donation banks for Yorkshire Air Ambulance (clothes) and Variety Club (shoes) following a build-up of donations piled up against the bins.









The response from both firms was positive. SOEX UK Ltd, which manages the shoe bank, confirmed that it will take steps to ensure that it is emptied every Tuesday. Bag It Up Ltd, which manages the clothes bank, stated that they are looking into these issues and tweaking schedules to get on top of any sites that have overflow issues.

Stephen said “I’m pleased with the quick response from the firms that look after the clothing and shoe banks, and their commitment to action. If any residents want to donate but find that the banks are full, please take the bags home and do not dump them next to the bins.”