The Waste Strategy engagement is now live!

We need to consider what we will change to make sure we can collect your waste and recycling in an efficient and environmentally-friendly way. There are four things to consider that affect how we process waste, which are:

  • Rules and guidance from Central Government and the EU (Policy and Legislation)
  • Population growth and the number of new houses built in Swindon
  • The options we have for recycling the waste we collect
  • The budget we have to deliver the service

It can be hard to predict all the impacts of some of these factors over the next ten years but we can plan ahead based on what we know now. That is why we are developing a Waste Strategy that sets out the principles for how we will manage Swindon’s waste, while also reacting to short term changes in our yearly action plans.

Where are we now?

In Swindon, recycling has fallen over the last five years from 48% in 2011/12 to 38% in 2016/17.

This puts us in the bottom half of all councils for recycling rates and we are significantly lower than some of our neighbours such as Oxfordshire who recycle over 60%.

  • Collection and disposal of waste in Swindon costs around £14m per year.
  • We collect from 97,000 households. This includes 64,000 houses and 13,000 communal buildings like flats.
  • We use 9 refuse trucks, 13 recycling trucks, 4 garden waste trucks and 2 narrow access trucks.
  • We carry out more than 150,000 collections per week.
  • On average each Swindon household put around half a tonne of waste in their black bin/blue sack last year. Each tonne costs £120 to process.
  • 44,435 tonnes of non-recycled waste was collected in 2017/18 from black bins/blue bags.
  • 6,448 tonnes of paper and card, 3,386 tonnes of glass bottles and jars, 835 tonnes of cans, 1,980 tonnes of plastic, 5,925 tonnes of garden waste was recycled in 2017/18
  • 27,972 tonnes of waste was taken by the public to Swindon’s Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Cheney Manor in 2017/18. 66% of all HWRC waste is recycled.

In 2017/18 we collected a total of 92,522 tonnes of waste and recycling of which roughly…

  • 40% was re-used, recycled or composted
  • 56% was converted into fuel at Swindon’s solid recovered fuel (SRF) planet in Cheney Manor
  • 4% was sent to landfill

Help shape the Council’s Waste Strategy

We are running a survey and engagement events during September and October 2018 to get input from residents, community groups and any other interested parties.

The draft Waste Strategy will then go to the Council’s Cabinet in December 2018 for review and approval, taking your feedback into consideration. The results of the engagement period will be published towards the end of the year.

Please complete the survey to help us find out the opinions and recycling habits of Swindon residents. The survey is anonymous and will take around ten minutes to complete.

Take the Survey here

For more information go to Sustainable Swindon or contact


Information provided by the Swindon Borough Council.