Waste and Recycling

West Lancashire bin collections during the Coronavirus pandemic

As all council staff work towards maintaining and supporting our essential services during the Coronavirus pandemic, some services have been altered.

As an essential service, our waste collection teams continue to collect during the pandemic. However, the way we work has had to change in order to adhere to government guidance on social distancing.  These temporary changes have been put into place to protect Council staff and the residents of West Lancashire. We are sorry for any inconvenience that might be caused and thank you for your patience as we work together to keep West Lancashire safe.  

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Grey, blue and green bins are being emptied as usual.
  • Brown garden waste bins are being collected as usual if you have a current subscription.
  • We will be launching payment for new garden waste subscriptions on 29 April 2021. There will now be an option to pay by Direct Debit which can be accessed online via our garden waste webpage.
  • In order to maintain social distancing guidance within our teams, additional vehicles have been brought in to work alongside our usual collection vehicles. This means that it’s taking our teams a little longer than usual to complete the rounds. We thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.

What you can do to help:

  • Present your bins at 7am at the kerbside, unless authorised for assisted collections, to ensure that your bin is collected. We can’t come back for missed collections.
  • Waste less and recycle more using your blue bin to recycle plastics, metal and glass, and your green bin to recycle paper and cardboard.
  • Make compost out of your grass cutting or leaves if your garden waste bin is already full or you don’t have a subscription.
  • Dispose of your bulky rubbish correctly. Fly-tipping is illegal at any time. But especially right now, it diverts our essential workers from what they should be doing. Book a bulky household waste collection or, if essential, take your bulky items to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
  • Wait until the next bin collection if your bin is only half-full.
  • If being at home with the children is creating more waste, why not include them in finding out what can be recycled and helping to sort it into the recycling bin. Find out more about what should go in each bin.
  • Give your refuse workers a wave if you see them out and about and make sure to keep your distance from them. They’re helping to keep all of West Lancashire safe and tidy, so let’s show them how much we all appreciate them.
  • Check on our website or follow our social media for any updates on bin collections: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Large/bulky item Collections

Our Bulky Household Waste Collection Service continues to run. This is due to the amazing work of our staff who are working tirelessly to maintain our essential services.

This is a situation which may be subject to change in the coming weeks as we direct all of the Council's resources towards our essential services.


Household Waste Recycling Centres

Following the latest Government advice Lancashire County Council have reopened recycling centres (external link) across Lancashire. This is for essential visits only.

The following recycling centres in West Lancashire will be re-opening on a limited basis.

  • Burscough - Thursday to Monday - 9am–5pm
  • Skelmersdale- 7 days a week - 9am–5pm

Lancashire County Council guidance for visiting the recycling centres:

Essential visits only

Recycling centres are being provided for where it is essential that rubbish is removed from the home. Do not visit a recycling centre if you are self isolating or showing any symptoms of COVID 19. See specific recycling centre pages (external link) for opening times. From 29 March, restrictions have been eased and you are now able to bring more than one type of waste to a recycling centre.

Inert waste and asbestos

Construction and demolition waste, also known as inert waste, and plaster, plasterboard is not accepted at this time. We are accepting correctly wrapped asbestos up to a limit of 6 x sheets/bags per visit and 18 x sheets/bags per year (this is not part of the inert waste scheme). See our disposal of asbestos page for further guidance and details of sites accepting asbestos. We are constantly reviewing site operations and will accept inert waste when it becomes safe to do so. 

From Monday, 12 April, Lancashire County Council is easing restrictions and will be accepting inert waste at its recycling centres. You will not be required to have a permit. 

Permit schemes

All our permit schemes are currently suspended at our recycling centres. This includes:

  • Inert waste permit (required for all types of vehicles), suspended until 12 April. 
  • Recyclable waste permit
  • General waste permit
  • Charity permits 
  • Pedestrian permits

Large and bulky items

You must be able to lift and dispose of the waste yourself or with someone accompanying you to the centre. Our staff will not be able to help you with large or bulky items due to social distancing. Please be kind to our staff, abusive or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated.

Vans, hire vans and trailers

Vans, hire vans and trailers (including single axle trailers) must have an appointment. Only cars will be allowed access to the recycling centres without an appointment. 

For more information please visit Lancashire County Council Household Waste Recycling Centre (external link).


For more information on what you

What you can take

  • Green garden waste
  • Newspapers, magazines, paper and cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars, cans and plastic bottles
  • Electronic equipment
  • Wood
  • Scrap metal
  • Textiles, clothes and shoes
  • Fridges/freezers
  • Household and car batteries
  • Gas bottles
  • Rubble and hardcore (please be aware that you are now required to obtain a free annual inert waste permit (external link)before you go)

For more information: phone 0300 123 6781 or visit Household Waste Recycling Centres (external link) 

Hazardous waste

For information and guidance on the safe disposal of hazardous waste, please visit the county council's hazardous waste page (external link).


If you use a van, certain types of commercial vehicles or a trailer, or if you wish to recycle inert waste you must apply for a free permit before you visit a recycling centre.

There are three types of permits available:

  • Recyclable waste permit
  • General waste permit
  • Inert waste permit

To find out more or to apply for a permit, visit the the County Council's waste permit page (external link).