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Report missed bin - 2015

Why important

This is one of the top tasks for rubbish and recycling and is one that causes aggravation for both residents and the council, as missed bins involve extra work whether the resident’s claims are valid or not.


Date of assessment


All shire districts and NI districts (201 councils in all). Note: this service is also provided by single-tier councils, but not tested in this survey in the interests of maintaining survey balance.


Last year we tested this on the desktop and found 57% achieved the standard. From a mobile device, however, the experience is much worse - with only 34% achieving our standard one year on. 10% of sites failed specifically because no facility for reporting missed bins online could be found (designated by our survey for the first time as an essential question).

Find your council report

Check ‘coverage’ to see if your council has been surveyed. Go to councils page and select your council. Look for link to task report under 2017-18 results

Headline results


Achieved standard

The standard
  • At least 9 questions from 13 answered 'Yes'
  • Question M56 must be answered 'Yes'
  • Question M61 must be 'No' (content must not be out of date)
  • Promotion of task rated satisfactory or very good
  • Customer journey rated satisfactory or very good


Log in to view question set or View sample question set from 2016-17 (pdf)

Task report

Good practice

Finding the task

  • Find the task by entering ‘council name’ missed bin into Google (or other search engine).
  • Provide a direct link from the rubbish and recycling landing page to a brief service description that reminds customers of the council’s requirements for householders to present their rubbish for collection, e.g. placed at the edge of your property closest to the road.
  • Take visitors to the same page from any site search result or A to Z entry.
  • Ensure that searches for commonly used terms such as ‘bins’, ‘wheelie bins’ and ‘rubbish’ return results for reporting a missed bin collection.
  • Do not include in the A to Z multiple descriptions of a rubbish bin and check search statistics for commonly used search terms (e.g. ‘bins’ or ‘wheelies’) in addition to any preferred A to Z entry.
  • If your site promotes ‘Apply, Pay, Report’ navigation, ensure that missed bins appears in any ‘Report it’ list.
  • In two-tier areas, signpost the task from the county council site.

Completing the task

  • If feasible to do so, provide details of current disruptions to the bin collection service, e.g. ‘Following the recent severe weather, our crews are currently clearing a backlog of collections which may delay your own collection by up to 48 hours so that customers can see at a glance that there are delays and thereby avoid an unnecessary contact.’
  • If changes have recently been introduced to the bin collection service, include a link to pertinent information about the altered arrangements.
  • Ensure that, as well as describing how householders should present their rubbish for collection, the service description also says what will happen after the missed collection has been reported.
  • Via the service description, provide a clear link to the bin collection-day calendar, encouraging customers to check that they did in fact put their bin out on the right day.
  • Encourage customers to report a missed collection using an online form, enabling the council to obtain all the information that it requires from the householder in order to arrange a collection.

Poor practice

  • The site only provides information about bin collection dates in an unhelpful ‘pdf’ calendar.
  • The site fails to inform you what will happen after you report the problem.
  • The site provides too much information about rules and regulations for collecting rubbish and buries the call to action link deep down a long page.
  • No information is provided at all, resulting in an avoidable contact being made with the council. 
  • The site uses terms such as ‘special uplift’ which mean nothing to most residents.

Reviewer's tip

Issues with completing the forms on a mobile where the form is not responsive:

  • The form fields and their labels were too far apart, so when scrolling from one side of the page to the other, it was hard to be sure what information should be entered into which field.
  • The ‘next’ button is often hard to locate when zooming and scrolling.
  • Sometimes after completing a form page and clicking ‘next’, the next page would not load. So then you have to scroll around the page trying to figure out if you’ve missed a field or done something wrong. The instructions for mandatory fields or fields that are incorrectly completed are hard to locate when zooming and scrolling.
  • It is very useful if all the warnings to check your collection day and make sure you left your bin out on time, in the right place and with the correct type of waste inside, are provided upfront. It’s very annoying if this information is only provided after you’ve gone through and given a lot of information.

Sites that we recommend

Broxtowe BC

Very simple process. Asks only for address and email address and gives immediate information about what will happen.

Gravesham BC

This was a very well planned and executed customer journey – good prompt to check collection day. It’s a shame that the form displayed small on my screen – otherwise this was excellent.

Harborough DC

This was really very good for mobile and desktop users. The only thing I would say is that you do have to click on ‘services’ rather than tasks.

Hinckley & Bosworth BC

Really easy to navigate and complete the task. Everything is optimised for mobile. Perhaps there could be a more positive statement to check bin days but overall very good.

Ribble Valley BC

Really good experience. It provides information in advance and also links to an online form, which seemed relatively easy to complete. You have to confirm that you have obeyed the rules - e.g. put the bins out at right time, etc.

Scarborough BC

Superb – completely mobile responsive, very easy to find and easy to use. The only minor quibble is there could be a direct link from the missed bin form (or just before) to ask about collection days, but they are close together on the landing page in any case. 

A few features that caught reviewers’ eyes on other sites include:

Castle Point BC

The site shows a short video about non-recyclable waste collections. They switched to fortnightly collections and justify this because ‘If households are recycling well, then we shouldn’t need to collect non-recyclable waste every week’. I think this is a persuasive way of justifying the fortnightly collection, and the video is both engaging and well explained.

West Lindsey DC

I really like this council’s bin collection calendar checker. You enter your postcode and confirm your address and the relevant information appears instantly (not even on a page reload as normally happens). There is also a prompt to display the full calendar.

Worcester City

Excellent from start to finish - a fully responsive task that was easy and quick to complete. A handy prompt to check my collection day before I start the report, and a minimum of information required when completing the form.

Further information

We assessed this task primarily from the home page.



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