Bins and recycling

The millions of people who live on and visit our canals each year generate quite a bit of waste, which we have to dispose of responsibly.

In 2017/18 we spent £775,000 doing this from customer waste sites and over £185,000 from the individual pedestrian and dog waste bins.

Each of our customer rubblish bin areas offer 'general waste'. And we try to put recycling bins at every location we have, but due to logistical reasons such as a location being isolated and rural, it sometimes means we can’t get a recycling service there.

Some sites have different collection dates for the waste. Some use the same bin lorry to collect the separate types of waste - also known as fusion collections - where a single vehicle collects all types of waste, which is then taken to a recycling plant.

Wheelie bins

In 2017/18 our contractors emptied over 60,000 wheelie bins. We achieved a recycling rate of over 78%, which is split between being recycled and RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel).

Overflowing boaters rubbish facilities in London


We also provided over one 1,200 skips for our construction, customer services and volunteering teams throughout 2017/18 at a cost of over £330,000.

Skips: maintaining our facilities

Fly tipping

There was also £80,000 spent on clearing away fly tipped hazardous waste deposited on our canal towpaths and other property, eg. television, fridges, tyres, fire extinguishers, etc.

Fly tipping: old washing machines

We're constantly looking at the services we provide for our customers and refuse and waste sites are no exception. We constantly monitor the services at these sites to make sure they offer our customers what's needed and that they provide value for money for the Trust.

We’re dedicated to recycling more and we aim to increase the amount of recycling points available on our waterways with our Green Plan.

Last date edited: 11 November 2020