Refuse, recycling, nuisances in Headington

Recycling bin

Full details of collection days are on the city council’s
Household recycling and waste
page, which has a link to an online collection day search.

The city is divided into two collection zones, and the whole of Headington and Marston is in the north (BLUE) zone.

It is an offence to leave bins out on the pavement earlier than the night before collection.

Headington has an Area Streetscene Team responsible for collecting refuse, the maintenance of minor roads, recycling, and public toilet cleaning.

Doorstep collection

Oxford has a fortnightly collection (except for food waste, which is collected weekly in the special caddy). Waste for landfill is collected one week, and recycling the other.

Green wheelie biN: non-recyclable rubbish

The wheelie bin (right) comes in three sizes. Rubbish that can not be recycled must be put in the green wheelie bin, which should not be overfilled.

If your property is assessed by the city council as being unsuitable for a wheelie bin, you will be provided with special lilac sacks.

Side waste or rubbish left out in other bags will not be collected

From week beginning Monday 4 May 2020, brown garden waste bins will be collected on the same day as green waste bins, and not as before.


There is a huge collection of recycling bins in Headington car park next to Waitrose, some provided by charities.

See also Recycling and Waste on City Council website

Blue wheelie bin for recycling

(People who do not have room for one are allowed to continue to use their old blue or green recycling boxes)

The following (clean) items go in the blue bin:

• Glass
• Paper, card, and cardboard, including envelopes, newspapers, directories
• Metal cans and foil
• All plastic bottles and lids
• Plastic food pots, tubs, trays, punnets
• Plastic carrier bags
 Clean clingfilm, bubble wrap, plant pots, any plastic food wrapping

There is no need to separate items, as they are all tipped together into a special refuse lorry and sorted later by machine. If you flatten plastic bottles, they will not take up so much room; but it is not essential. Cardboard too large for the box can be stacked beside it and will not be treated as “side waste”.

Used batteries should be put in a plastic bag on top of the bin

Small green caddy for food waste

This is collected by the city council every week. It should be lined with newspaper, or special bags can be purchased.

Electrical items

There is a pink container for recycling small electrical items such as hairdriers and computer mice at the Headington car park. Large electrical items have to be taken to Redbridge, and lightbulbs can be deposited at Homebase (or Robert Dyas in Oxford).

Recycling garden waste

Since May 2011 the city council has charged to collect your garden waste. If you wish to subscribe to the scheme, you will have to pay a yearly subscription of £35 in advance for a brown wheelie bin. Biodegradeable Eco Sacks are an alternative or complementary to the brown wheelie bin and available to buy from Cowley Marsh or Horspath depot. Green waste gets collected in the same week as the recycling.

The following can be put in the brown bins: Grass cuttings, prunings, leaves, small shrubs, plants and weeds, cut flowers, branches no larger than 7.5cm in diameter. Cardboard, soil, and logs should not be put out for green waste collection

Large items

Up to three large items (e.g. fridges and furniture) can be removed by the city council free of charge: tel. 0800 227676


Items that cannot be recycled can often be reused:

Charity shops
. Headington has six charity shops (but beware of commercial organizations who collect clothes from your doorstep). Do not leave items outside the shops at weekends, as they get ransacked. The Emmaus Furniture Store in Westlands Drive will collect unwanted furniture. The Helen & Douglas House and Cancer charity shops will also collect good-quality furniture.

There is a recycling bank for shoes and clothes at the recycling centre in the carpark by Waitrose

Orinoco holds a swap shop in the Bullingdon Community Centre on the second Saturday of each month

Paint The County Council refuse sites will now only accept certain paints. Orinoco will accept paint

Oxford Freegle (formerly known as Freecycle), see left, is a wonderful way of getting rid of unwanted items, especially ones that are too large for charity shops Also on Twitter

Oxfordshire Materials Exchange: donate or receive unwanted office items

Dog waste
Abandoned car on Headington Hill
Old High Street, 2005


See the City Council Do it online page where you can report on just about everything, e.g. fly-tipping; defects in roads, pavements, traffic lights, street lights, street signs; flooding; dead animals; missed bin collection.


Dog fouling

If there is dog’s mess (or anything dangerous such as glass) in your road, telephone City Works on the number at the top of this page.

There are red bins in Bury Knowle Park for dog waste.

Report dog fouling


Removal of dead animals

Request the removal of dead animals


Abandoned vehicles

If an abandoned car has a valid tax disc it should be reported to the police; if not, the city council is responsible.

Report an abandoned vehicle


Graffiti and vandalism

Report graffiti

Headington’s graffiti problem


Pest control

The City Council Pest Control Service, which deals with pests ranging in size from ants to rats, now makes a charge.



© Stephanie Jenkins


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