Report your missed collection

Residents are urged to report missed collections online as disruption continues for Torbay’s household waste and recycling services.

In recent weeks there have been delays to Torbay’s waste and recycling collections due to local pressures and the nationwide driver shortage.

Torbay Council and SWISCo apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and are working hard to get waste and recycling services back on track. Please be advised, there is no quick fix and disruption may continue for some time.

SWISCo phone lines are currently rather busy, please try the ‘My Bin Hasn’t Been Collected’ feature on the Torbay Council website, this is available 24/7 and is the quickest way to report a missed collection.

What should I do with my recycling?

If you have reported your missed collection the crews will try their best to return within two working days. As you may understand crews are currently very busy, if they cannot return in time, they will return on your next collection day. Containers do not have to be kept kerbside, you can bring them back in and present them again ready for your next collection day. If you do decide to leave them kerbside, please use nets and prevent your recycling from causing littering.

Why are there delays?

The shortage of drivers is a national long-term issue that has worsened due to COVID, delaying driver training and testing. Brexit has seen the departure of many EU drivers and as non-essential retail reopens the demand for drivers increases.

Each week the SWISCo waste and recycling crews make more than 100,000 collections a week, the vast majority of which continue without a hitch.

Since the beginning of July the current driver shortage situation, along with SWISCo employees needing to self-isolate has seen the waste and recycling service suffer.

Since the start of the pandemic crews have been collecting around 20% more waste, making the rounds harder and longer to complete, and meaning SWISCo employees have been working extended hours for a long time.

As the weather begins to heat up, and as the recent heatwave has shown, collecting recycling and waste can be an arduous task, with the heat slowing the teams down. With the school holidays now upon us, Torbay has welcomed an influx of visitors to the area, which means busier roads and delays, all of which contribute to delayed collections.

SWISCo is pleased to announce we have some temporary and new drivers joining the recycling and waste team, however, they are working routes unfamiliar to them and we ask for your understanding as they learn as they go.

The crews are working to the best of their ability to return all recycling and waste services to normal, and we thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

Some tips to help manage your recycling and waste if your collections are delayed;

If your weekly collection is missed or delayed, you will need to store more recycling and have it for longer.

Here are some ideas (not instructions or advice) for how to manage this extra waste, make more space, storing materials or dealing with stuff that has got to go.

All the following depends on your circumstances and what works best for you.

Food waste


  • Use the recycling banks located around Torbay
  • Take your recycling to the recycling centre at Tor Park, Road, Paignton – but do not forget to book an appointment first.
  • Squash, crush or flatten materials - By squashing, crushing or flattening materials you are making the most of the space available in your boxes.
    • Plastic bottles – rinse, squash, and put the tops back on.
    • Tins and cans – rinse and crush (if safe to do so)
    • Cardboard – flatten all boxes and tear up larger pieces.
    • Cartons/Tetra Paks – rinse, squash, and put the tops on.
    • Plastic pots, tub, trays – rinse, nest/stack, and squash.
    • Aluminium foil: Rinse and scrunch together.


  • If safe, loosely tie black sacks and completely squash all rubbish before adding to your wheelie bin or seagull sack.
  • You can take up to two black sacks per visit to the Recycling Centre at Tor Park Road, Paignton. Please make sure that black sacks don’t contain items that can be recycled and don’t forget to book an appointment before visiting.
  • Check with neighbours, friends and relatives to see if they have spare containers or space they can share

Other items

  • Batteries can be dropped off at any large supermarket or electrical store. This is preferable to collecting at the kerbside as the batteries can be difficult to keep separate from other materials and present a fire risk at waste facilities.
  • Small electrical items: Can it be repaired for donation or a reuse project? Or sold/given away via social media for ‘repair or spares’? perhaps you would prefer to take it to the Recycling Centre to be disposed of, if you are planning a trip, make sure you book an appointment beforehand.
  • Clothes and shoes good enough to be worn again: Offer to charity shops, friends, neighbours or relatives. Or use one of the textile banks located around Torbay. Alternatively, you could book an appointment and take clothes and shoes to the Recycling Centre.

Get Creative

  • How about composting your cardboard or using it to suppress weeds in the gardens?
  • Boxes large and small may be welcomed by eBayers or someone planning a move.
  • Get crafty – those with young children may appreciate your cardboard boxes for at home arts and crafts projects with the kids.
  • The better-quality card could be of interest to crafters.
Glass bottles and jars
  • Jam and chutney makers may appreciate the offer of your jars.
  • Others may value attractive or unusual bottles or jars
  • Have a go at up-cycling and turn your glass into something fun, pretty, or glam.

For further updates regarding your waste and recycling service please check this page or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.