Recycling your used cooking oil

If there’s one thing everyone should know about throwing away cooking oil, it’s that you should never pour it down the sink, or down drains. Even if you break down the oil with soap and hot water, it can re-solidify and cause drain pipes and sewers to get blocked. It can also travel get into rivers and lakes causing oxygen levels to drop, which can suffocate wildlife.

Now the solution for Oxford residents is at hand – and it couldn’t be simpler – recycle it!

All you need to do is put your cooking oil in a plastic bottle that will fit in your food caddy or red bin. That could be a water bottle or a plastic oil bottle.

Our new service will take the oil away along with your food waste to be anaerobically digested at the recycling plant at Cassington. There the plastic is removed, and the resulting process produces biogas to generate electricity and fertiliser for local farms.

Where to recycle your Christmas tree

Oxford City Council can recycle real Christmas trees. Leave yours, without the lights, pot or decorations, next to the blue bin or sacks on collection day, starting from the week beginning 9 January for those in the south of the city (red collection zone) or week beginning 16 January for those in the north (blue collection zone). The Council will collect them for free and recycle them into compost (you don’t need a brown bin subscription). Last year the City Council composted around 5,000 Christmas trees.

Residents in flats that do not have kerbside collections, or anyone wishing to recycle their tree before the collections begin, can take their trees to one of the 12 collection points across the city instead. These are open until 14 January and are located at:

• Alexandra Tennis Courts, Middle Way, Summertown
• Leys Pools and Leisure Centre car park (formerly Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre)
• Bury Knowle Park, North Place car park
• Cutteslowe Park, Harbord Road car park
• Florence Park, Cowley
• Hinksey Park, off Abingdon Road
• Long Lane, Littlemore
• Margaret Road Recreation Ground
• Meadow Lane Recreation Ground, Jackdaw Lane
• Oatlands Recreation Ground, Ferry Hinksey Road (car park)
• South Park, Morrell Avenue
• Sunnymead Recreation Ground, by play area

To find out more visit the Recycling at Christmas page on the Council’s website,

Issues regarding missed bin collections

Residents have asked us why bins are sometimes missed and we have received the following information from the City Council.

Their instructions to crews are as follows:

  • If the road access is restricted the rounds should try again later in the day
  • If the container is not presented where is should be presented at curtilage, the crew should log the bin as not presented.
  • If the containers are accessible but parked cars prevent safe egress between the cars they should be logged as no access due to parked cars, whether that be from the resident or other parked vehicles. 
  • In all cases the crews are expected to undertake dynamic risk assessments during the round and all containers should be presented correctly and safe access to collect and return will be a factor to the collection crews.

Please note that in some tight roads such as Gardiner Street, inconsiderate parking in front of bins may result in neighbours not having their bins collected (see third bullet point above, highlighted) so please take care when parking on road at bin collection periods.

Recycling and bin collections in the severe weather conditions

We have been alerted by the City Council that bin collections may be delayed this week, please see message below:


Freezing snow has made it difficult to operate recycling and waste collections safely today. The safety of crews and the public is paramount.

We’ll try to restart collections from tomorrow. If your collection day is Tuesday, leave the bin out. We’ll empty it by Saturday evening.

Rise in charges for taking non-household waste to the tip

Here is the press release from the County Council about the rise in charges with effect from 1st October.

There will be an additional facility for recycling hard plastics.

Fly-tipping and waste/recycling collection are managed by the City Council in our area, but the County Council runs Redbridge.

From Bank Holiday Saturday banners and leaflets  will be on site at all seven of our HWRCs, informing local residents that there will be a change in non-household waste charges from the 1st October. We will also be raising awareness via social media and will be issuing a press release w.c. 28th August.

The existing DIY 1,2,3 for free scheme is being replaced by a small fixed fee per item of £1.50 for non-household waste from the 1st October. Tyres and plasterboard will also be charged for at an affordable rate. The existing scheme has been in place for 15 years and during this time there we have not increased the charge of £1 per item.

The council is not obliged to provide residents with a disposal site for non-household waste. However, in the HWRC public consultation carried out in summer 2016, 91% of responses indicated that residents would prefer to pay to deposit non-household waste as a way of saving money and protecting other council services.

Soil, rubble, hard-core, plasterboard (gypsum) other DIY type items are classified as construction waste, not household waste, and are expensive for the council to dispose of. We recognise that many householders carry out small DIY projects from time to time, and by applying a small charge this allows HWRCs to continue accepting these discretionary types of non-household waste.

Non-household or DIY items, as a general rule are materials created from the construction, demolition, alteration or repair of a home or garden. For example a sink, bath, kitchen unit, fence panel, bag of rubble etc. 

Residents can still dispose of all their household waste free of charge at any of the county’s HWRCs.

Also new in October 2017 will be a bin for recycling hard plastics. After a successful trial at Dix and Alkerton HWRCs, items such as plastic garden furniture and children’s toys will be collected and recycled from all sites.

You may want to remind residents in your area that all HWRCs are open until 8pm on Thursdays throughout the summer until 1 October 2017. We are encouraging people via social media to beat the bank holiday weekend queue by visiting their local site on a Thursday instead. 

More information about the changes is available online at

Tell the County your views on household waste sites


As part of securing HWRC sites across Oxfordshire, the Council will be seeking a new management contract to operate these sites. They would like to know your views on measures that could be taken to make savings and to create income, in order to provide the most affordable service for residents of Oxfordshire.

Household Waste Recycling Strategy & Consultation 2015
The above report sets out the results of the Council’s consultation on the future of HWRCs which was carried out in 2015

Unfortunately it appears that this consultation is again online, we are asking how residents who do not use the internet can send in their views.

Here is the link to the website where you can register your comments. The closing date is the 11th August.

Date for your diary – Re-fashion event


For those who remember her feisty performance at our Ward Focus Meeting, Amy from the City Council is organising the above event and hopes to welcome you there!

She says:

Our award winning ReFashion event is returning on Thursday 10th March at The Oxford Town Hall and we’d love as many of you as possible to join us in encouraging sustainable textile use in the drive to reduce, reuse and recycle our consumption.

Jack2 FM will be returning as the compere, we’ll have five schools strutting their stuff down the catwalk, vintage and second hand clothes sales, ‘swishing’ (clothes swapping), repair workshops and much more, including Donnington Doorstep cakes.

With your help of spreading the word, we’re hoping to see more than 1,500 members of the public at the free event.

Projects in Headington – recycling and energy

At our next meeting City Council speakers will tell us about the controversial new recycling initiative and we’ll have an update on a major new green energy project linking the JR and Churchill hospitals.

Please put the date in your diary

Tuesday 27 October

6:00 – 7:30 pm

Headington Ward Focus Meeting

Manor Hospital Conference Room, Beech Road 

If you would like to contact your Lib Dem city councillors for advice on any issue please contact