Let's Talk

Take part in our countywide conversation to tell us your views and have your say.

How do I get involved?

Let’s Talk North Yorkshire is continuing with our latest conversation. To receive updates about Let’s Talk, sign up to Commonplace below.

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Let's Talk Rubbish

Take part in our current Let’s Talk conversation and help shape the future of household recycling collections in North Yorkshire. 

Take part in Let's Talk Rubbish

You can also take part in Let’s Talk Rubbish in the following ways:

Write to:

Let’s Talk
North Yorkshire Council
County Hall

Accessible formats of the survey are available on request.

Please share your views and encourage your colleagues, friends and family to do the same!

The survey closes on 16 September 2024.

We will also be at locations across North Yorkshire over the summer where you can ask us any questions about the Let's Talk Rubbish consultation and fill in the survey. You don't need to book - just come along on the day. Find out how to meet us in person on Commonplace, our survey website.

Why we are reviewing how we collect recyclable waste

This information explains why we are asking you about your household rubbish and recycling in our survey.

We formed the new North Yorkshire Council in April 2023. Before then, the seven former borough and district councils collected all household waste. Although we now provide the same collection service for non-recyclable waste and garden waste, recycling is still collected in different ways across the county.

We want to make the recycling collection service the same for all North Yorkshire residents.

This will help us to:

  • make the best use of resources
  • provide value for money

We also need to improve recycling collections to meet the requirements of the Environment Act 2021. The UK Government expects all councils to recycle 65 percent of their waste by 2035.

How we recycle now

We reviewed our current recycling collection methods. We identified three different options for further investigation:

Option 1: All recycling in one 240-litre wheelie bin collected fortnightly

Option 2: Separate recycling boxes for each material, collected fortnightly

Option 3: Two 240-litre wheelie bins (one for glass, cans and plastic, and one for paper and card), with alternate fortnightly collections

For each of the three shortlisted options, we have looked at:

  1. Value for money
  2. Contamination
  3. Carbon reduction

1. Value for money

Recycling with wheelie bins (option 1 and 3) requires the fewest vehicles, highlighting the efficiency of using wheelie bins and single compartment vehicles.

  • Option 1 (all recycling in one wheelie bin) could see the lowest decrease in total costs and the least value for money. Higher contamination levels combined with lower quality material could result in higher treatment costs and less income.
  • Option 2 (separate recycling boxes) could see the second highest cost saving, but needs the most staff, due to the high number of vehicles required to operate the service.
  • Option 3 (two 240-litre wheelie bins for glass, cans and plastic, and paper and card collected alternate fortnightly) could see the highest cost reduction.

With all options, there are extra costs for containers and vehicles. These costs will be minimised by changing vehicles as they reach the end of their life.

2. Contamination

Other local authorities have found that contamination (non-recyclable items) is lower when residents sort materials (options 2 and 3). As part of any changes, we would provide information to all residents about recycling effectively and helping to increase recycling rates.

3. Carbon reduction

Emissions, from collections and onward haulage of recyclable material, is the only area that impacts the total amount from the baseline. Only small, marginal changes are observed across all options.

Other things to consider with bags and boxes (option 2):

  • issues with recycling items escaping from boxes and bags on windy days
  • paper collected in bags or boxes becomes wet when it rains and can be rejected by paper mills meaning further costs and reduced income
  • wheelie bins are much easier to use and empty, with less manual handling involved for residents and collection crews


Following an  review of the different collection methods, option 3 (two wheelie bins, one for glass, cans and plastic, and one for paper and card, with alternate fortnightly collections) has been identified as the preferred collection method for most properties. Fortnightly collection of non-recyclable rubbish will continue.

  • Option 3 provides best value for money, as high-quality recyclable materials would be presented at the kerbside. These can be sold to manufacturers to recycle and make new products.
  • Two wheelie bins would help residents recycle more much material . A third wheelie bin is provided for normal rubbish. Residents can continue to opt in for a garden waste collection.
  • Properties with limited storage or access would still need other methods of collection. This may include sack collections and communal or different sized bins, as used now.

Previous Let's Talk surveys

Let's Talk Food

Let's Talk Food ended on 1 April. Thank you to everyone who took part, We are reviewing the data and will feedback the results in the coming months.

Let's Talk Money 2023

We had 2,600 responses from people of all ages who live and work across North Yorkshire. The feedback from the consultation  was used to inform the North Yorkshire Council 2024 budget report

You can read a summary of the key results on our Let’s Talk Money feedback page on Commonplace.

Let’s Talk Local, Money 2022, Devolution, Climate and Transport

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in Let’s Talk North Yorkshire across Local, Money 2022, Devolution, Climate and Transport, helping to determine priorities for the new North Yorkshire Council.

Let’s Talk Local results

In autumn 2022, we launched Let’s Talk , our biggest ever countywide conversation to understand how residents feel about their local area and their priorities, as well as the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on lives.  

We received nearly 3,900 responses to Let’s Talk Local and nearly 2,700 responses to Let’s Talk Money from people of all ages, who live and work across all areas of North Yorkshire. 

This information is being used to inform our new council’s decisions, policies and services going forward.  

We are the geographically largest council in England, with a mix of rural, urban and coastal communities, all of which have common challenges but also competing and differing needs. Therefore, a strong community voice is essential. Let’s Talk North Yorkshire is one way we are using to empower that voice and is a clear commitment to listening to you.  

The  Let's Talk Local report (pdf / 812 KB) summarises some of the key results.

Let's Talk Climate results

Let’s Talk Climate was launched in February 2023 as a result of you highlighting climate change as a top five priority of Let’s Talk Local. We wanted to understand your thoughts on the topic in order feed your views and opinions into our draft climate change strategy.

We received over 1,500 responses from people of all ages, who live and work across all areas of North Yorkshire.

The  Let’s Talk Climate report (pdf / 5 MB) summarises some of the key results.

Let's Talk Transport results

Let’s Talk Transport took place from May to July 2023 – this was the first part of our conversation with you about how you travel in North Yorkshire, to help inform the Local Transport Plan. 

We received over 4,800 responses. These responses will be used to help the development of the Local Transport Plan, which will then be shared for your input.

The  Let’s Talk Transport (pdf / 1 MB) report summarises some of the key results.