Alleyway Refurbishment and Communal Bin Programme

Liverpool has approximately 22,700 properties built adjacent to a 4ft (foot) wide alleyway which receive a weekly collection of bagged domestic waste from the rear alleyway. Together with the numerous waste management challenges in dealing with bagged waste, the physical condition of the many alleyways (primarily 4fts) across the city is poor. Collapsed drains, the erosion of sub soil etc. has led to uneven surfaces and even collapses. These circumstances have driven the need to deliver a programme to address the failing alleyway infrastructure and the poor working conditions for refuse workers in 4ft. alleyways. 

Since 2018 Liverpool City Council (LCC) together with Liverpool StreetScene Services (LSSL) have led a programme not only to invest in new methods of waste management for the properties adjacent to 4ft alleyways but also improving the alleyway infrastructure, making it safer for both residents and staff. To introduce alternative waste collection methods also encourages a change of behaviour by local residents and communities in the way they manage and are responsible for their waste.

Programme Objectives 

  • To improve the local environment for all residents by removing the storage of waste from alleyways
  • To enable improved resident access to the alleyway and their homes,
  • To address residents’ concerns of rats, flies and smells from the alleyways, 
  • To provide a safe working environmental for collection and cleaning crews. 
  • To increase the City’s recycling performance
  • To operate an efficient, effective, sustainable and scalable waste collection service by implementing a communal bin service using a combination of 1100 Litre Steel Bins, Underground, Semi Underground or Crane Lift Street Bins.

By October 2022, the aim is have over 22,000 properties adjacent to 4ft. properties to have been provided with a communal waste container (bulk bins) within easy reach of their home in which to dispose of their domestic waste safely.  

One of the key challenges the programme has had to overcome during the delivery was in taking residents along for the change journey. This required intensive consultation, by the programme alongside the LCC’s recycling education team and the LSSL environmental enforcement team with the community, Members and key stakeholder groups prior to each installation ensuring that they understood the rationale behind the changes, how the changes will be implemented and the consequences associated with continuing to place waste in the alleyway. 

The improvements in infrastructure and changes to using communal street collections have led to an improvement in conditions for the residents who live in these areas and contribute to them becoming safe, clean and thriving neighbourhoods. 

The aspiration is to ensure every resident in the city has the opportunity to store and present their waste safely and participate in the available present and future recycling services.  To deliver this aspiration LSSL is seeking to implement and build upon the changes and lessons learnt from the storage/ collection of waste and recycling not only in domestic alleyways but to apply the principles elsewhere in the city, for example in houses of multiple occupation, parks and along the waterfront. 


Collections during the alleyway repair programme

View streets with communal bins as part of this programme on Google maps