Every time is snows Veolia missed us out on the bin round. Even when we put the bins out at the end of the driveway they were left. In 2010 that resulted in at least 8 missed collections. We finally decided enough was enough. However deciding who to switch our waste contract to was not that straight forward. Should we base it on price, reliability or other criteria. Getting prices is fairly straight forward, but assessing reliability is more difficult. In the end we got a good recommendation for a company called CPP Waste and Recycling. They passed on all the criteria we could think of. They were cheaper, they provided 4 standard wheelie bins for recycling as well as 2 big ones for waste, they are small and local, and we were told they were reliable. On the day the contract was due to change it started snowing (as it did all over the country). True to form Our council bins were not emptied due to the weather, but CPP arrived with all the bins for us. In the 6 weeks since every collection has been made, despite the severe weather we have had. It took Veolia 5 weeks to come and empty and remove the council bins!
The biggest win for us though (and the environment) has been the massive increase in the amount of waste recycled. Previously we had an array of plastic boxes for cans and glass, but always filled the two 1100 litre bins with general waste. We now have a 360 litre bin for glass and 240 litre bins for cardboard, plastic and cans. Each week these are pretty well filled and only 1 of the general waste bins is used.