Your rubbish is collected underground. Here’s how to use your URS bins.

We all want our streets to be cleaner and greener, and new technology is making that easier. If you haven’t used an Underground Refuse System (URS) before, we’re here to help.

You’ll find underground bins on your estate. This is what they look like:

Rubbish unit

The silver or grey URS bins are for any rubbish you put in black bags or carrier bags that can’t be recycled.

Recycling unit

The purple URS bins are for the recyclable material you put in pink bags. This can include glass bottles, plastic containers, mixed paper and cans.

Using the URS bins

Step 1: Use the handle or foot pedal to open the URS bin.

Step 2: Place your rubbish into the correct URS bin. If your bag is oversized, please don’t try to force it in – this can damage the URS.

Step 3: Slowly close the URS using the handle or foot pedal.

Let’s work together

Think of the URS as a giant communal bin. Because all residents use this facility, it’s important for everyone to be considerate – and that includes how we take care of the system for you.

  • Please don’t leave your bags around the URS containers. This can attract rats, foxes and other pests.
  • Please don’t try to force oversized rubbish bags into the URS as it can damage it. Blockages and split bags can cause mess for other residents.
  • Remember that URS collections happen once or twice a week a week – you can find out when your exact collection day is on Tower Hamlets Council’s website.
  • We clean the URS bins once a week, including disinfecting the handles. We’ll clearly label the cleaning date on the bin, so you know we’ve completed it.

We aim to deep clean our URS units every year with a specialist team.

URS overflowing or not collected as scheduled?

Please speak to London Borough of Tower Hamlets team.