Christmas and New Year information

Most of Harlow Council’s services will shut down between Christmas and New Year. This helps the Council save money on energy and building costs. While the Council is closed customers can still access some services online.

Contact Harlow opening times

Open: Monday 17 December to Friday 21 December 2018 between 9am to 4.45pm.

Closed on:

  • Monday 24 December 2018 - Closed
  • Tuesday 25 December 2018 - Bank Holiday
  • Wednesday 26 December 2018 - Bank Holiday
  • Thursday 27 December 2018 - Closed
  • Friday 28 December 2018 - Closed
  • Monday 31 December 2018 - Closed
  • Tuesday 1 January 2019 - Bank Holiday

Normal opening hours apply from Wednesday 2 January 2019

Contact Harlow will be exceptionally busy before Christmas and during the few days after the New Year. Therefore if you phone or visit us, it is likely that you will have to wait longer than normal. 


In an emergency, when Contact Harlow is closed, you can contact the Council by calling 01279 446666.


Whilst we are closed, you can make payments securely and efficiently via the website.

Alternatively you can pay using the 24 hour, automated telephone payments line: 01279 446600.

Report, book or apply

You can report, book or apply for some things without having to find time to phone or visit us.

You can use Self Serve for a range of services such as booking green waste or bulky waste collections, applying for allotments or garages and reporting noise or litter.

Waste and recycling

Check your revised bin collection dates over Christmas and New Year

Christmas is a time when you can recycle more

Harlow Council will collect one extra bag of non-recycling on your first non-recycling collection after Christmas. Extra recycling should be put out as normal.

Extra food waste can be placed in compostable liners on top of your caddy or in a cardboard box.

If your bin collections get missed you can report it online

In the event of bin collections being disrupted due to adverse weather conditions, please check the website for the latest collection information. You may put the bins out for collection as normal and leave them until collected or notified otherwise.

The Harlow Recycling Centre for household waste at Temple Bank (also known as the tip or dump) in Harlow is run by Essex County Council.

Christmas trees

Book your real Christmas tree collection

You can book a real Christmas tree collection in January 2019 using the Green Waste bagged collection service for just £2.10 a tree.

If you are signed up for Green Waste Premium service (fortnightly collections) just put your real tree out on your January collection day.

For an artificial Christmas tree you can book using the Bulky collection service.

Benefit payments

Payments will be made to claimants on:

  • 21 and 28 December 2018
  • 4 and 8 January 2019

Council housing

The bidding cycle over Christmas and the New Year on Harlow Homefinder Website:

  • Opens on Thursday 20 December 2018
  • Closes on Tuesday 1 January 2019 at 1am

The next bidding cycle will commence on Thursday 3 January 2019 at 9.30am.


Local charity Hope4Harlow will be running a night shelter every night from 1 January 2019 to 28 February 2019. 

They are working with seven churches, who each commit to providing shelter for one day of the week. 

The churches providing the shelter are:

  • Potter Street Baptist Church (Sunday)
  • St James Church (Monday)
  • St Andrew’s Church, The Stow (Tuesday)
  • St Stephen’s Church (Wednesday)
  • St Mary Magdalene (Thursday)
  • St Mary-at-Latton Church (Friday)
  • Churchgate Street (Saturday)

Another local charity, The Chocolate Run, provide the Harlow Christmas Haven at Great Parndon Community Centre on Abercrombie Way.

The Haven provides accommodation, food, clothing and good company for the homeless and vulnerably housed over the Christmas period. It will be open from 12.00pm on 23 December 2018 to 12.00pm on 1 January 2019. 

You can refer yourself or someone you are concerned about to Streets2Homes and Streetlink charities.

If you become homeless between Christmas and the New Year and you have nowhere you can stay, please contact 01279 446666. More information on your housing options and advice


The Repairs Centre on 01279 446666 will be open from 8am to 4pm on:

  • Thursday 27 December 2018
  • Friday 28 December 2018
  • Monday 31 December 2018

A 24-hour genuine emergency repairs service is available on Bank Holidays and out of hours.

Normal opening times will resume on Wednesday 2 January 2019.


Essex County Council is responsible for gritting the main carriageways and footways around Essex. You can find out more on their gritting service, and even follow the real time progress of gritters, at Essex County Council website - highways.