Grit bins

We have around 500 grit bins at various locations across the borough to allow drivers and pedestrians to treat localised icy conditions. The bins contain a mix of salt and sand which you can use on public roads and pavements. You cannot use it to grit your property or private driveway.

Stocking programme

Our grit bins are filled as part of our pre-season preparation.

A second refill may occur, but this will only happen following a prolonged and significant snow event, and if resources will allow. Bins are not stocked on an ad-hoc basis.

New bin requests

We assess the provision of grit bins on a variety of factors including the gradient, proximity to bends and junctions, number of properties, and whether the road was previously included on a gritting route. New grit bin requests will be reviewed from April until September as part of our preseason preparation and not during the winter season. We use a grit bin assessment scoring form to assess whether a grit bin is needed.

Privately owned bins

If a bin has not been refilled by us, it could be a privately owned bin purchased by a Parish or Town Council, Residents Association, or member of the public. Privately owned bins are not restocked by Cheshire East Highways. If this is the case and the private owner wants to install the grit bin on private land (with the landowner’s agreement), they will be responsible for the maintenance and restocking of the bin.

If the grit bin is identified to be a bin owned by us and hasn’t been refilled, the location will be assessed to see if it still meets the criteria. If it is found to meet the criteria, the bin will be restocked as part of our pre-season preparation, not on an ad-hoc basis.

Salt misuse and issues

Where salt from the bins is being misused then this can be reported in confidence to the Council. If it is seen being stolen, then this should be reported directly to the police along with the make, model and registration number of any vehicle involved.

Other examples of misuse include:

  • Private use – The salt is for the use on the public highway only
  • Contamination – Some bins are misused as rubbish bins, the contaminated waste requires emptying and disposing of before filling
  • Non-use – Some bins are not used and require the old salt to be chipped out before restocking as it has solidified over the year

Should an existing grit bin owned by us have regular instances of salt misuse for the treatment of private driveways or frequently vandalised, we reserve the right to remove it.

Damaged, missing/stolen or vandalised bins

If any of our bins are missing or become unusable because the bin is damaged or vandalised, the criteria will be applied to see if it qualifies to be replaced. This may be after the winter season as resources will be prioritised to salt the network. It will then be stocked as part of or pre-season preparation, not on an ad-hoc basis.

You can ask us to fix or replace a damaged grit bin by reporting it online.

Should an existing grit bin owned by us have regular instances of salt misuse for the treatment of private driveways or frequently vandalised, we reserve the right to remove it.

Buying salt

If you would like to purchase salt for you own use or your privately owned bin, larger supermarkets, garden centres and some garages stock supplies from the beginning of winter.

How you can help

For advice on what you can do to clear paths, driveways and the pavement outside of your property, see the Met Office snow code. There is no law from stopping you from clearing pavements. It is unlikely you would be legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. If you do clear a pavement, make sure this is done safely and effectively.

Page last reviewed: 19 October 2023