Oxfordshire County Council logo

Salt and grit bins

How to request a salt or grit bin for use in icy weather.

We routinely spread salt on defined routes on forecasts of ice or snow.

Use our gritter tracker to see which road gets gritted and follow the progress of the gritting trucks in real-time.

Pavements only get very limited attention because clearing them is very labour-intensive, although major shopping areas are likely to be treated in the early stages of snowfall.

Many local communities want to help themselves in such circumstances and we are happy to assist.

Find where your nearest salt bin is.

Requesting a bin for this year

All new requests for salt bins are assessed by Oxfordshire County Council. Salt bins are available for purchase through your town or parish council. Please contact them first. Each bin costs £250 plus VAT and covers supply, installation and first fill.

Contact Oxfordshire County Council's Area Operations Team for more information.

We will keep a 'wish' list in readiness for placing the bins in the autumn (if you have requested and paid for a bin that has been approved through the assessment process, your parish council will be contacted to agree the position on site).

The salt in the bins is intended for use on the public highway only. Bins are located for a specific reason. It could be a criminal offence for it to be used for other than its intended use.

Frequently asked questions

Who fills the salt bins?

Oxfordshire County Council refills highway salt/grit bins once a year on request. We aim to do this during the summer months so please let us know if you spot one in need of a top up

Will you fill salt bins on demand?

 We will fill highway salt bins once if requested, but not on regular demand, unless there are specific circumstances for this to be undertaken

Will you replace damaged bins?

Any bins identified as not being fit for purpose during their initial fill will be replaced at our expense. Please report any damaged bins to us using Fixmystreet.

Where can parish councils get further supplies of salt from?

We will identify local suppliers and pass on the information to parish councils. There are local suppliers including builders merchants and DIY stores, and many more suppliers available online.

Are salt bins still available to purchase and will they be filled?

Yes, they are available at a cost of £250 plus VAT and will be filled once (see above for details). Parish councils also have the option to 'shop around' for the bins: as long as we approve the location and the parish council confirms that salt will be for use on the public highway then we will also fill these bins once. However, requests for new bins received after 1 November will not be processed until the following spring in readiness for installation for the following winter.

What colours of salt bins are available?

Generally all new salt bins are green unless they are in a rural area, where yellow may be used to make them more visible

Will the bins have locks on them?

The bins we supply will not have locks on them: the salt is meant for public use to be spread on the highway, so locking them would defeat the object.

Is there any advice available on how to spread the salt most effectively?

The amount of salt required to treat an area is much less than you think. As a guide 20g/m² (about a heaped tablespoon) should be sufficient to clear and protect a 1m2 area of footway or carriageway surface. There are many mechanical spreaders including grass seed or fertiliser spreaders available, however a simple solution could be to spread using a trowel and a flicking motion. Spreading too much salt can have a detrimental effect on the environment and is also a waste of salt.

For further information view our Oxfordshire Snow guide (pdf format, 429KB).

Salt heaps

We no longer place heaps of loose salt on the roadside because salt is very damaging to grass, hedgerows, trees and water courses. They also tempt children to kick salt around or attract dog fouling and become a blot on the landscape.

All salt needs to be placed in appropriate storage containers.