Bins, rubbish and recycling See which recycling bin to use

What to do with non-recyclable items

Coronavirus

To help protect the health of bin crews and other residents the government has provided advice for how to get rid of personal waste, such as tissues and cleaning cloths.

Personal Protective Equipment, including gloves, face masks and aprons should be disposed of according to government guidelines

Batteries

Batteries have the potential to spark and cause fires, so should not be put in any of your bins. Bin trucks have been damaged due to batteries being part of rubbish collections.

You can take batteries to a Recycling Centre

Regular household batteries can also be recycled at most supermarkets or electrical stores.

Bin bags and other plastic bags

These should be put in your grey general waste bins and should never go in any of your recycling bins. Find out what happens to your plastic

Carpet

You can take carpets to a Recycling Centre. Alternatively, carpets can be reused as rugs, car mats, door mats, scratching posts for cats and more. People will often also buy carpet off-cuts. 

Clothes and shoes

Recycling Centres are currently not accepting clothes and textiles. You can store and save your clothes for charity shops, jumble sales or swap shops. 

Compostable or biodegradable packaging

Compostable or biodegradable packaging like cups, cutlery, straws go in your general waste bin.

The food and garden waste is delivered to a composting facility and made into compost in six to 10 weeks. Compostable packaging takes much longer to break down, sometimes it can take years. This means that they won’t be composted in the same time as your food and garden waste.

Disposable cups (including take out coffee cups)

These should always go in your grey general waste bin. You can’t recycle coffee cups in your paper and card bin at home. This is because they are lined with plastic that is bonded to the cup to help them hold liquid and stop the paper cup going soggy.

DIY waste

These DIY items cause damage to bin trucks, so should not be put in any of your bins.

You can take DIY waste to a Recycling Centre, this includes:

  • hardcore and rubble (bricks, soil and tiles)
  • scrap metal
  • wood and timber

Electrical items

You can take electrical items to a Recycling Centre. Please do not throw any electrical or battery powered items, or batteries, in any of your wheelie bins at home. This includes any items with a battery or a plug. They can cause fires. 

If you are replacing an electrical item, some retailers will collect your old electrical item when they deliver your new one and some companies also run ‘take back’ schemes for you to dispose of used electrical items.

Furniture

The furniture reuse containers at the Recycling Centres are currently closed. If your furniture is not reusable you can still take it to a Recycling Centre for disposal.

You can have one free collection of up to three large unwanted items, a year (April 1 to 31 March). We will collect from your home. Book a collection

Hygiene items (including wet wipes and sanitary products)

These items should be placed in a bin bag and put in your grey general waste bin. If you have a medical condition that may result in more waste, you can apply for a larger grey general waste bin.

If you or anyone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms, Public Health England provides specific advice on how to deal with these items in order to protect bin staff.

Invasive weeds

Plants like Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed or Himalayan Balsam, cannot be put in your green garden and food waste bins. Invasive weeds are classed as hazardous waste and removal of these should be done under the guidance provided by the Environment Agency.

Mattresses

You can take your used mattresses to one of the following Recycling Centres:

You can still take mattresses to the other Recycling Centres which are open but they will not be recycled.

Nappies

Nappies should go in your grey general waste bin and not in any other bins. You can apply for a larger grey bin, or approved waste sacks, if you're recycling everything you can and you have:

  • a large family or household
  • two or more children in nappies
  • certain medical conditions

Soil

You can take garden soil to a Recycling Centre in robust sacks.

Soil can’t go in your food and garden bin - it will affect the quality of the compost produced. This is because soil is a mineral and may also contain other potentially toxic elements like heavy metals.

Toys and games

Plastic toys can’t be recycled in your mixed recycling bin. You can donate toys and games to charity shops. You can trade or sell computer and console games at some stores. 

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