Guide to recycling bins and services

Understand what waste paper, metals, glass and plastics can go into your recycling bin and how to dispose of the rest.

We run several services to help you recycle:

Items that go in your (yellow lid) recycling bin

Put paper and cardboard, bottles and jars, plastic containers, steel and aluminium cans and aluminium foil in your yellow recycling bin. Put them in loose (never in plastic bags). Always flatten cardboard boxes.

Find out more about recycling codes and labels on packaging.

Paper recycling

We grind paper down and use it to make paper towels, cardboard boxes, toilet paper and newspapers.

Put these things in your recycling bin:

  • books
  • butchers paper
  • cardboard
  • cardboard boxes (flattened)
  • egg cartons
  • envelopes (with and without windows)
  • greeting cards
  • junk mail
  • magazines
  • newspapers
  • paper
  • paper bags
  • paper plates and bowls
  • paper towel rolls
  • phonebooks
  • pizza boxes (with no scraps)
  • toilet paper rolls
  • wrapping paper (without foil or glitter).

We can't recycle:

  • takeaway coffee cups (as their plastic coating can't be removed)
  • baking paper
  • take away cartons as they contain a wax coating or are styrofoam
  • used paper towels, tissues, napkins and serviettes (as they usually have residue)
  • long-life cartons - as their plastic coating cannot be removed. For example, juice cartons, milk cartons, UHT, stock cartons, aseptic packaging
  • waxed or laminated cardboard boxes
  • shredded paper (as it is light and flies up into the air at the recycling facility clogging sorting machines and creating a safety issue for staff).

All of these items go into your general waste bin. 

To find out more on how to dispose of common items check out our waste and recycling A to Z guide.

Metals recycling

Metal can be melted down into new products such as food and drink cans.

All containers should be empty, rinsed and have their lids removed.

Put these things in your recycling bin:

  • cans and can lids (including pet food)
  • cooking oil tins (should be empty)
  • foil (no scraps, scrunched)
  • drink cans
  • jar lids
  • empty aerosol cans.

We can’t recycle:

  • clothes hangers
  • cutlery (plastic)
  • pots and pans.

To find out more on how to dispose of common items check out our waste and recycling A to Z guide.

Glass recycling

Glass is crushed and melted to make new bottles and jars or can be used in road base.

Put bottles and jars in your recycling bin.

All containers should be clean and empty.

We can’t recycle window and mirror glass or light bulbs.

To find out more on how to dispose of common items check out our waste and recycling A to Z guide.

Extra glass to communal glass recycling bins

You can drop extra glass into a communal glass recycling bin at one of 80 communal hubs.

Plastics recycling

Only rigid / hard products with a 1,2 or 5 code inside the recycling symbol (triangle formed by 3 circling arrows) go into your recycling bin.

If your item has a 3, 4, 6 or 7 code or no recycling symbol, put it into your garbage bin or consider using a specialised recycler like Terracycle. Find out more about packaging materials, recycling codes and labels.

All containers should be empty, rinsed and have their lids removed.

Put these things in your recycling bin:

  • cleaning product and detergent bottles (should be empty)
  • ice-cream containers (plastic) and lids
  • juice bottles (remove lid)
  • milk bottles (remove lid)
  • punnets
  • shampoo, conditioner, shower gel bottles
  • soft drink bottles (remove lid)
  • takeaway containers.