What not to recycle

What not to recycle

Recycling is good for the environment, but there are some items that we don't collect. This is because:

  • the sorting plant that we use isn't set up to deal with certain materials
  • reprocessing facilities to turn old materials into new ones do not exist locally

Our clear bag and mixed bank recycling services currently cannot collect:

  • food waste
  • garden waste
  • clothes, shoes or textiles
  • other plastics including carrier bags, polystyrene or cling film
  • wood and building or DIY materials
  • foil or metals (other than cans)
  • shredded paper
  • nappies including used nappies
  • broken glass or Pyrex glass
  • light bulbs
  • batteries
  • aerosol cans

If you put any of these materials into your recycling bag or mixed recycling bank it could contaminate the load. This means it will be sent to landfill instead of being recycled.

Read about recycling at home.

Where can I recycle items the Council doesn't collect?

There are other ways to recycle for some of the items that we don't collect.

  • Food waste can be composted. Find out about home composting and our food waste collection service.
  • Garden waste can be collected through our garden waste service. Call Streetline on 0207 361 3001 for more information.
  • Clothes are always gratefully received at charity shops. You can also leave them at clothes and textile recycling banks at mini recycling centres.
  • Wood and building materials you can give away through Freecycle. You could also use the Council’s Too Big For The Bin service.
  • Polystyrene can be donated to local artists or community groups for art projects
  • Lightbulbs and batteries can be recycled in special containers throughout the borough. Read our A-Z of recycling.

Find out more about recycling.