What not to recycle

Whilst recycling is a great way for you to help our planet, it is important not to put the wrong materials in your clear recycling bag or mixed recycling bank. Putting the wrong materials into your recycling bag or mixed recycling bank can contaminate the whole lot and mean it will be sent to landfill instead of recycled.

Certain materials are not collected for recycling because the sorting plant used by the Council is not set up to deal with these materials and/or the reprocessing facilities (to physically turn the old materials into new ones) do not exist locally.

The Council’s clear bag and mixed bank recycling service currently cannot collect the following items:

  • 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

Important: Please do not place any of these items into your recycling bag or mixed recycling bank.

See more information about why why some items can't be recycled.

Check Western Riverside Waste Authorities Recycling At Home website.

If in doubt, leave it out!

However, alternatives for some of these items are available. Please see the following:

  • garden waste can be collected by the Council for an annual subscription. This is called the Garden Waste service. Please call Streetline on 0207 361 3001 for more information.
  • clothes in good condition will be received at any charity shop where they will sell them on. Alternatively, please look out for clothes and textile recycling banks around the borough. See Mini Recycling Centres.
  • wood / building materials - you could dispose of old wood or building materials by giving it away, for free, via the Freecycle network, or sell it to friends. You could also use the Council’s ‘Too Big For The Bin’ service whereby it will be taken away for a fee. Please call Streetline on 0207 361 3001 for more information. See Freecycle network.
  • polystyrene - if you know of a local artist, or community group who requires polystyrene for artistic purposes, then please donate what you have to them. Don’t include polystyrene for recycling in your orange bag or mixed recycling bank.
  • lightbulbs and batteries - these can be recycled in special containers throughout the borough.  Please see lightbulb recycling and battery recycling for more information.