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recyclable materials

Your guide to the best way to recycle your waste in the City of London

This guide is intended for City of London residents.
If you live outside the City, please check with your local council

Browse the A to Z links to find the items you need to recycle

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q RST U VW X Y Z


A

Aerosol cans can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Aluminium foil - clean - can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Aluminium cans can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Appliances

  • Small electrical items can be recycled in the pink electrical items bins on City estates.
  • Large call the Contact Centre 020 7606 3110 to book a bulky waste collection

Asbestos is not suitable for recycling and needs a specialist collection. Call 020 7332 3433 to arrange collection or contact the Hazardous Waste team for more information.

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B

Baby goods that are in good condition can be given to friends and family members or donated to charity shops or given away at a Give and Take Day. Clothes can also be placed in the Salvation Army clothing bins on City estates.

Batteries can be recycled in the battery bins on City estates or libraries (look for the pink battery symbol) or in most supermarkets and Robert Dyas stores.

Bicycles can be brought to a Give and Take Day, donated to charity, or given to Bikeworks .

Biscuit tins can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Blankets can be placed in the Salvation Army textile bins.

Bones if you have food waste collection, you can include bones in your food waste. Otherwise, they should be placed in your general waste.

Books can be donated to charities or brought to a Give and Take Day. Otherwise they can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Bottles - both plastic and glass - can be rinsed and placed in your clear recycling sack or recycling bin.

Bric-a-brac can be donated to charities or brought to a Give and Take Day. If broken they should be placed in your household waste.

Bubble wrap can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. Note: for reuse, try posting it on Freecycle.

Building waste should be dealt with the company carrying out the works.

Bulbs see light bulbs and low-energy light bulbs.

Bulky items such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, furniture should be collected via our bulky waste collection service. Please note: a charge may apply for this service. Call the Contact Centre - 020 7606 3110 - for more details, and please let them know if the items are in usable condition or not.

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C

Cans (aluminium and steel) can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Cards (greetings, Christmas and birthday) can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Cardboard can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. Large pieces of cardboard that don't fit in your sack should either be placed directly into a recycling bin or if you have a street collection, should be flattened and taped together and placed next to your recycling sack. Ensure cardboardadd is clean and dry, if not, please place it in your household waste.

Carpet can be reused in several ways. Find out more at Carpet Recycling UK

Cartons can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Catalogues can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

CDs, DVDs and videos can be given to charities or at a Give and Take Day or posted on Freecycle. If they are broken or unusable they should be place in your household waste.

Cereal boxes can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

China plates and ornaments cannot be recycled. These can be given away to charities or at a Give and Take Day if they are still usable. If they are broken, please place them in your household waste bin or sack.

Christmas trees - real trees - can be brought to our collection points advertised on our website and on estates just after Christmas. These will then be composted.

Clingfilm cannot be recycled. Place it in your household waste bin or sack.

Clinical waste: call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 to arrange a collection. If you are a new customer, you need to register first. Clinical waste includes any swabs, dressings, bodily fluids, syringes, needles or other sharp instruments.

Clothes should not be put into your clear sack. They can be placed in the Salvation Army textile bins located around the City (see our recycling map) or given away at a Give and Take Day.

Coat hangers can be given away to charity shops or to your local dry cleaner. You could also place an advert on Freecycle.

Coloured paper can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Computers can be given away at a Give and Take Day or if they don't work, placed in the pink electrical waste bins on City estates.

Confidential waste like shredded paper can be placed first into an envelope or a small box such as a cereal box and then placed into your clear recycling sack.

Construction waste should be handled as a commercial collection, organised by your contractor.

Cooked food - residents on City estates and in certain private blocks of flats can put cooked food in their kitchen caddy. Make sure you use the special food waste liners to line the caddy, tie the liner and place it in the food waste bin or on estates place your caddy outside for collection on the appropriate

Cookers can be collected as bulky waste Call the Contact Centre 020 7606 3110 for more details.

Cotton pads, buds etc. cannot be recycled. Place it in your household waste bin or sack.

Crockery cannot be recycled. These can be given away to charities or at a Give and Take Day if they are still usable. If they are broken, please place them in your household waste bin or sack.

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D

Dishwashers can be collected as bulky waste. Call the Contact Centre 020 7606 3110 for more details.

Disposable Nappies should be placed in your household waste. Please see our Real Nappy page for information about the benefits of using real nappies. City parents may be eligible for £50 cash-back on their real nappy purchase or laundry service.

Doors can be collected as bulky waste. Call the Contact Centre 020 7606 3110 for more details.

Duvets and pillows should be placed in your household waste. Please do not put these in the Salvation Army textile bins.p>

DVDs - can be given to charity or brought to a Give and Take Day. To dispose of them, please place DVDs in your household waste.

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E

Egg cartons can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Egg shells can be included in your food waste collection if you receive one, or else can be placed in you household waste.

Electrical items - small - can be recycled via the pink bins on City estates. Useable items can be brought along to a Give and Take Day or given away on Freecycle.

Energy saving light bulbs - ​can be recycled in the light bulb bins in City Libraries, Estate Offices and the reception of our Walbrook Wharf offices at 79-83 Upper Thames St EC4R 3TD. Otherwise, the nearest location for recycling your light bulbs can be found via the Recolight website.

Engine oil can be taken to the Tower Hamlets Waste and Recycling Centre.

Envelopes can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

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F

Fabric can be placed in the Salvation Army textile bins or given away at a Give and Take Day.

Fat can either be included in your food waste collection, if you have one (you may wish to wrap it in newspaper first) or in your household waste.

Fence panels can be collected as bulky waste. Call the Contact Centre 020 7606 3110 for more details.

Fire alarms can be recycled in the pink electrical items bins on City estates.

Flower pots can be given away or should be placed into your household waste bin or sack.

Fluorescent tubes can be placed in the light bulb bins at City libraries or on City estates, or at Robert Dyas stores.

Foil - clean - can be recycled via your clear sack or recycling bin.

Food waste can be placed with the food waste collection. You should place any food scraps into your kitchen caddy, using the special liners, and on estates leave your caddy out for collection on the appropriate day, or in private blocks of flats take it to your brown food waste bin. If you don't have a food waste collection, food waste should be placed into your household waste. Reduce your food waste and save up to £50 a month with Love Food Hate Waste.

Fridges and Freezers can be collected as bulky waste. Call the Contact Centre 020 7606 3110 for more details.

Fruit peelings can be included with your food waste.

Furniture can be collected and reused or recycled as bulky waste. Call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 for details. Please advise if the furniture is reusable or not.

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G

Garden chemicals - Contact our Hazardous Waste team on 020 7332 3433 to arrange collection.

Garden waste - small amounts - can be included in your food waste collection if you have one. Large amounts will need to be booked as a bulky waste collection through the Contact Centre - 020 7606 3110.

Gas cylinders - in most instances the company or organisation that provided it, will arrange to collect it.

  • Calor cylinder: call 020 8884 3484. They will take your details and organise a free collection.
  • LP gas cylinder: contact the LP Gas Association on 08457 626 379.
  • If you do not know who provided the gas cylinder, or the original supplier cannot collect it, you should contact an authorised waste carrier to arrange for its collection / disposal.

Gift wrap can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Glass (general) - glass from windows, drinking glasses, furniture etc. cannot be recycled. This is because the glass is made differently from bottle glass, and therefore may cause problems if being used to make new bottles.

Glass bottles and jars - reuse - bottles and jars have many uses. They can be used to contain food or small household items. To recycle them, place them in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Greetings cards can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

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H

Hangers - you could offer them to charity shops, to dry cleaners, post them on Freecycle or bring them to a Give and Take Day.

Healthcare waste - call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 to arrange a collection. If you are a new customer, you will need to register first. Clinical waste includes any swabs, dressings, bodily fluids, syringes, needles or other sharp instruments.

Home improvements - any DIY waste will need to be booked as a bulky waste collection through our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110.

Household chemicals - contact our Hazardous Waste team on 020 7332 3433 to arrange collection.

Household rubbish - should be placed into your household waste bin or sack. Street collections must always be via a City of London household waste sack. Any waste left on the street in a black sack or shopping bag may incur a fixed penalty.

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I

Inhalers can be recycled at participating pharmacies. Find your nearest one by using the Pharmacy Finder.

Ink cartridges

When buying your printer, choose one that uses cartridges that can be easily refilled or that can easily accept generic or refilled cartridges.

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J

Jars - glass or metal - can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Jar lids can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Juice cartons can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. Please make sure they are clean.

Junk mail can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. To reduce the amount of jumk mail you receive, you can join the Mail Preference Service

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K

Kitchen rolls cannot be recycled. Place it in your household waste bin or sack.

Kitchen waste - if you receive a food waste collection, all food waste should be placed in your kitchen caddy with a food waste liner. The liner should then be tied closed and, on estates, the caddy left out on collection day. In private blocks of flats the food waste in its liner should be placed in your brown food waste bin.

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L

Light bulbs - traditional-style and halogen bulbs should be placed into your household waste bin or sack.

Low energy light bulbs - ​can be recycled in the light bulb bins in City libraries, Estate Offices and the reception of our Walbrook Wharf offices Find your nearest location on the Household Recycling page or our recycling map. See also the Recolight website.

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M

Magazines can be given away for reuse or they can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. Ensure paper is clean and dry, otherwise please place it in your household waste.

Mail can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. The Mail Preference Service can help reduce the amount of junk mail you receive.

Margarine tubs - clean - can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Mattresses can be collected as bulky waste. Call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 for more details.

Microwave ovens can be collected as bulky waste. Call the Contact Centre 020 7606 3110 for more details.

Mobile phones can be recycled in the pink Small Electrical Items bins on City estates, or there are many charities who collect mobile phones to raise money, such as the British Heart Foundation. Geek Squad also offer an online phone trade-in service. Whether your phone is in good working condition or faulty, you can trade in your phone with them: they will value it and transfer the money directly into your bank account – within three working days of receiving your traded-in device. Alternatively, you can drop it in to any Carphone Warehouse.

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N

Nappies should be placed into your household waste bin or sack. City parents can receive £50 cash back on a real nappy purchase. For details see the Real Nappy Scheme website.

Newspapers can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

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O

Oil can be taken to the Tower Hamlets Waste and Recycling Centre. For details, follow the link and see the information under the Disposal Sites heading.

Organic waste - see Food waste.

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P

Paint can be reused with the Community RePaint network or you could book a collection via our Hazardous Waste team on 020 7332 3433.

Paper and magazines can be recycled via your clear sack or recycling bin. Ensure paper is clean and dry, otherwise please place it in your household waste.

Pet food - place it in the food waste collection. Otherwise, place it in your household waste.

Pet litter should be placed into your household waste bin or sack.

Photographs cannot be recycled. You can place them in your household waste.

Pizza boxes can be recycled just if it is clean and dry, otherwise place it in your household waste.

Plant pots should be placed into your household waste bin or sack.

Plastic - most plastic can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. Hard plastic items such as toys, flower pots or pieces of furniture should be placed in the household waste.

Plastic bags - empty, loose plastic bags can be placed in your recycling sack or bin. Please do not place your recycling inside a shopping bag, only clear recycling sacks may be used.

Plastic bottles can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. Please rinse them first.

Plastic packaging - clean - can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin.

Polystyrene packaging - expanded polystyrene should be placed in your household waste sack or bin.

Printer cartridges - see Ink cartridges

Pyrex glass - should be placed into your household waste bin or sack. Large amounts should be booked as a Bulky waste collection. Call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 for more details.

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R

Radiators can be collected as bulky waste. Call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 for more details.

Rigid bulky plastic cannot be recycled. Place any hard plastic into your general waste.

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S

Shoes can be placed in the Salvation Army textile bins located around the City or taken to a Give and Take Day. Please make sure you tie the shoes together so they stay together as a pair.

Smoke alarms can be recycled in the pink electrical bins on City estates.

Spectacles - some opticians take old spectacles to be recycled, ask at your opticians or check online.  If they are broken or unusable they should be placed in your household waste.

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T

Teabags can be included with your food waste collection if you have one, or otherwise will need to be included with your household waste.

Telephone directories can be included in your clear recycling sack.

Telephones that do not work can be recycled via our pink Small Electrical Items bins on City estates.

Televisions and CRT monitors are classed as hazardous waste. Call 020 7606 3110 to arrange for a collection.

Textiles should not be put into your clear sack. Textiles can be placed in the Salvation Army textile bins​ or given away at a Give and Take Day.

Timber can be collected as bulky waste. Call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 for details.

Tins can be recycled via your clear sack or recycling bin. Please rinsethem first.

Tissues cannot be recycled. Please place it in your household waste bin or sack.

Toner cartridges - see Ink cartridges

Toys can be donated to charities or brought to a Give and Take Day. If they are broken or unusable, they should be placed in to your household waste.

Tyres can be collected as bulky waste. Call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 for detials.

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V

Vegetable peelings can be included with your food waste collection if you have one, or otherwise will need to be included with your household waste.

Videos cannot be recycled. These should be placed in your household waste bin or sack.

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W

Water cartridges can be taken to any Robert Dyas stores.

White goods can be collected as bulky waste. Call our Contact Centre on 020 7606 3110 for details.

Wood cannot be recycled. This should be placed in your household waste bin or sack.

Wrapping paper can be recycled in your clear sack or recycling bin. Foil/plastic type paper cannot be recycled.

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Y

Yellow Pages phone directories can be included in your clear recycling sack.

Yoghurt pots can be included in your clear recycling sack. Please rinse them first.

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Published:
15 April 2013
Last Modified:
23 November 2017
Author:
Ryan Clark

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