What are you allowed to put in your recycling bins?
PUBLISHED: 11:10 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:37 24 October 2019
A definitive list of items which can and cannot be recycled has been issued in Suffolk, following changes earlier this year.
In May it was announced that metal pans and TetraPak-style cartons could no longer be taken in household recycling bins in Suffolk.
The changes have prompted some confusion for homes, with many still putting those items in their recycling bins leading to contaminated loads.
However, some items which cannot be accepted in recycling bins can be taken to local recycling centres where they can be processed.
To clarify the changes, Suffolk County Council has put together a definitive list of what you can and cannot put in your recycling bins, and what you can take to recycling centres.
Acceptable for recycling bins
- Empty aerosols - can be accepted with plastic caps removed, although paint and hazardous aerosol cans cannot be taken
- Steel and aluminium cans
- Aluminium foil
- Paper - including envelopes and junk mail, although shredded paper should not be put in
- Plastic bottles - bottle tops should remain on
- Plastic pots, tubs and food trays
Items which cannot be put in recycling bins but can be taken to centres or supermarkets
- Textiles - some recycling centres and supermarkets have clothes banks
- Plastic bags and film - larger supermarkets sometimes have bag recycling bins
- Gas canisters - recycling centres can take gas canisters
- Batteries and electricals - taken at recycling centres while some retailers have battery bins
- Glass - metal caps can be left on
- Metal pots, pans and trays - accepted in metal bins at recycling centres
Items which cannot be recycled
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- Crisp packets and food pouches
- Loose bottle tops and shredded paper - results in a fine in the recycling process
Food waste/shredded paper
Food waste collections differ between district councils in brown and green bins. Some take food waste in the garden waste collections while others do not.
Currently only the former Suffolk Coastal area of East Suffolk Council accepts food waste, including fruit and vegetable peelings, teabags, coffee grounds and both raw or cooked food.
All other authorities (including the Waveney area of East Suffolk) will only accept 'windfall' fruit and vegetables, such as those which have fallen off fruit trees.
The whole of East Suffolk and Ipswich accept shredded paper in brown and green bins.
Recycling centres in Suffolk
- Bury St Edmunds (Rougham Hill, moving to Fornham Road at the end of November)
- Felixstowe (Carr Road)
- Foxhall (Foxhall Road)
- Hadleigh (Crockett Road)
- Haverhill (Chalkstone Way)
- Ipswich (Portman's Walk)
- Leiston (Lovers Lane)
- Lowestoft (Hadenham Road)
- Mildenhall (Off A1065)
- Stowmarket (Old Bury Road)
- Sudbury (Sandy Lane)
As well as asking homes to ensure that recyclable materials are recycled, Suffolk Waste Partnership is also encouraging people to reduce the amount of waste generated in the first place.
Among those ideas are re-using or upcycling items, home composting, buying unpackaged fruit and veg, using sealable tubs instead of cling film, repairing electricals and donating items to charity shops.