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What goes in which bin?


This page gives you information on what items you can put in your recycling bin and box and what should go in your rubbish bin and garden waste bin.

Bin It Right

It's really important that you follow these guidelines as it helps to reduce contamination and means we can recycle, reuse or compost more of your waste. If you put wrong items in the wrong bin, this could result in the whole bin lorry load being classed as 'contaminated' and rejected for recycling.

Recycling

Our recycling wagons have separate, split compartments. Your recycling bin is emptied into one side and the glass box is emptied into the other. Glass and recycling are sorted differently at the recycling plant and this means more of your waste can be recycled and turned into new products.

For every item we recycle, we are reducing the need to use raw materials, which helps save energy and precious resources. It only takes a quarter of the energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic as from new materials. Metal and glass packaging can be recycled endlessly, without loss of quality. Imagine how much energy you could save! 

What goes in my recycling bin

Don't put your recycling into black sacks or plastic bags - put the items loose into the bin. If you have extra recycling and it won't fit in your bin, put it into a clear/see-through bag and leave it next to your recycling bin.

When recycling, please remember:

  • wash and squash items - this saves space, keeps your bin clean and stops contamination.
  • don't leave cardboard next to your bin on a wet day - we cannot recycle wet cardboard. Fold and squash large cardboard so it fits in your recycling bin or take it to your nearest household waste recycling centre (tip).

The following items go into your grey recycling bin with the blue lid.

MaterialYes pleaseNo thanks

Plastics

  • all plastic bottles (squash and replace lids except pumps)
  • plastic pots (such as yoghurt, cream)
  • plastic tubs (such as margarine, butter, ice cream)
  • plastic trays (such as fruit, meat)
  • hard plastic containers
  • children's toys
  • bags/wrap/film
  • ready meal food trays
  • polystyrene/bubble wrap
  • plant pots
  • black plastic and bags
  • all carrier bags
  • crisp packets
  • back plastic cartons

Mixed paper and card

  • all paper
  • all cardboard
  • greetings cards (plain cards without foil, glitter or ribbon)
  • envelopes
  • kitchen paper
  • baby/facial/cleaning wipes
  • nappies
  • tissues
  • shredded paper

Food tins and drink cans

  • all steel and aluminium food tins and drink cans
  • tin foil and foil trays
  • biscuit and sweet tins
  • cutlery or any other metal objects
  • pans
  • oven trays

Cartons

  • all cartons eg fruit juice, drinks and soup
  • squash and replace lid
  • polystyrene

Aerosols

  • aerosol cans
 

What goes in my recycling box

The following items go into the recycling box.

MaterialYes pleaseNo thanks

Glass bottles and jars

  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Clean metal only lids and caps can be placed in your recycling bin.
  • broken glass
  • Pyrex
  • light bulbs
  • mirrors
  • flat glass

Other recyclable items

Find a full list of A-Z household waste items in our Reuse and recycling A-Z

Rubbish

What goes in my rubbish bin

If in doubt, keep it out of your recycling bin - if you're unsure whether you can recycle an item, leave it out of your recycling bin and put it in your rubbish bin. The following items go in your rubbish bin.

MaterialYes pleaseNo thanks

Household waste

  • domestic household waste that cannot be recycled
  • used kitchen paper
  • baby/facial/cleaning wipes
  • nappies
  • pet waste
  • polystyrene/bubble wrap
  • plastic bags/wrap/film/crisp packets
  • food waste that cannot be composted
  • ready meal food trays
  • broken glass
  • recycling
  • rubble or bricks
  • vehicle parts
  • items which may make the bin too heavy
  • batteries
  • clothes/textiles
  • cassettes

What goes in my garden waste bin

Please don't bag your garden waste - put it loose in the bin. The following items go into the garden waste bin.

Material Yes pleaseNo thanks

Garden waste

  • grass cuttings
  • shrubs
  • leaves
  • weeds
  • flowers and plants
  • hedge clippings
  • prunings
  • small branches (thinner than 7cm in diameter)
  • plastic / black bags
  • bio-degradable or compostable bags
  • plant pots / plastic trays
  • kitchen / food waste
  • soil / bricks / rubble
  • nappies
  • paper / plastic / cardboard
  • textiles/clothing
  • pet waste
  • children's toys
  • garden ornaments
  • large branches (thicker than 7cm in diameter)
  • diseased plants/leaves

Food and pet waste must not be added to your garden waste to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Soil attached to roots is not a problem, but large amounts of soil make the bin extremely heavy and difficult to empty. You can take any surplus soil to one of the household waste recycling centres.

Plastic and pottery cannot be composted. Please reuse where possible or dispose of these in your rubbish bin or at a household waste recycling centre.

Diseased plants/leaves - advice from the Forestry Commission

If leaves are from a tree free from infection they can continue to be composted and disposed of using our garden waste scheme.

Leaves from infected trees or trees suspected of being infected should not be removed from the site, so do not put them in green waste bins for composting as this risks spreading the disease. Burning them on site is the best option.

Finding our when your collection day is

Please enter your house number and postcode into My Durham. You can download a collection calendar which tells you when your bins will be emptied.

What happens if you put the wrong things in the wrong bin

You will find a yellow sticker on your bin and a letter through your door to help you to understand how to 'Bin it right'. You may also receive a home visit to explain recycling in more detail. 

If you continue to place non recyclable items in your recycling bin you will receive an orange sticker and will have to remove said items and place your bin out on next collection day. 

Bin It Right Bin It Right
Contact us
Customer Services
03000 26 0000

Waste Management
03000 26 1000
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
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