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What to put in your bins

Find out what you can and cannot put in your bins.

It’s your responsibility to put the correct items in your bins. The crew cannot collect bins if the incorrect items are put in them, so make sure you follow our guidance.

Check our A to Z of recycling and rubbish or the SLWP bin smart tool for items not listed here.

Green recycling bin or box and blue sacks

Green recycling wheelie bin with South London Waste Partnership logos on it.

Green recycling plastic box with South London Waste Partnership logos on it.

Green recycling bins or boxes and blue sacks are for mixed recycling. We collect this every 2 weeks in most cases.

What to put in your green recycling bin or box

You can recycle:

  • plastic bottles like drinks, cosmetics, cleaning product or bleach bottles (remove any spray or pump attachments if possible)
  • semi-rigid plastic food packaging like yoghurt pots and meat trays (remove soft plastic film lids or coverings)
  • plastic tubs like ice cream or butter
  • metal and plastic bottle tops
  • cartons for liquid food and drink (tetra pak)
  • glass bottles and jars
  • metal tins and cans
  • metal foil wrap, food trays or lids
  • aerosol containers

Make sure you rinse items before you put them in.

Stack similar things like yoghurt pots and egg boxes and flatten plastic bottles to fit as much as possible.

Extra recycling

The crew will take extra recycling that does not fit in your bin or box if you put it out in a plastic tub or cardboard box next to your bin. Do not put out extra recycling in black bin bags.

You can order more recycling bins if you often have extra recycling.

Do not put in your green recycling

We cannot take:

  • soft plastic like clingfilm, salad bags or magazine wrapping
  • film lids used on food packaging
  • crisp packets 
  • bubblewrap
  • polystyrene
  • rigid and hard plastics like plant pots, watering cans, toys or coat hangers

Blue lid paper and cardboard bins and clear sacks

Grey wheelie bin with a blue lid with South London Waste Partnership logos on it.

Blue lid paper and cardboard bins and clear sacks are used for paper, card and cardboard recycling. We collect this every 2 weeks in most cases.

What to put in your blue lid paper and cardboard bin

You can recycle:

  • newspapers and magazines
  • envelopes and junk mail
  • catalogues
  • paper and printed paper
  • flattened card and cardboard
  • greeting cards
  • kitchen roll and toilet roll tubes (no tissue paper)
  • egg boxes
  • small amounts of shredded paper

Extra paper or cardboard

Put extra paper or cardboard next to your bin for the crew to take. Make sure the pieces are flattened and 1 person would be able to carry them.

Make sure you’ve removed any polystyrene as the crew cannot take this.

Black rubbish bin and red sacks

Black wheelie rubbish bin with South London Waste Partnership logos on it.

Your black rubbish bin or red sack is for general household waste only. We collect this every 2 weeks in most cases.

Recycle as much as you can in your other bins and use the food waste collection service to reduce the amount of rubbish you put out.

What to put in your black rubbish bin

Your black rubbish bin is for:

  • soft plastic like plastic wrap, plastic bags, and film
  • greasy cardboard like pizza boxes
  • polystyrene
  • nappies
  • vacuum cleaner waste and bags
  • items that cannot be recycled

Make sure everything fits into the bin as the crew will not take extra rubbish left on top or next to the bin.

Do not put in your black rubbish bin

We cannot accept:

  • textiles like clothes, bedding or towels
  • electricals like charging leads, hairdryers, or other small appliances
  • batteries 
  • DIY waste or rubble
  • garden waste
  • hazardous waste like asbestos or oil-based paint

You can book a free textiles, clothes and small electricals collection or take items to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre.

Food waste kitchen bin and outdoor bin

Brown indoor lockable food waste bin with South London Waste Partnership logos on it.

Brown outdoor lockable food waste bin with South London Waste Partnership logos on it.

Lockable food waste bins are for food waste recycling. We collect this every week.

Use the smaller kitchen bin to store food waste inside. Rinse it every time you empty it into your outdoor bin will help to keep it clean.

Make sure that your outdoor bin is locked to keep pests out.

What to put in your food waste

Your food waste bin is for:

  • cooked and raw food including plate scrapings
  • mouldy food
  • meat and fish including bones
  • tea bags and coffee grounds
  • pet food
  • cut flowers
  • eggshells

Do not put in your food waste

We cannot accept:

  • packaging of any kind
  • plastic bags or wrapping
  • dirty pet waste like droppings or bedding
  • garden waste

Compostable liners

You do not have to line your kitchen bin with a compostable liner, but many people prefer to. 

You can buy compostable liners in most supermarkets or from our libraries. Look out for the compostable logo when you’re buying liners.

compostable logo which is small plant with two leaves found on compostable food waste liners, used for lining food waste recycling caddies.

You can also put food into your bins loose or wrapped in paper or newspaper.

Reducing food waste

The average family throws away nearly £600 worth of food a year. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for information on how to save food and money. 

A lot of food waste can be composted in your garden.

Last Modified: 24/11/2023 12:49:18